Medical Marijuana

Cannabis has proven itself throughout history to have exceptional healing properties. It is gradually being recognized in modern society as an acceptable medicinal herb to relieve, and sometimes cure even the most tragic illnesses.

 

How It Works

CBD, CBN and THC fit like a lock and key system into existing human receptors. These receptors form part of the endocannabinoid system which impact physiological processes affecting pain modulators, memory and appetite, as well as anti-inflammatory and other immune responses. There is more than 65 identified molecular targets of CBD. The endocannabinoid system comprises of two types of receptors namely CB1 and CB2, with each having a distinct function in human health.

Although CBD has little binding affinity for either of the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), cannabidiol modulates several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. CBD also acts through various receptor-independent pathways—for example, by delaying the “reuptake” of endogenous neurotransmitters (such as anandamide and adenosine) and by enhancing or inhibiting the binding action of certain G-protein coupled receptors.

SEROTONIN RECEPTORS
At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an anti-anxiety effect. This G-coupled protein receptor is implicated in a range of biological and neurological processes, including (but not limited to) anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting.

VANILLOID RECEPTORS
CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors, which also function as ion channels. TRPV1 is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.

Scientists also refer to TRPV1 as a “vanilloid receptor,” named after the flavorful vanilla bean. Vanilla contains eugenol, an essential oil that has antiseptic and analgesic properties; it also helps to unclog blood vessels. Historically, the vanilla bean has been used as a folk cure for headaches.

CBD binds to TRPV1, which can influence pain perception.

GPR55—ORPHAN RECEPTORS
Whereas cannabidiol directly activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor and several TRPV ion channels, some studies indicate that CBD functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, another G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55.

GPR55 has been dubbed an “orphan receptor” because scientists are still not sure if it belongs to a larger family of receptors. GPR55 is widely expressed in the brain, especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density, among other physiological processes.

GPR55 promotes osteoclast cell function, which facilitates bone reabsorption. Overactive GPR55 receptor signaling is associated with osteoporosis.

GPR55, when activated, also promotes cancer cell proliferation. This receptor is expressed in various types of cancer.

CBD is a GPR55 antagonist and by blocking GPR55 signaling, CBD may act to decrease both bone reabsorption and cancer cell proliferation.

PPARS – NUCLEAR RECEPTORS

CBD also exerts an anti-cancer effect by activating PPARs [peroxisome proliferator activated receptors] that are situated on the surface of the cell’s nucleus. Activation of the receptor known as PPAR-gamma has an anti-proliferative effect as well as an ability to induce tumor regression in human lung cancer cell lines. PPAR-gamma activation degrades amyloid-beta plaque, a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is one of the reasons why cannabidiol, a PPAR-gamma agonist, may be a useful remedy for Alzheimer’s patients.

PPAR receptors also regulate genes that are involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. Diabetics, accordingly, may benefit from a CBD-rich treatment regimen.

CBD AS A REUPTAKE INHIBITOR
CBD has to pass through the cell membrane by hitching a ride with a fatty acid binding protein (FABP), which chaperones various lipid molecules into the cell’s interior. These intracellular transport molecules also escort tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the brain’s own marijuana-like molecules, the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2AG, across the membrane to several targets within the cell. CBD and THC both modulate receptors on the surface of the nucleus, which regulate gene expression and mitochondrial activity.

CBD AS AN ALLOSTERIC MODULATOR
CBD also functions as an allosteric receptor modulator, which means that it can either enhance or inhibit how a receptor transmits a signal by changing the shape of the receptor.

CBD interacts with the GABA-A receptor in a way that enhances the receptor’s binding affinity for its principal endogenous agonist, gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. The sedating effects of Valium and other Benzos are mediated by GABA receptor transmission. CBD reduces anxiety by changing the shape of the GABA-A receptor in a way that amplifies the natural calming effect of GABA.

While cannabidiol doesn’t bind to the CB1 receptor directly like THC does, CBD interacts allosterically with CB1 and changes the shape of the receptor in a way that weakens CB1’s ability to bind with THC.

As a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, CBD lowers the ceiling on THC’s psychoactivity—which is why people don’t feel as “high” when using CBD-rich cannabis compared to when they consume THC-dominant medicine. A CBD-rich product with little THC can convey therapeutic benefits without having a euphoric or dysphoric effect.