Energy Homeostasis and the Endocannabinoid System

In this chapter we review the endocannabinoid system. It represents a novelly described and quite different kind of intercellular signaling system within the body, and we focus on how it influences energy homeostasis as well as how it might be exploited to treat obesity and its complications. Although synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoids such as A9-tetrahydrocannabinol (A9-THC) have long been recognized to influence food intake, it is only relatively recently that endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids [ECs]) generated within the body have been identified, and it is very recently that the scope of their influence on energy homeostasis has started to become revealed, along with potential therapeutic implications.

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