Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease manifested by movement limitations and chronic pain. Endocannabinoid system (ECS) may modulate nociception via cannabinoid and TRPV1 receptors. The purpose of our study was to examine alterations in the spinal and joint endocannabinoid system during pain development in an animal model of OA. Wistar rats received intra-articular injection of 3mg of sodium monoiodoacetate (MIA) into the knee joint. Animals were sacrificed on day 2, 7, 14, 21, 28 after injection and lumbar spinal cord, cartilage and synovium were collected. Changes in the transcription levels of the ECS elements were measured. At the spinal level, gene expression levels of the cannabinoid and TRPV1 receptors as well as enzymes involved in anandamide synthesis and degradation were elevated in the advanced OA phase. In the joint, an important role of the synovium was demonstrated, since cartilage degeneration resulted in attenuation of the changes in the gene expression. Enzymes responsible for anandamide synthesis and degradation were upregulated particularly in the early stages of OA, presumably in response to early local joint inflammation. The presented study provides missing information about the MIA-induced OA model and encourages the development of a therapy focused on the molecular role of ECS.