Cannabinoid Receptor-1 (CB-1) & THC

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

We know that the cannabinoids in cannabis are able to produce their therapeutic relief by interacting directly or indirectly with the cannabinoid receptors found within the endocannabinoid system, but how exactly does this work? Well, for the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical can bind directly the cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB-1). The CB-1 receptor is part of a class of proteins called the g-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are responsible for managing cellular signal transduction to communicate between cells. The proteins are so important, in fact, that they account for 60% of drug targets. The CB-1 receptor is involved in combating varying diseases and abnormalities, including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and obesity.

Researchers have recently discovered that their are two types of agonists that bind to and activate the CB-1 receptors, one being very similar in structure to THC. With this information, we will not only be able to better understand how the receptor moves, but also why THC and other cannabinoids are able to produce such positive effects within the body.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

The Differences Between THC and CBD

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in marijuana, the cannabinoids most commonly associated with the plant are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a system which is known to regulate pain, appetite, mood, memory, immune response, sleep, and cellular level life cycles. THC will bind directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, with a higher affinity for CB1 receptors, while CBD acts as an indirect antagonist of cannabinoid receptor agonists, and even binds with non-cannabinoid receptors.

Many medical marijuana patients opt for CBD in their routines due to the fact it does not produce psychoactive or euphoric effects like THC. In fact, for those who desire the therapeutic relief that THC offers, CBD can actually buffer against its psychoactive effects, so that the patient can experience symptom relief without unwanted side effects. THC may produce side effects like memory impairment, lowered reaction time, increased heart rate, coordination problems, dry mouth, and red eye. One can’t overdose from THC, but adolescence who consume high amounts of THC may experience long-term psychiatric side effects. CBD, on the other hand, is considered all around well-tolerated and safe, and the only potential mild side effects include dry mouth, light-headedness, and drowsiness. Producers can produce medical marijuana strains with different cannabinoid compositions tailored to the specific needs of patients. That said, many marijuana strains, especially in today’s world of high potency marijuana, contain higher amounts of THC while hemp contains very little THC and strong concentrations of CBD.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

A Look at Cannabinoids

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

In order to understand how medical marijuana functions as a treatment option for many patients, it is important to understand its individual components. Marijuana contains over 85 different compounds, which includes cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC produces a psychoactive high, has analgesic and anti-nausea properties, stimulates appetite, and creates an anti-spastic effect. THC activates CB1 receptors, which are common in the brain. CBD is not psychoactive, and is known for its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, and anti-psychotic properties. CBD activates pain receptors throughout the body and work to combat pain, inflammation, and seizures. While CBD and THC are quite different, their ability to work synergistically in what is called the entourage give it the ability to target a large spectrum of symptoms. In addition, CBD can essentially buffer the euphoric effects, memory impairment, and sleep inducing effects of THC so that they become less potent and more tolerable.

This information has been provided by Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Understanding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - Part 1

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

When learning about medical marijuana, one of the cannabinoids you hear about most is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This cannabinoid is the most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis, and research has shown it can provide a wide range of varying therapeutic benefits. Although THC is safe and effective in alleviating so many symptoms, some are cautious in its use due to the psychoactive effect the cannabinoid produces. Like many other cannabinoids, THC interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. 

Research has shown THC has the ability to manage nausea and vomiting, and stimulate appetite, something that is especially helpful for those undergoing chemotherapy or for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. There is a long list of different conditions that can benefit from the use of THC. Because of this, we will be dividing this information into a multi-part series so that we can cover every condition in detail. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.