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THC and the Endocannabinoid System

CaRefined LLC dba CannaRefined offers a psychoactive cannabinoid that acts on the CB1 receptors of the brain. It’s associated with feelings of intoxication and impaired thinking.

It has medical benefits, such as reducing nausea and increasing appetite. It also has anti-emetic properties, which help patients with cancer avoid vomiting from chemotherapy. It’s used in the pain medication Nabiximols to treat MS and cancer-related pain.


Cannabinoids are chemicals in the marijuana plant that affect the body’s endocannabinoid system. These chemicals act as natural neurotransmitters by binding to specific receptors in the brain and nervous system to produce various effects, such as pain relief, appetite stimulation, and mood changes.

Cannabinoid research has been greatly accelerated by the availability of synthetic cannabinoid molecules that mimic the action of the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Synthetic cannabinoid molecules are typically found in a powder form and are sold as “Spice” or K2. These substances have been shown to cause serious adverse health effects and have been banned in several countries.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid and causes psychoactive or intoxicating effects. THC can increase heart rate, reduce appetite, and cause dry mouth and eyes. It may also impair coordination and short-term memory. THC can cause some people to become paranoid or anxious. It can also cause dizziness, hallucinations, and drowsiness. However, if used properly, THC can help relieve pain, depression, nausea, and other symptoms of illness.

The most well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has euphoric or intoxicating effects. THC can cause dry mouth and eyes, lower appetite, and quicken heart rate. Additionally, short-term memory and coordination may be affected. Some people may experience anxiety or paranoia after using THC. Additionally, it may result in drowsiness, hallucinations, and dizziness. THC, however, has the potential to lessen pain, depression, nausea, and other medical symptoms when taken as directed.

In contrast to THC, cannabidiol (CBD) does not have any intoxicating effects and is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD can help ease anxiety and depression but does not cause the same mind-altering side effects as THC. CBD can even help reduce the symptoms of certain conditions, including epilepsy and PTSD.

The chemical structure of a cannabinoid can vary considerably depending on its species of origin and the genetics of the plant. The amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids present in the plant also influences a cannabinoid’scannabinoid’s potency. A cannabinoid’s effects on the endocannabinoid system can also be altered by other factors, such as the amount of fat and water in the plant’s cell walls.

Many phytocannabinoids are highly lipid-soluble and are only sparingly soluble in water. Their lipophilic properties make them soluble in fatty acids and other non-polar organic solvents. This makes them more stable and able to remain in the body longer than less lipid-soluble cannabinoid compounds.

Phytocannabinoids are divided into major and minor classes based on the number and type of carbons in their aromatic rings. Most classical cannabinoids are 21-carbon compounds. However, a few cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and CBN, have an additional five-carbon carbon chain attached to their aromatic rings. This variation in carbon number is what gives these cannabinoids their different pharmacological properties.

Studies of the interaction of cannabinoids with the brain and endocannabinoid system have largely been conducted using animal models, such as rodents and monkeys. In vitro experiments, such as those undertaken using cholesterol-liposomes, have also been useful in understanding the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids. These experiments have revealed that the disruption of membrane fluidity in neurons is primarily responsible for the intoxicating effects of THC.

Most research on the effects of cannabinoids on the brain and endocannabinoid system has been done on rodents and monkeys as models. Research conducted in vitro, like that done with cholesterol-liposomes, has also helped understand how cannabinoids work pharmacologically. These investigations have demonstrated that the main cause of THC’s intoxicating effects is the disruption of membrane fluidity in neurons.

In addition to the endocannabinoid receptors, cannabinoids interact with other neurotransmitter systems, such as the dopaminergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic systems. The peripheral ion channel TRPV1 is another important target of cannabinoids, which can decrease the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain and spinal cord by blocking voltage-gated calcium channels.

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of cell receptors and enzymes distributed throughout the body and brain. When activated, they help to balance and control various processes in the body. The system was first discovered in the 1990s as scientists were tracking how THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues. The system has since been found to be a crucial part of the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis in response to environmental and cellular stress.

The ECS is an ancient system that evolved over 500 million years ago. It is wired into the bodies of all vertebrates and invertebrates. It is designed to protect and balance the body, including the immune, endocrine, and digestive systems. The ECS has the unique ability to influence different aspects of physiology and behavior, including pain, memory and learning, appetite and metabolism, emotional state, and sleep and wake cycles.

Several important cellular pathways are affected by the ECS, including the mammalian target of rapamycin and extracellular signal-regulated kinases. These pathways inhibit protein synthesis and cell growth, thereby suppressing cancer cells.

Another major role of the ECS is to regulate the body’s glucocorticoids, hormones that modulate immune and stress responses. A reduction in glucocorticoids increases cellular stress resistance and decreases the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. The endocannabinoid pathway also appears to play a role in the habituation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during chronic stress.

In the brain, endocannabinoids are made by neurons in the hippocampus and other limbic areas, as well as by peripheral tissues such as the skin and gut. They are released when a neuron is stimulated. Then, they bind to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors to reduce the release of excitatory neurotransmitters and inhibit the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters at pre-synaptic nerve terminals. The resulting depression of neurotransmitter transmission reduces neuronal activity and generates an analgesic effect.

Neurons in the hippocampus and other limbic regions of the brain, as well as peripheral tissues like the skin and gut, produce endocannabinoids. When a neuron is stimulated, they are released. Subsequently, they attach themselves to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors to decrease excitatory neurotransmitter release and block inhibitory neurotransmitter release at pre-synaptic nerve terminals. Analgesic effects are produced by the ensuing reduction of neurotransmitter transmission, which lowers neuronal activity.

Endocannabinoids are broken down by the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase, located in neurons, neural pathways, and other cells throughout the body. The action of nitric oxide also degrades them. The endocannabinoid binding sites are distributed throughout the brain but are most abundant in the basal ganglia and cerebellum.

Anandamide and 2-AG are the two endocannabinoids that are found in the greatest concentrations in the body. The body naturally produces them, acting as natural painkillers, regulating the inflammatory response, and balancing stress levels. They are also involved in other processes, such as memory formation and the extinction of fear and memory conditioning extinction in the amygdala.

The two endocannabinoids in the body in the highest concentrations are anandamide and 2-AG. They are produced by the body naturally and serve as natural analgesics, inflammatory response regulators, and stress regulators. They also play a role in other processes like the creation of memories, the eradication of fear, and the amygdala’s memory conditioning.

Plants also make phytocannabinoids, similar to endocannabinoids, but have a stronger binding affinity for the receptors. These cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, are found in many plants, including cannabis. The cannabinoids in cannabis are referred to as psychoactive because of their effects on the human mind and body, such as feelings of relaxation and well-being.