Solar UV irradiation is an important carcinogen that leads to the development of skin cancer, which is the most common human cancer. However, the receptors that mediate UV-induced skin carcinogenesis have not yet been unequivocally identified. Here we showed that UV irradiation directly activates cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1/2). Notably, our data indicated that the absence of the CB1/2 receptors in mice results in a dramatic resistance to UVB-induced inflammation and a marked decrease in UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis. A marked attenuation of UVB-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor-κB was associated with CB1/2 deficiency. These data provide direct evidence indicating that the CB1/2 receptors play a key role in UV-induced inflammation and skin cancer development.