Cannabinoid Receptors. Why would you care about them?
The existence of cannabinoid receptors in the brain was discovered from in vitro studies in the 1980s, with the receptor designated as the cannabinoid receptor type 1 or CB1.source: WikipediA
What exactly are Cannabinoid Receptors?
In simple terms, Cannabinoid Receptors are antennas located in each human and animal cell. They receive signals from 3 sources:
- Endocannabinoids, which are substances the body produces
- Cannabinoids, which are substances found in the Cannabis plant
- Synthetic Cannabinoids, which are lab-made Cannabinoids
Once they receive the signals, they transmit them through the Endocannabinoid System to the:
- Central Nervous System (Brain and Spinal Cord)
- Peripheral Nervous System (rest of the nerves found in the body)
And what does that Endocannabinoid System do?
The Endocannabinoid System is still under clinical research. It is believed to control and regulate processes and functions in the human body and mind such as:
- immune system
So far, two receptors have been identified. They go by the names CB1 and CB2. However, studies indicate that there might be an additional receptor in the brain.
Wait, what? Fertility?
A recent paper published in the Journal of Ovarian Research in January 2019, indicated that:
- “Chronic exposure to cannabinoids in male rodents and humans has been shown to result in reduced sperm count [..]”
- “In females, chronic exposure to cannabinoids has been shown to delay sexual maturation, cause menstrual cycle disruption, depress ovarian follicular maturation […]”
Everything in this life comes with a price tag. However, you should keep in mind that we are not talking about recreational use here. We are talking about medical Cannabis and how it can provide you with a better quality of life. We have discussed the benefits of CBD, CBN, and CBG in our Blog. Even THC which is primarily known for its psychoactive effect has its uses in medicine. You be the judge and decide whether Cannabinoids’ positive effects overlap their negative ones. And if you can’t, which is mostly the case, a licensed physician will provide you with some guidelines.
So what’s the big deal about Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System?
- “[…] modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions.”
- mood and anxiety disorders
- movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease
- neuropathic pain
- multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury
- obesity/metabolic syndrome
And those are just to name a few.
To sum up as simple as it gets
- The Endocannabinoid System is part of the human and animal body
- It helps regulate various functions such as pain-sensation and memory
- Cannabinoid receptors are part of the body’s cells
- They help pick up signals produced from Cannabinoids in the human and animal body
- The Cannabinoid Receptors then transmit these signals to various nerves
- The nerves simply do their job according to those signals and what they instructed them to do