Cannabidiol, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders

Pharmacol Res. 2016 Oct:112:119-127. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.01.033. Epub 2016 Feb 1.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid derived from Cannabis sativa. It has possible therapeutic effects over a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders. CBD attenuates brain damage associated with neurodegenerative and/or ischemic conditions. It also has positive effects on attenuating psychotic-, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. Moreover, CBD affects synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis. The mechanisms of these effects are still not entirely clear but seem to involve multiple pharmacological targets. In the present review, we summarized the main biochemical and molecular mechanisms that have been associated with the therapeutic effects of CBD, focusing on their relevance to brain function, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Keywords: 5HT1A receptor; Cannabidiol; Endocannabinoids; Neuropsychiatric disorders; Oxidative stress; PPAR-γ receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cannabidiol / administration & dosage
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Neuroprotection*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Cannabidiol