Does CBD inhibit FAAH?

FAAH inhibition by phytocannabinoids

Source: Matthew W. Elmes et al. J Biol Chem. 2015;290(14):8711-8721.

CBD is proposed to inhibit FAAH, which could result in increased anandamide levels thereby, activating CB1, CB2, and TRPV1 receptors1&2. However, more recent research by Elmes et al. demonstrated that THC and CBD inhibit the cellular uptake and catabolism of AEA by targeting Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) with no effect on FAAH3. The fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) have been shown to be intracellular transporters for AEA. Anandamide requires transport from the membrane to intracellular FAAH for degredation3.

“THC and CBD did not reduce the proportion of intracellular AEA that is hydrolyzed following uptake, suggesting that the cannabinoids block the delivery of AEA to FAAH but do not affect AEA hydrolysis by FAAH”.

This study also showed that THC inhibits the cellular uptake and catabolism of AEA by targeting FABPs3.

THC and CBD interact with FABP3, FABP5, and FABP7 and bind with similar affinities as endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG. CBD and THC inhibit both rat and mouse but not human FAAH3.

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