Molecular Findings Guiding the Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System as a Potential Target to Treat Schizophrenia

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2022;1400:89-103. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-97182-3_7.


Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder of neurodevelopmental origin that is thought to result from the combination of genetic and socioenvironmental factors. Several studies have linked the endocannabinoid system with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Here, we provide a brief overview of the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the context of biological processes relevant to schizophrenia, such as neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity, and brain energy metabolism. We also discuss alterations related to the ECS in schizophrenia and current efforts in both in vivo and in vitro studies that have provided a better understanding of the functioning of this system in the context of the disorder. Finally, we highlighted the modulation of the ECS as a potential for discovering novel therapeutic targets, suggesting new avenues for future research in the field.

Keywords: Animal models; Cannabidiol; Cannabinoids; Cell culture; Schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism
  • Endocannabinoids* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia* / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia* / genetics


  • Endocannabinoids