Endocannabinoids and the Endocrine System in Health and Disease

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2015;231:317-39. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-20825-1_11.

Abstract

Some of the earliest reports of the effects of cannabis consumption on humans were related to endocrine system changes. In this review, the effects of cannabinoids and the role of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the regulation of the following endocrine systems are discussed: the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, prolactin and oxytocin, thyroid hormone and growth hormone, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Preclinical and human study results are presented.

Keywords: Corticosterone; Gonadotropin; Gonadotropin-releasing hormone; Growth hormone; HPA axis; Oxytocin; Prolactin; Testosterone; Thyroid hormone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / metabolism*
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Lactation / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxytocin / metabolism
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / metabolism*
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology
  • Prolactin / metabolism
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology
  • Thyroid Hormones / metabolism

Substances

  • Endocannabinoids
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Oxytocin
  • Prolactin
  • Growth Hormone