The endocannabinoid system consists of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors that can be activated by cannabis-derived drugs and small lipids termed endocannabinoids (eCBs) plus associated biochemical machinery (precursors, synthetic and degradative enzymes, transporters). The eCB system in the brain primarily influences neuronal synaptic communication, and affects biological functions - including eating, anxiety, learning and memory, growth and development - via an array of actions throughout the nervous system. Although many aspects of synaptic regulation by eCBs are becoming clear, details of the subcellular organization and regulation of the eCB system are less well understood. This review focuses on recent investigations that illuminate fundamental issues of eCB storage, release, and functional roles.
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