Cannabinoid receptors

Cannabinoid receptors make up one important part of the endocannabinoid system. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors, and they act as the main communication pathway between the body and the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoid receptors are part of the body's endocannabinoid system. There are two types, CB1 receptors - which are found mainly in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors – which can be found in the peripheral nervous system.

Cannabinoids that are produced by the body (endocannabinoids) naturally bind to these receptors to promote homeostasis, and then when cannabis is consumed, phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD also interact with these receptors, triggering different reactions such as pain relief, inflammation control, and can aid in a range of therapeutic settings. 


What is the endocannabinoid system?


The ECS is the largest neuroreceptor system in the body, and its main function is to maintain balance within the body, a process known as homeostasis. It consists of three main components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

Endocannabinoids are natural cannabinoids that are produced by the body. They act as the signalling molecules of the system, interacting with the cannabinoid receptors to help regulate internal balance.


What is the difference between CB1 and CB2?


CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mainly located in the peripheral organs and immune cells. Each type of receptor responds differently to cannabinoids, leading to different effects.


How do THC and CBD affect the endocannabinoid system?


THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis that binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. This interaction can lead to the feeling of being "high" and can also have various therapeutic effects on the body.

On the other hand, CBD (cannabidiol) does not directly bind to these receptors. Instead it interacts with them indirectly by reducing the rate at which our own endicannabinoids are broken down, leading to an increase in their levels. This can result in reduced inflammation, pain relief, and other therapeutic benefits.

To find out more about cannabinoid receptors click here

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