Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is a dimeric, membranebound enzyme that degrades neuromodulatory fatty acid amides and esters and is expressed in mammalian brain and peripheral tissues. The cleavage of approximately 30 amino acids from each subunit creates an FAAH variant that is soluble and homogeneous in detergent-containing buffers, opening the avenue to the in vitro mechanistic and structural studies. Here we have studied the stability of FAAH as a function of guanidinium hydrochloride concentration and of hydrostatic pressure. The unfolding transition was observed to be complex and required a fitting procedure based on a three-state process with a monomeric intermediate. The first transition was characterized by dimer dissociation, with a free energy change of approximately 11 kcal/mol that accounted for approximately 80% of the total stabilization energy. This process was also paralleled by a large change in the solvent-accessible surface area, because of the hydration occurring both at the dimeric interface and within the monomers. As a consequence, the isolated subunits were found to be much less stable (DeltaG approximately 3 kcal/mol). The addition of methoxyarachidonyl fluorophosphonate, an irreversible inhibitor of FAAH activity, enhanced the stability of the dimer by approximately 2 kcal/mol, toward denaturant- and pressure-induced unfolding. FAAH inhibition by methoxyarachidonyl fluorophosphonate also reduced the ability of the protein to bind to the membranes. These findings suggest that local conformational changes at the level of the active site might induce a tighter interaction between the subunits of FAAH, affecting the enzymatic activity and the interaction with membranes.