Endocannabinoids and schizophrenia

Joëlle Desfossés, Emmanuel Stip, Lahcen Ait Bentaleb, Stéphane Potvin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachydonoylglycerol (2-AG) are lipids naturally derived from membrane precursors which bind cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2). This endocannabinoid system is disturbed in schizophrenia. Indeed, there seems to be an association between schizophrenia and polymorphisms of the CB1 receptor gene. Moreover, CB1 receptors are found in higher density in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and basal ganglia of patients with schizophrenia. Similarly, anandamide levels are increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in the serum of schizophrenia patients, including during the prodromal state, suggesting that they may play a protective role in psychosis homeostasis. Future studies are needed to further explore the role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3101-3126
Number of pages26
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabis
  • Drug abuse
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Metabolism
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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