Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are amongst the most ubiquitous signaling molecules in the nervous system. Over the past few decades, observations based on a large volume of work, first examining the pharmacological effects of exogenous cannabinoids, and then the physiological functions of eCBs, have directly challenged long-held and dogmatic views about communication, plasticity and behavior in the central nervous system (CNS). The eCBs and their cognate cannabinoid receptors exhibit a number of unique properties that distinguish them from the widely studied classical amino-acid transmitters, neuropeptides, and catecholamines. Although we now have a loose set of mechanistic rules based on experimental findings, new studies continue to reveal that our understanding of the eCB system (ECS) is continuously evolving and challenging long-held conventions. Here we will briefly summarize findings on the current canonical view of the 'ECS' and will address novel aspects that reveal how a nearly ubiquitous system can determine highly specific functions in the brain. In particular, we will focus on findings that push for an expansion of our ideas around long-held beliefs about eCB signaling that, while clearly true, may be contributing to an oversimplified perspective on how cannabinoid signaling at the microscopic level impacts behavior at the macroscopic level.