, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 113-128

Cannabinoids in Eating Disorders and Obesity

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Cannabinoid system is a crucial mechanism in regulating food intake and energy metabolism. It is involved in central and peripheral mechanisms regulating such behavior, interacting with many other signaling systems with a role in metabolic regulation. Cannabinoid agonists promote food intake, and soon a cannabinoid antagonist, rimonabant, will be marketed for the treatment of obesity. It not only causes weight loss, but also alleviates metabolic syndrome. We present a review of current knowledge on this subject, along with data from our own research: genetic studies on this system in eating disorders and obesity and studies locating cannabinoid receptors in areas related to food intake. Such studies suggest cannabinoid hyperactivity in obesity, and this excessive activity may have prognostic implications.