Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:117 | Cite as

The Expanded Endocannabinoid System/Endocannabinoidome as a Potential Target for Treating Diabetes Mellitus

  • Alain Veilleux
  • Vincenzo Di Marzo
  • Cristoforo SilvestriEmail author
Obesity (KM Gadde, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Obesity


Purpose of Review

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system, i.e. the receptors that respond to the psychoactive component of cannabis, their endogenous ligands and the ligand metabolic enzymes, is part of a larger family of lipid signals termed the endocannabinoidome (eCBome). We summarize recent discoveries of the roles that the eCBome plays within peripheral tissues in diabetes, and how it is being targeted, in an effort to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of this increasingly prevalent disease.

Recent Findings

As with the eCB system, many eCBome members regulate several physiological processes, including energy intake and storage, glucose and lipid metabolism and pancreatic health, which contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Preclinical studies increasingly support the notion that targeting the eCBome may beneficially affect T2D.


The eCBome is implicated in T2D at several levels and in a variety of tissues, making this complex lipid signaling system a potential source of many potential therapeutics for the treatments for T2D.


Endocannabinoidome Bioactive lipids Peripheral tissues Glucose Insulin 













abnormal cannabidiol


arachidonic acid




cannabinoid receptor type-1/2






diacylglycerol lipase








fatty acid amide hydrolase


G protein-coupled Receptor 119


G protein-coupled Receptor 55


glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide




monoacylglycerol lipase




N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D-like




nonalcoholic fatty liver disease








transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Alain Veilleux declares no conflict of interest.

Vincenzo Di Marzo reports grants from GW Pharmaceuticals.

Cristoforo Silvestri reports he was a previous employee of GW Pharmaceuticals.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Veilleux
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Vincenzo Di Marzo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Cristoforo Silvestri
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.École de nutritionUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnelsUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Canadian Excellence Research Chair on the Microbiome-Endocannabinoidome Axis in Metabolic HealthQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Institut de cardiologie et de pneumologie de QuébecUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.Department de médecine, Université LavalQuébecCanada

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