The (Poly)Pharmacology of Cannabidiol in Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Molecular Mechanisms and Targets

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 5;22(9):4876. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094876.


Cannabidiol (CBD), the major nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent, has been proposed for the treatment of a wide panel of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety, schizophrenia, epilepsy and drug addiction due to the ability of its versatile scaffold to interact with diverse molecular targets that are not restricted to the endocannabinoid system. Albeit the molecular mechanisms responsible for the therapeutic effects of CBD have yet to be fully elucidated, many efforts have been devoted in the last decades to shed light on its complex pharmacological profile. In particular, an ever-increasing number of molecular targets linked to those disorders have been identified for this phytocannabinoid, along with the modulatory effects of CBD on their cascade signaling. In this view, here we will try to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the molecular basis underlying the therapeutic effects of CBD involved in the treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Keywords: cannabidiol; neuropsychiatric disorders; pharmacological targets; pharmacology; receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol / chemistry
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*


  • Ion Channels
  • Cannabidiol