For reference, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC are two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus. CBD is primarily found in the hemp plant and THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.
As early as the third millennium BC, Chinese texts described the usefulness of extracts of the hemp plant for the relief of pain and cramps. In India, more than 3,000 years ago, the anxiety-relieving effect of ingesting marijuana as food had been recorded. The use of cannabis as a psychoactive substance and cannabis extracts for medicinal purposes reached Europe and the Americas through the Arab world in the 19th century. In 1937, concern over the dangers of abuse led to the banning of marijuana for further medicinal use in the United States. In 1964, researchers identified the correct chemical structure of the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, THC. Studies of the biological effects of THC showed telltale signs of drug-receptor interactions.
In mice, conclusive evidence of the existence of specific cannabinoid receptors was soon discovered. This research turned out to be of key importance to identifying an orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) as the brain receptor for CBD. This receptor was later named the CB1 receptor. These receptors mainly found in the brain of mammals, in the basal ganglia to be specific, but are also present at much lower concentrations in a variety of outlying tissues and cells – in the limbic system, including the hippocampus.
In 1993, a second cannabinoid GPCR, which was named CB2, was found primarily in cells of the immune and hematopoietic systems but in the mid 2000’s they were also found to be present in the spleen, in the brain, in cells of the cirrhotic liver, in the endocrine pancreas, and in bone.
What Do CB1 Receptors Do
CBD plays an important role in the activation of CB1 receptors:
- There are strong genetic studies indicating that CB1 receptors are important for reducing anxiety, particularly during times of high-stress such as in an individual with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- It has also been found that individuals who had post-surgical depression had low CB1 receptor activity. Researchers believe that the use of a CB1 activator, may head off the development of major depression.
- In rats, an increase in CB1 receptors has show to help induce sleep and increase Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM sleep), which is of the most restful and rejuvenating of sleep cycles.
- Studies indicate that the gut nervous system is the main site of CB1 receptors, activating them can help lower intestinal inflammation.
- Research has indicated that activating the CB1 receptor can lower blood pressure.
Not all CB1 receptor research is positive. Studies have shown that CBD may impair memory and increase fatigue, withdrawal symptoms can appear when the CB1 receptor is activated creating anxiety, it can also decrease bone density, cause constipation, increase liver fat, and cause weight gain.
CB2 Receptors and You
CB2 receptors are found throughout tissues of the immune system, including the spleen, tonsils, and thymus gland.
- CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for anti-inflammatory and possibly other therapeutic effects of CBD seen in animal models. The CB2 receptor is a potential therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- The CB2 receptor is found on mast cells and can inhibit mast cell release.
- In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid proteins form aggregates, which disrupt neural functioning. CB2 receptor activation was shown to remove beta-amyloid protein from human tissues, which can help this condition.
- Changes in the CB2 receptor have been reported in almost all diseases humans may have, ranging from cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, liver, kidney, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, bone, skin, autoimmune, lung disorders to pain and cancer. The frequency of this trend suggests that modifying CB2 receptor activity by either CB2 receptor activators or blockers might help these conditions.
- The CB2 receptor helps reduce addiction from cocaine.
Additional CB1 and CB2 research regarding activators or blockers and CBD clinical studies must be completed to determine all of the potential risks as well as the positive outcomes.
About Leaf Vertical, Inc.
Leaf Vertical Inc. is an innovative, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical research company, committed to discovering and developing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform.
For more information on Leaf Vertical or its Cannabinoid (CBD) clinical trials, use in the treatment of specific types of malignancies related to glioblastoma, myeloma, gastrointestinal, and breast cancer, when administered in conjunction with Standard of Care, please contact Leaf Vertical by phone at 407-776-9217 or visit the company’s headquarters at 805 S. Kirkman Rd, Suite 202, Orlando, Florida 32811.