Human Endocannabinoid System - CB1 & CB2 Receptors
The Human Endocannabinoid System (HEcS) is often recognized as the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. After decades of research, it is only now that scientists have started to understand the importance of this system.
The main function of the HEcS is to maintain bodily homeostasis – a biological harmony in response to changes in the environment, ensuring that all systems work with one another. It does that through two known receptors called CB1 & CB2.
When the HEcS is damaged or dysfunctional, various systems within the body are no longer in a state of balance.
Scientists have suggested that some people are suffering from a cannabinoid deficiency and by supplementing the body with full spectrum phytocannabinoids, we can correct this deficiency, relieve symptoms, and restore health.
The primary cannabinoid receptors are identified as Cannabinoid Type 1 receptors (CB1-R) and Cannabinoid Type 2 receptors (CB2-R).
Three kinds of cannabinoids can ‘unlock’ the receptors:
1) Endocannabinoids – Endogenous-fatty-acid cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body
2) Phytocannabinoids – Cannabinoids that occur naturally in plants such as cannabis (CBD & THC)
3) Synthetic Cannabinoids – Human-made, often in a laboratory
Specialized receptors are located throughout the human body, examples include
In the hippocampus – responsible for memory and learning and the hypothalamus – appetite and body temperature. Just as a key is required to open a specific lock, a receptor will only accept particular types of compounds and be unaffected by others.
A process called ‘signal transduction’ takes place when a specific cannabinoid (or combination of cannabinoids) binds to a specialized receptor. This triggers an event in the cell leading to a change in the cell’s activity, gene regulation and the signals it sends to surrounding cells.