Endocannabinoid synthesis in the human body is naturally occurring and on-demand. It occurs in response to physiological and environmental stimuli, such as stress, anxiety, hunger, other factors negatively disrupting homeostasis, as well as the therapeutic use of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol and recreational use of exogenous cannabis, which can lead to cannabis use disorder. Together with their specific receptors CB1R and CB2R, endocannabinoids are major components of endocannabinoid-mediated neuromodulation in a rapid and sustained manner. Extensive research on endocannabinoid function and expression includes studies in limbic system structures such as the hippocampus and amygdala. The wide distribution of endocannabinoids, their on-demand synthesis at widely different sites, their co-existence in specific regions of the body, their quantitative differences in tissue type, and different pathological conditions indicate their diverse biological functions that utilize specific and overlapping pathways in multiple organ systems. Here, we review emerging evidence of these pathways with a special emphasis on the role of endocannabinoids in decelerating neurodegenerative pathology through neural networks initiated by cells in the main olfactory bulb.
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