Endocannabinoids in arthritis: current views and perspective

Int J Rheum Dis. 2017 Jul;20(7):789-797. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13146.


Preclinical and clinical studies using cannabis-based therapy have been shown to provide both analgesia and anti-inflammatory effects, with an overall alleviation of clinical symptoms in animal models of arthritis, highlighting its promising therapeutic application for humans. Despite this, the development of cannabis-based therapeutics remains in its infancy, with further investigation into its efficacy and safety profile in patients still required. This synopsis reviews the various components of the endocannabinoid system in health and disease and their potential as therapeutic targets.

Keywords: arthritis; endocannabinoid; inflammation; pain; rheumatic disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis / drug therapy
  • Arthritis / metabolism*
  • Arthritis / physiopathology
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use
  • Endocannabinoids / biosynthesis
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Cannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid