Targeting the endocannabinoid system: future therapeutic strategies

Drug Discov Today. 2017 Jan;22(1):105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Aug 20.


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in many physiological regulation pathways in the human body, which makes this system the target of many drugs and therapies. In this review, we highlight the latest studies regarding the role of the ECS and the drugs that target it, with a particular focus on the basis for the discovery of new cannabinoid-based drugs. In addition, we propose some key steps, such as the creation of a cannabinoid-receptor interaction matrix (CRIM) and the use of metabolomics, toward the development of improved and more specific drugs for each relevant disease.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / metabolism*


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Cannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid