One of the keys to understanding how marijuana behaves as a medicine lies in understanding receptors in the human body. Now, a team of scientists led by Dr. Raymond Stevens has drawn out the structure of the CB1 receptor in the brain, and revealed how THC binds with receptors on nerve cells in the brain. The study, which was published in Cell, found CB1 receptors are the primary target for THC binding. Stevens discusses the importance of this discovery, writing, "Now that we finally have the structure of CB1, we can start to understand how these changes to the drug structure can affect the receptor." This information could even be helpful in allowing doctors to understand the dangers and potency synthetic cannabinoids, and could boost the development of cannabinoid-based drugs for HIV and Cancer.
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