The therapeutic potential of targeting the peripheral endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor system

Joseph Tam*, Liad Hinden, Adi Drori, Shiran Udi, Shahar Azar, Saja Baraghithy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are internal lipid mediators recognized by the cannabinoid-1 and -2 receptors (CB1R and CB2R, respectively), which also mediate the different physiological effects of marijuana. The endocannabinoid system, consisting of eCBs, their receptors, and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis and degradation, is present in a vast number of peripheral organs. In this review we describe the role of the eCB/CB1R system in modulating the metabolism in several peripheral organs. We assess how eCBs, via activating the CB1R, contribute to obesity and regulate food intake. In addition, we describe their roles in modulating liver and kidney functions, as well as bone remodeling and mass. Special importance is given to emphasizing the efficacy of the recently developed peripherally restricted CB1R antagonists, which were pre-clinically tested in the management of energy homeostasis, and in ameliorating both obesity- and diabetes-induced metabolic complications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by an Israel Science Foundation grant ( #617/14 ), and an ERC-2015-StG grant ( #676841 ) to J.T.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 European Federation of Internal Medicine


  • Bone remodeling
  • CB receptor
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Obesity


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