Cannabinoid Receptors in the Human Body
The endocannabinoid system is thought to have more receptors than any other system in the human body. Cannabinoid receptors are embedded in cell membranes throughout the body. CB1 and CB2 receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors.
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G proteins on the cell membrane recognize substances and regulate metabolism, pain, appetite, emotions, memory, stress, gastrointestinal motility (gastrointestinal system, urinary tracts, spleen, and the heart., fertility (reproductive system), bone growth, endocrine system, and immune function.
How do G Proteins (CB1 & CB2 Receptors) Work in the Body?
Endocannabinoids deliver messages across the synapses (gaps between nerve cells). Neurons are signaled to communicate with each other by releasing neurotransmitters. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand and then released back across these synapses, which are then brought into the cells, and quickly metabolized.
Endocannabinoid CB1 Receptors
The endocannabinoid CB1 receptors are found mostly in the central nervous system which includes connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs. The CB1 receptors are the most abundant receptors in the brain. The brain is where CB1 receptors and Endocannabinoids combine in order to form something similar to an electrical circuit breaker. This combination circuit breaker which fine-tunes the release of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help our nervous system running efficiently and smoothly.
The endocannabinoid system affects many brain functions. The brain functions affected are as follows:
- Mood & Emotions
- Short-Term memory
- Regulates Body Movement (Motor Function)
- Body Temperature
- Sense of Reward
- Nociception (how the brain interprets pain signals)
- The Area of the Brain with Few CB1 Receptors
While the brain has an abundance of CB1 receptors as a whole, one particular part of the brain-brain stem, has very few CB1 receptors.
Psychoactive effects are the direct result of the CB1 receptor activation. The psychological and physical effects experienced, come from CB1 activation and most often associated with the ingesting cannabis.
Endocannabinoid CB2 Receptors
The endocannabinoid CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune system throughout the body which includes the spleen, blood cells, and tonsils. The CB2 receptors help control the release of cytokines (which are immunoregulatory proteins) and are directly linked to inflammation and the general function of the immune system throughout the body.
Other Cannabinoid Receptors Found in The Human Body
There has been new research which has discovered new evidence showing that there other cannabinoid receptors found within the human body, in addition to CB1 and CB2 receptors. These other Cannabinoid receptors are involved with pain and inflammation which are modulated by cannabinoids. cannabinoids are substances that attach or activate the endocannabinoid system receptors. These other types of Cannabinoid receptors include the transient receptor potential vailloid (TRPV) receptors, and cytokines, like tumor necrotic factor (TNF), GPR55, and interleukin (IL) receptors. The Serotonin (5-HT1a) receptors involved in emotions such as depression are also activated by cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids Come From Three Sources.
cannabinoids come from three sources: Endocannabinoids made in the body (ligands), phytocannabinoids found only in the cannabis plant, and synthetic cannabinoids made in a laboratory. cannabinoids work as neuromodulators and retrograde messengers which affect the release calcium ions, potassium ions, and other neurotransmitters. This modulation offers new therapeutic opportunities for the selective control of deleterious neuronal activity in several neurological disorders.