What are CB-1 Receptors?
The CB-1 receptor is one of a known number of cannabinoid receptors located in the human body. Discovered in the late 1980’s, these receptors, along with endocannabinoids can assist in a number of functions in our body, including stabilizing heart conditions, controlling brain activity, regulating the immune system and much more. The natural cannabinoids that have been discovered in the human body (endocannabinoids), along with both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors have been coined the ‘Endogenous Cannabinoid System’. Research also suggests that their may be further cannabinoid receptors in the human body (GPR18, GPR55 and GPR119) although these have yet to be formally analysed and titled as such.
CB-1 receptors are primarily concentrated in the brain and central nervous system but do sparsely populate other areas of the body. Along with endocannabionoids such as anandamide, CB-1 receptors can be activated through plant cannabinoids including THC from the cannabis plant.
Over the past 2 decades, there have been numerous studies that have implicated CB-1 receptors as a prominent factor in internal human health maintenance.
Studies have shown that active CB-1 receptors modulate neurotransmitter releases in such a way as to halt disproportionate neuronal activity, alleviating pain and inflammation. This information is especially pertinent when coupled with the discovery that CB-1 receptors have been found in increased population in carcinoma tumour samples and other human prostate cancer cells. This has lead many scientific researchers to believe that active CB-1 receptors can prevent the growth and inflammation of cancer cells. (see below for visual example).
An animal model study conducted in 2015 revealed that CB-1 Receptors have anti-depressant effects when activated with endocannabinoids. The results provided clear evidence that the endo-cannabinoid system plays a key role in controlling depressive behavioural tendencies.
For more on the impact of cannabinoids on the CB-1 receptor, please visit our cannabinoids page.
Official Research Reports
The pharmacologic and clinical effects of medical cannabis (Borgelt LM, 2013)