The active components of Cannabis sativa and their derivatives produce a wide spectrum of effects, some of which may have clinical application. The discovery of specific cannabinoid receptors and a family of endogenous ligands of those receptors has attracted much attention to cannabinoids as agents capable of controlling the decision of cells to survive or die. We analysed the effects exerted by 2-methyl-2'-F-anandamide (Met-F-AEA), a metabolically stable analogue of anandamide, and observed a growth inhibition in cell lines derived from thyroid carcinomas. Growth inhibition was associated with a high level of CB1 receptor expression, suggesting that the cytotoxic effect is due to interaction with the CB1 receptor. This phenomenon was associated with activation of the protein, p53, an increased apoptotic rate, and expression of p21(CIP1/WAF1). This study provides new insights into the mechanism of Met-F-AEA action, and could have significance in providing a basis for the management of thyroid carcinoma.