The endocannabinoid system modulates stress, emotionality, and inflammation

The endocannabinoid system modulates stress, emotionality, and inflammation.

The physiological and behavioral effects of stress are well characterized. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand and function to attenuate many of the physiological effects of the stress response.

The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors, the fatty acid signaling molecules that bind to and activate these receptors, and the enzymes that synthesize and catabolize these endocannabinoid signaling molecules. Cannabinoid research has recently grown substantially, due in no small part to the development of genetic research models as well as highly selective pharmaceutical tools. The purpose of this minireview is to discuss a subset of the many parallels between cannabinoid and behavioral neuroimmunology research, with specific discussion of interactions between the endocannabinoid system and psychological stress, emotionality, and inflammation.

(West Virginia University, Department of Psychology, PO Box 6040, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA. Electronic address: (PubMed)

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