It was soon discovered that some of the active ingredients in the body were chemically identical to some of the active ingredients in hemp. It was also noticed that these endogenous active ingredients and their associated receptors were named after the hemp plant itself :
the scientific name of hemp is cannabis, its active ingredients are called cannabinoids.
Chemically similar substances produced by the organism are called endocannabinoids, the place where these substances bind are called cannabinoid receptors.
Receptors are usually binding sites in or on body tissues to which certain substances can attach, bind (for example, those dissolved in the blood).
These receptors often have a switching function: they can stimulate or inhibit certain metabolic processes. In scientific terms, this is called activation or blocking.
The binding of a specific substance to a receptor can therefore have various effects and, depending on the type of receptor, can cause or prevent a physical reaction.
When a receptor has binding sites for several different substances, the reactions become more complex. Indeed, depending on the substance that binds to the receptor, different reactions are observed. So-called "agonist" substances trigger a reaction in interaction with the receptor. On the contrary, so-called "antagonist" substances block a reaction.
The main types of endocannabinoid receptors known in the human body are cannabinoid receptor 1 (abbreviated to CNR 1 or CB 1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (abbreviated to CNR 2 or CB 2). CB 1 is located primarily in nerve cells, i.e. in the brain and all organs that are powered by nerves. CB 2 is found in nerve cells as well, but also in immune and bone cells. THC and CBD influence the endocannabinoid receptors CB 1 and CB 2 in very different ways. On the other hand, there are other endocannabinoid receptors to which THC cannot bind, when CBD can. Therefore, there are major differences in the effect of these two active ingredients on the body, and we will try to tell you more about them here.
Several elements explain the different effects but also the different locations where THC and CBD act. Firstly, the distribution of receptors in the body plays a major role. As explained above, CB 1 type receptors are found in the central nervous system and therefore also in the brain, while CB 2 type receptors are found not only on nerve cells and their tissues but also on immune and bone cells. Depending on whether the tissue has a CB 1 or CB 2 receptor, it will react to THC or CBD in very different ways.
Exhilarating, calming, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anxiety-relieving or hallucinogenic - where is the truth here? Before a substance can have any effect, it must be able to intervene in the metabolism in some way. It was discovered almost 30 years ago that certain active ingredients of hemp can bind to cells of vertebrates and trigger effects there. It was discovered that these binding sites were " designed" specifically for these active ingredients and research was carried out to find out why.