The endocannabinoid system, cannabis, and cannabidiol: Implications in urology and men’s health


Capodice, Jillian L.; Kaplan, Steven A

Published in Current Urology

June 2021



The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system responsible for partial regulation of cognitive and emotional processes in the human central nervous system such as behavior, mood disorders, and neurologic disorders such as epilepsy. The endocannabinoid system is also prevalent throughout the peripheral nervous system and human body and its receptors and signaling pathways are present and active in areas including the male and female reproductive tracts and organ systems such as the urologic and gastrointestinal system.


The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a brief background on the endocannabinoid system and to discuss the implications of the endocannabinoid system in urology as it applies to the male reproductive system, risk of urologic malignancy, and impact on the lower urinary tract, voiding, and urologic pain. It also summaries and discusses the epidemiology and research on cannabis and cannabidiol products.

Key message:

The endocannabinoid system affects the urologic and reproductive systems. Cannabis products and inhibitors targeting endocannabinoid pathways are being studied for their potential use as treatments for lower urinary tract symptoms and other urologic symptoms. Cannabis use adversely affects spermatogenesis and semen parameters and may be a risk factor for testicular germ cell tumors, however, it may be useful as a potential treatment for urologic symptoms. Cannabidiol products are popular in the consumer marketplace but there is still a paucity of scientific data on their potential medicinal use.

Open Access


DOI: 10.1097/CU9.0000000000000023


Capodice, J. L., & Kaplan, S. A. (2021). The endocannabinoid system, cannabis, and cannabidiol: Implications in urology and men’s health. Current Urology, 15(2), 95-100.