Current understanding identifies CB1 as one of the two major cannabinoid receptors, CB2 being the other.
THC activates this important protein in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) allowing this receptor to trigger the euphoric effects of cannabis. Interestingly, ECS exists and is active in the body even if you don’t use cannabis.
In a nutshell, the endocannabinoid system is a network of neurotransmitters that allow signals, or messages, to be passed along through this network.
But what does CB1 do?
CB1 is expressed primarily in the brain, central nervous system, lungs, liver and kidneys while CB2 is expressed primarily in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells.
CB1 receptors are considered retrograde messengers, because they travel backward across synaptic gaps in the opposite direction of other neurotransmitters.
Clinical research continues on the function of CB1 receptors in sleep, appetite, mood, stress, memory and motor control.
Beyond triggering the euphoric effects of THC, CB1 is involved in the brain’s pain mitigation in the midbrain, and the reason why THC is more effective at relieving pain than CBD.
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