Cannabinoids are a heterogeneous collection of chemical compounds that bind to special receptors in the human body that make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system. The human body has specific bound or blocked boundaries that are found on the surfaces of different types of cells and our body produces multiple endocannabinoids (the keys) that bind to such receptors of the same cannabinoids (called CB) to unlock them.
In 1992, researchers discovered for the first time an endogenous substance that binds to cannabinoid receptors. This substance is known as anandamide, a term derived from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “for happiness”. The amide name is instead due to the shape of its chemical structure. A second endocannabinoid was discovered in 1995, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (called 2-AG). These two endocannabinoids were among the most studied so far. Today it is believed that there are more than 200 related substances that resemble endocannabinoids and complete their function in what has been termed entourage effect. Many endocannabinoids not only bind to cannabinoid receptors, but also to the CB3 receptor (the GPR55 receptor), to neutralize others (receptors). In addition to endocannabinoids, scientists have identified other cannabinoids that are found in the Industrial hemp plant (the phytocannabinoids) and that act to mimic or counter the effects of some endocannabinoids.
The phytocannabinoids are formed by glandular resin (the trichomes) also present on the flowers and on the fan leaves, which are as they are to the typical advanced Hemp plants. The amount of resin produced and its cannabinoid content varies among the various plant species according to growing conditions and the period in which it is harvesting time. The chemical stability of cannabinoids in the plant kingdom during harvesting is influenced by humidity, temperature, light and even storage, but degrades over time, in any condition of conservation. When a cannabinoid stimulates a receptor to act in the same way as a natural hormone or a neurotransmitter, it is labeled as an agonist.
On the other hand, when the cannabinoid prevents the receptor from binding to the natural compound, thus causing the resulting event (for example, pain, appetite, alertness) to be modified or reduced, it is labeled antagonist. Research is a way to better understand how specific cannabinoids can unlock (or block, in some cases) specific receptors. Over 100 phytocannabinoids have been identified in the Industrial Hemp plant, and for many of these a medical value has been proven. Most of these are closely related, or differ in a single chemical component. The most discussed and studied cannabinoids are found in the Industrial Hemp plant, and are the tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 ), for its psychoactive, that is to say “high sensitivity”, and the cannabidiol (CBD), for its healing properties. Cannabinoids can be administered by smoking, vaporizing them, with oral ingestion, with a transdermal patch, with an intravenous injection, through sublingual absorption.
An endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) is commonly referred to as an endocannabinoid system and is found in every animal. It regulates a wide range of biological functions. The ECS is a biochemical control system of neuromodulatory lipids (molecules that include lipids, waxes, sterols and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K and others) and specialized receptors are configured as suitable for synthesizing certain cannabinoids. In general, a given receptor will only accept classes of particular compounds and will be influenced by others as well, as it is necessary to use a specific key to open a lock.
Specific receptors are throughout the human body, including (and without limiting it) in the hippocampus (memory, learning), in the cerebral cortex (decision-making, emotional behavior), in the cerebellum ( motor control, coordination, movement), in the hypothalamus (appetite, body temperature) and in the amygdala (emotions).
The clinical deficiency of endocannabinoids (Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency – CEDC) is a disorder that manifests itself in a number of diseases, including fibromyalgia, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome. So far, very few clinical research has been conducted on this specific disorder. It is quite possible that these conditions, often found, can respond favorably to the administration of cannabinoids. However, this will only happen if more research is done.
Primary cannabinoid receptors are identified as “type 1 cannabinoid receptors” (CB1-R) and “type 2 cannabinoid receptors” (CB2-R). Receptors can be “unblocked” by three types of cannabinoids: 1.Endocannabinoids: endogenous cannabinoids / fatty acids naturally produced by the body (for example, anandamide and 2-AG); 2.Fitocannabinoids: these are those concentrated in the oily resin of the shoots and in the leaves of plants such as Hemp(for example Delta 9 and CBD); 3. Synthetic cannabinoids: they are artificially produced, that is in the laboratory.
In the first instance detected in the brain, science shows today that CB1-R are also found in many other organs, connective tissues, gonads and glands. CB1-R are not found in the medulla oblongata (the part of the brain stem responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions). CB1-Rs play an important role in the coordination of movements, in spatial orientation, in sensory perceptions (taste, touch, smell, hearing), in cognitive performance and motivation. The most important role of CB1-R is the reduction of excessive or insufficient function by neurotransmitters (messengers) in the brain. With the activation of CB1-R, the hyperactivity or hypoactivity of the messengers (for example, serotonin and dopamine) is regulated and balanced. When THC, for example, binds to CB1-R, the activity in the pain circuits is inhibited, with consequent reduction of the same. Many other symptoms such as nausea, muscle spasticity can be alleviated or decreased with cannabinoid therapy. CB2-Rs are mainly related to the immune system and other organic districts outside the brain, such as intestines, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymphatic cells, endocrine glands and reproductive organs. For example, CBD is closed compared to CB2-R, and the good evidence that CBD shows is a useful therapeutic strategy for reducing the impact of inflammatory and neuro-inflammatory diseases. Until recently, CB2-R was believed to play no role on nerve cells or nerve bundles. However, studies show today that it plays an important role in the treatment of signals from the brain. A third receptor that is poorly studied is the transient potential one type (TRPV1). The function of TRPV1 is to detect and regulate body temperature. Furthermore, TRPV1 is responsible for sensations of extreme external heat and pain, and is subject to desensitization. Therefore, if it is continually stimulated, the process could slow down too much or even stop. This increases the therapeutic and reactive possibilities to effectively treat some.
The concept of “entourage effect” was introduced in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam. The theory is that cannabinoids within the Industrial Hemp plant work together through a network of random relationships, as part of a higher organism, and affect the body in a mechanism similar to the endocannabinoid system. Basically, these compounds work better together than separately. The long-standing success in the use of Hemp as a whole makes it necessary to find a rational explanation for its medical superiority over other isolated products that contain it, in individual components of the Industrial hemp plant, or with synthetic cannabinoids that seek to replicate the natural components. Research into the benefits of Delta 9 and CBD in isolation is well established: • Delta 9 behaves like an analgesic, antiemetic, and has anti-inflammatory properties. • CBD has anti-psychotic effects and has anxiolytic properties. However, the proof is that isolating these cannabinoids, or recreating them in a laboratory, results in limiting the therapeutic use. It is also the reason why visits to the doctor or the emergency room have increased. When administered in high concentrations,Delta 9 can cause over-dose problems. Although over-dosage of Delta 9 rarely requires medical intervention, side effects can be very unpleasant.CBD is known to block Delta 9 and CB1-R. Therefore, applying the effect later, by increasing the CBD in the case of overdosing, can reduce the effects of Delta 9 . The synthetic cannabinoid Marinol is another example. Marinol is a pure, synthetic form of Delta 9 . When the drug was introduced in the mid-1980s, it was thought that it would have the same effect as the Hemp plant as a whole.