The Expanded Endocannabinoid System/Endocannabinoidome as a Potential Target for Treating Diabetes Mellitus

Curr Diab Rep. 2019 Nov 4;19(11):117. doi: 10.1007/s11892-019-1248-9.


Purpose of review: The endocannabinoid (eCB) system, i.e. the receptors that respond to the psychoactive component of cannabis, their endogenous ligands and the ligand metabolic enzymes, is part of a larger family of lipid signals termed the endocannabinoidome (eCBome). We summarize recent discoveries of the roles that the eCBome plays within peripheral tissues in diabetes, and how it is being targeted, in an effort to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of this increasingly prevalent disease.

Recent findings: As with the eCB system, many eCBome members regulate several physiological processes, including energy intake and storage, glucose and lipid metabolism and pancreatic health, which contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Preclinical studies increasingly support the notion that targeting the eCBome may beneficially affect T2D. The eCBome is implicated in T2D at several levels and in a variety of tissues, making this complex lipid signaling system a potential source of many potential therapeutics for the treatments for T2D.

Keywords: Bioactive lipids; Endocannabinoidome; Glucose; Insulin; Peripheral tissues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Endocannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid* / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid* / physiology


  • Endocannabinoids
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Glucose