MAR 12, 2022 7:00 AM PST

The Role of Cannabinoid Receptors

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A recent review of research on cannabinoid receptors and their influence on signaling pathways provides insights into how the endocannabinoid system boost energy, stimulates appetite, reduces pressure, lessens pain, and controls nausea. Additionally, this review identified endocannabinoid mechanisms that mitigate the symptoms of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. 

Cannabinoid compounds like THC and CBD alter central nervous system functions. The endocannabinoid system in the brain regulates mood, memory and stress responses. When THC binds to CB1 receptors, it triggers a release of the transmitter dopamine onto the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This stimulation of neurons produces a psychoactive effect. 

CB 1 receptors are expressed in the central nervous system at a higher rate than CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are also found in the basal ganglia and cerebellum, and they influence an individual’s activity level and motor control. Scientists used to believe CB2 receptors were peripheral players in the endocannabinoid system, but several studies found CB2 receptors throughout the central nervous system and affect neuroprotective activity. Targeting CB1 and CB2 receptors can be an effective strategy in treating neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases. 

The main signaling molecules known as endocannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors and alter physiological activities. The signaling molecules Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) affect cardiovascular and other functions. When AEA binds to CB1 receptors, it causes changes in mood, perception, and motor control. 2-AG activates the CB1 receptor and studies have determined 2-AG can reduce tumor growth, pain, and nausea. 

Previous studies have observed biased signaling differences between CB1 and CB2 receptors. Although these receptors activate multiple pathways, they differ in how they affect certain pathways. This finding has implications for targeting pathways to ensure desired therapeutic effects like anti-inflammatory relief and prevent undesirable ones like grogginess. 

Sources: Cannabis Cannabinoid Research, Nature 

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
FEB 24, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Brain-based Method of Cannabis Detection
FEB 24, 2022
Brain-based Method of Cannabis Detection
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have discovered a noninvasive method to detect THC (tetrahydrocannab ...
APR 15, 2022
Health & Medicine
The Link Between Fetal Cannabis Exposure and Obesity
APR 15, 2022
The Link Between Fetal Cannabis Exposure and Obesity
A recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found a mother’s cannabis consu ...
MAY 27, 2022
Plants & Animals
Strong as Steel: Hemp Reinforcing Bar
MAY 27, 2022
Strong as Steel: Hemp Reinforcing Bar
Can hemp building materials prevent dangerous crises such as the recent Surfside building collapse in Miami, or crumblin ...
JUN 03, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Seeds matter when growing cannabis
JUN 03, 2022
Seeds matter when growing cannabis
Seeds are where it all begins when growing high quality weed. Here's how to select the right ones.
JUN 15, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Is it safe to drive while high?
JUN 15, 2022
Is it safe to drive while high?
Is it safe to drive while under the influence of weed, or should you be concerned?
JUL 27, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis and Romantic Relationship Perceptions
JUL 27, 2022
Cannabis and Romantic Relationship Perceptions
A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that cannabis users may think they have healthy appro ...
Loading Comments...