Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors are a class of cell membrane receptors under the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily that are widely distributed throughout the body, including in the central and peripheral nervous systems. They are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and mediate the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The two most well-known and researched cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain and nervous system, as well as in peripheral organs and tissues, and are the main molecular target of the endocannabinoid ligand (binding molecule) anandamide, as well as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active component of cannabis. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mainly found in the peripheral organs, especially cells associated with the immune system. They are believed to have a role in the regulation of cytokine release and to be involved in the modulation of the immune response. The discovery of cannabinoid receptors has led to the identification of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) that bind to and activate these receptors, which has significantly advanced our understanding of human biology, health, and disease and has opened up new possibilities for the development of therapeutic agents.

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