To investigate the mechanisms involved in cannabidiol (CBD)-induced neuroprotection in hypoxic-ischemic (HI) immature brain, forebrain slices from newborn mice underwent oxygen and glucose deprivation in the presence of vehicle, or CBD alone or with selective antagonists of cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2), and adenosine A(1) and A(2) receptors. CBD reduced acute (LDH efflux to the incubation medium) and apoptotic (caspase-9 concentration in tissue) HI brain damage by reducing glutamate and IL-6 concentration, and TNFalpha, COX-2, and iNOS expression. CBD effects were reversed by the CB(2) antagonist AM630 and by the A(2A) antagonist SCH58261. The A(1A) antagonist DPCPX only counteracted the CBD reduction of glutamate release, while the CB(1) antagonist SR141716 did not modify any effect of CBD. In conclusion, CBD induces robust neuroprotection in immature brain, by acting on some of the major mechanisms underlying HI cell death; these effects are mediated by CB(2) and adenosine, mainly A(2A), receptors.