Targeting Endocannabinoid System in Epilepsy: For Good or for Bad

Neuroscience. 2022 Feb 1;482:172-185. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2021.12.013. Epub 2021 Dec 16.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder with a high prevalence worldwide. Several studies carried out during the last decades indicate that the administration of cannabinoids as well as the activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) represent a therapeutic strategy to control epilepsy. However, there are controversial studies indicating that activation of ECS results in cell damage, inflammation and neurotoxicity, conditions that facilitate the seizure activity. The present review is focused to present findings supporting this issue. According to the current discrepancies, it is relevant to elucidate the different effects induced by the activation of ECS and determine the conditions under which it facilitates the seizure activity.

Keywords: CB1 receptors; CB2 receptors, neurotoxicity, neuroinflammation; endocannabinoid system; epilepsy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cannabinoids* / pharmacology
  • Endocannabinoids / physiology
  • Epilepsy* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes* / drug therapy
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2


  • Cannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2