Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Explanation of the Effects of the CB1 and CB2 Receptors

Cannabis has been found to have a direct effect on the cannabinoid receptors system in the brain. These receptors have a direct relation to appetite, pain-sensation, memory and mood. As the largest receptors in the body, they are influenced by ligands, endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids like cannabis echinacea purpura, and synthetic cannabinoids. Cannabis as well as the endocannabinoids are fat-soluble, or lipophilic. The two known cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2.(Source)

Plants create cannabinoids to help their homeostasis as a plant, having antioxidant properties to protect from UV rays which in turn helps the plant from disease. In animals, antioxidants help to protect as well from UV rays and free radical damage that can result in cancer and disease.(Source)

Interestingly, the marijuana plant also uses THC and other cannabinoids to promote its own health and prevent disease. Cannabinoids have antioxidant properties that protect the leaves and flowering structures from ultraviolet radiation - cannabinoids neutralize the harmful free radicals generated by UV rays, protecting the cells. In humans, free radicals cause aging, cancer, and impaired healing. Antioxidants found in plants have long been promoted as natural supplements to prevent free radical harm.

Cannabinoid receptors effect the G protein coupled receptor family, which are the cause of many diseases, 40% of all modern medicinal drugs target the G protein receptors.(source) The goal of the endocannabinoid system in the body is to maintain homeostatis, or an internal stable environment in the body. (Source)

Important Functions of the Cannabinoid System

There are many important and diverse functions to keep the body in a constant homeostasis. Here are a couple examples:

  1. The cannabinoid system deals with autophagy, where a cell self-digests and recycles itself. This process keeps healthy cells healthy and also rids the body of malignant tumor cells having them consume themselves in a cellular suicide.
  2. The cannabinoid system reduces pain to injuries. The injured tissue sends activators and sensitizer signals to stop excessive nerve cell firing, calming the sensation and the immune cells to not have them cause an excessive inflammation.
  3. The cannabinoid system effects human behavior and mood. The receptors trigger a neuronal placticity, allowing for the brain to be open-minded and able to move beyond common patterns of thought to allow for creativity and aid in social interaction.

CB1 Receptor

CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system of the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys. They are the biggest group of G-coupled receptors in the brain. Cannabinoids effect a reduction of the GABA mediated neurotransmission, which results in an increase of neuron excitability.(Source) They effect memory processing, pain regulation and motor control. (Source)

CB 2 Receptor

CB2 receptors are in the immune system and hematopoietic cells (Blood cells that help create other blood cells found in red bone marrow), white blood cells, tonsils and spleen. This receptor effects the relief of pain, and more research is showing that it effects smooth muscle, fibroblasts and others. The main function of the CB2 receptor is the regulation of cytokine release, which research is looking into the benefit of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer treatments. (Source) Cytokines signal cells to communicate in immune responses to inflammation, infection and trauma.(Source)


1 comment:

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