The Polypharmacological Effects of Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa (Linneo, 1753). This naturally occurring secondary metabolite does not induce intoxication or exhibit the characteristic profile of drugs of abuse from cannabis like Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) does. In contrast to ∆9-THC, our knowledge of the neuro-molecular mechanisms of CBD is limited, and its pharmacology, which appears to be complex, has not yet been fully elucidated. The study of the pharmacological effects of CBD has grown exponentially in recent years, making it necessary to generate frequently updated reports on this important metabolite. In this article, a rationalized integration of the mechanisms of action of CBD on molecular targets and pharmacological implications in animal models and human diseases, such as epilepsy, pain, neuropsychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammatory diseases, are presented. We identify around 56 different molecular targets for CBD, including enzymes and ion channels/metabotropic receptors involved in neurologic conditions. Herein, we compiled the knowledge found in the scientific literature on the multiple mechanisms of actions of CBD. The in vitro and in vivo findings are essential for fully understanding the polypharmacological nature of this natural product.