What are CB-2 Receptors?
Discovered in 1993 by researchers at Cambridge University looking for a second receptor that could explain the therapeutic properties of THC, the CB-2 Receptor has since played a vital role in scientific study on the importance of the endocannabinoid system and its agonists.
Despite being closely related to its CB-1 counterpart, CB-2 receptors do not transmit as efficiently to the brain as CB-1 receptors, although have still been known to play a role in modulating neurological disorders. Instead, CB-2 receptors are concentrated predominantly in peripheral organs; most commonly the immune system, the gastrointestinal system and the peripheral nervous system.
Scientific investigations have indicated that CB-2 receptors are prevalent throughout the tissues of the immune system. The receptors have been found to regulate the release of cytokines; proteins that control the development and receptiveness of cell populations that respond to infection or inflammation.
CB-2 receptors have also been discovered in the peripheral nervous system, where they have the ability to mediate palliative effects.
Perhaps the most significant discovery regarding the functions of CB-2 receptors is their ability to control inflammation in the gastrointestinal system, making their cannabinoid agonists a genuine therapeutic option for diseases such as Crohn’s or IBS.
Despite CB-1 receptors playing a far more important role in brain function than its counterpart, CB-2 receptors have nonetheless been discovered in the brain. While CB-1 receptors work in conjunction with neurons, CB-2 receptors work specifically with Microglia cells, whose primary function is to control immune defense in the nervous system.
The visual below indicates the primary functions of CB-2 Receptors in the human body.
Official Research Reports
Cannabinoids and intestinal motility: welcome to CB2 receptors (Angelo A Izzo, 2004)