In our ongoing effort to bring you only the very best in high-quality CBD oils and supplements – we thought it was time we tackled the receptors we keep banging on about. Every single one of us has CB Receptors in our brain, evolved over time to process Cannabinoids in our systems.
What we haven’t covered yet is what these receptors actually do. So this week, we took a look at CB1 and CB2 receptors, to find out exactly what they do for us, according to science!
Explaining Cannabinoid Receptors
These are a type of cell that you find scattered throughout the body. Of the Cannabinoid receptors, we know definitively of two; CB1 and CB2. They are in different locations and all convey the passage of Cannabidiols into the body. The reason that you would get high if you smoked cannabis is the effect these cells have on your brain when they receive the THC.
When we supplement with CBD oil, we are taking out the high part, but the oil lets your body and brain process the goodness of the plant. So you get the health benefits without the high.
What are CB1 Receptors?
CB1 receptors are the ones that are mostly in your brain, spinal cord and throughout your body in lesser quantities. They can also be found in your Urinary Tract, your intestinal tract… you get the idea. They are predominantly found in the Cerebellum and hippocampus of your brain, which explains why THC gives you such a high.
The presence of CB1 in the brain accounts for memory processing, pain regulation and motor control. All three things are directly affected when you start supplementing with CBD oil. These receptors keep the level of cannabinoids in the brain stem to a lower level than you might expect, thereby allowing us to still function fairly well – and not die!
What are CB2 Receptors?
CB2 receptors are very similar, except that they are not found in abundance in the brain. Instead, you will find them in the throat, in the spleen, and in your white blood cells. One of the most important things these receptors do is to regulate the bodily release of Cytokines. These are tiny protein particles that help cells communicate with each other.
It is partially because of the chemical and cellular interaction between CB2 and the human body that has fascinated scientists in recent years. They are only 48% molecularly the same as one another and have tremendously different impacts on us. In fact, in the 1990s scientists found a new naturally occurring chemical compound in the brain that binds to the receptors – which is scientifically fascinating. These binding molecules were named endocannabinoids
What Effect do CB1 and CB2 have on the Body?
Since CB1 and CB2 are so completely different from one another, scientists have taken to playing around with the interactions. They are stimulating each receptor with different levels of CBD and seeing what their reaction is. They refer to a stimulant as an agonising, depending on what it does to the receptor.
Their findings – and they tested THC, CBD, and others – was that each cannabinoid has therapeutic qualities for both receptors. So even although the receptors are different, certain things (like CBD oil) stimulate them in positive ways. One agonist, in particular, saw CBD have an impact on Immune Cell Migration. This refers to the way in which mammalian bodies regulate and maintain themselves. You can read the full study in the National Library of Medicine if you are interested.
When we looked a little further into this (purely because we were curious), we found that cell migration and inflammation go hand in hand. Theoretically, this could explain why CBD is such an effective pain management tool. It also explains why our CBD Massage Oil is sometimes used to take down the swelling.
We are getting side-tracked. We want to know how CB1 and CB2 interact with the nervous system to see if they are good for relieving stress. We will talk about cell migration another time…
Do CB1 & CB2 Receptors Relieve Stress?
While CB2 receptors are found mainly in the immune system, CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain – and in the central nervous system. They are collectively known as the endocannabinoid system and have a number of different effects on the body. This system has a resounding impact on your mood, your appetite, your metabolism – and a range of other things your body does to function.
In terms of stress relief, the Endocannabinoid system doesn’t help stop stress, so much as it limits the amount that the body is exposed to. Stress, contrary to popular belief, isn’t all in your head. When we get anxious, we are physically affected, and prolonged impact leaves us with things like heart disease. CBD oil combats this because some of the cannabinoids in it stimulate (or agonise) CB1 or CB2. This stimulation reduces the symptoms of anxiety all round[i].
Ultimately, the better primed those receptors are, the less likely oxidative stress is to take hold. The natural compounds in CBD prevent our bodies from getting overly exposed to stress by exhibiting neuroprotective properties – that basically means it protects our brains.
CB1 and CB2 – Oxidative Stress Reducers
So what’s the conclusion? That both CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies and brains are able to limit the amount of stress that our bodies produce. Regardless of how anxious we might be, supplementing with CBD can stop the symptoms of that anxiety. The upshot of this is that fewer people suffering from mental health problems need to suffer much longer. They ought to substitute with CBD oils instead… especially now that it is available in water-soluble spray form.
Interestingly, oxidative stress can be triggered by inflammation… similar to what we mentioned before. CB2 can be used to soothe the inflammation… So even though they only share 48% similarities, the two compounds were obviously designed to work together. Some say they fit each other like a lock and key.
We say that’s just science… and that almost everything in nature has a purpose. CB1 and CB2 are no exception to the rule.