Cannabinoids affect the brain and body in distinct ways due to the way they bind to receptors (proteins) in the brain. These receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), determine the effects on the body and behaviors when consumed.
CB1 receptors, one of the most common receptors in the brain, are crucial for a healthy functioning brain. They can moderate memory, mood, motor function, or pain perception – depending on which region of the brain they’re located in. They’re also responsible for the psychoactive properties of cannabis when THC binds to them.
CB1 receptors are also found throughout the human body in lesser quantities. In those locations they play a role in pregnancy, hormone production, cardiovascular health and digestion.
CB2 receptors are found on the cells of our immune system. They are especially associated with the immune system and inflammation response. If you use cannabis products to combat conditions of an overactive immune system (i.e. arthritis, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders or digestive issues) that’s your CB2 receptors hard at work.