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  • What are cannabinoid receptors?

    What are cannabinoid receptors
    The hemp plant is a complex creature that contains hundreds of different active substances, all of which have different effects on the body. Of all the active ingredients found in hemp, cannabinoids cause the greatest excitement in the science and health community. Many now believe that when used as a supplement, cannabinoids like CBD can help people deal with all sorts of problems. But how they interact with the body can be a bit of a mystery, so we thought we'd look at the receptors responsible for all the effects - cannabinoid receptors.


    Cannabinoid receptors are the "action points" of the endocannabinoid system - the mechanism within the body that interacts with cannabinoids. We have these receptors because the body produces its own natural version of cannabinoids and they are used to trigger certain effects. Cannabis and hemp are the only known external sources of cannabinoids and trigger this system in us. Cannabinoids bind to these receptors, which in turn activate the endocannabinoid system. These receptors can be found throughout the body - just about everywhere the central nervous system goes, including the brain.


    There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors were first discovered in 1990, while CB2 receptors were close behind, discovered in 1993.


    CB1 receptors are mainly present in the brain, but also the central nervous system and related organs. This is where the THC binds in cannabis, causing psychoactive effects. CBD on the other hand, not why it is non-psychoactive. These receptors are thought to affect memory, mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensation. As such, they have implications in the treatment of such things as chronic pain and depression.


    CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, including the immune system, the gastrointestinal system and related organs. They also appear in the brain, but still as dense as their CB1 counterpart. The main function of CB2 receptors is thought to be to help control inflammation. When the endocannabinoid natural answer is supplemented with external cannabinoids, it can greatly reduce the severity of inflammation, which is known to be at the root of many conditions.


    Research into the endocannabinoid system is still relatively new, and there is much more to discover. There might even be other types of receptors that we do not know yet. The 2012 research found that cannabinoids appear to interact with some areas of the body where CB1 and CB2 receptors were not present, suggesting another receptor at work. There is still so much to learn. One thing is certain, the endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoid receptors it contains play an important role in our lives. Gaining a better understanding will help us to improve our understanding of how the body as a whole works and in turn offers new opportunities for scientific research.