Cannabinoid Receptors: Lets clear some shit up

Discussion in 'Science' started by GunCow, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. GunCow GunCow

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    Okay, so I've been thinking about cannabinoid receptors in humans...

    First, for everyone's benefit, what exactly are cannibinoid receptors? What do they do? How do they function?

    Realistically, I know that none of you guys are informed scientists with first-hand experience and knowledge on this subject. This is more of a general understanding thread.

    To my knowledge, cannabinoid receptors in the human brain are chemical receptors that THC and other Cannabis-exclusive chemicals attach too.

    I'm going to explore that a bit more. If cannabinoids, by definition, are exclusive to the cannabis plant, then logically, cannabinoid receptors in the brain are specifically designed to receive and interact with cannabis exclusive chemicals.

    Further, if the above statement is true, does that mean that humanity, over the course of time, has evolved brain chemistry and characteristics to interact specifically with Cannabis?

    If so, what other kinds of plants have this interesting relationship with humanity? Do we have poppy receptors for opium? Do we have receptors for LSD (I think LSD is a derivative or extract from ergot, which is a fungus or something, idk. I heard its an extremely non-toxic chemical.) What about alcohol? I heard that it doesn't... If that is true, then how is it absorbed in comparison? What other kinds of plants guys?

    Is this a weird-evolutionary-phenomenon that people are ignoring? If the cannabis-related entry above was true? Why aren't people going "wtf"? Does this mean humans have been interacting with the cannabis plant over huge periods of time, enabling them to benefit from its characteristics? It it just me or does it sound like an invitation to produce for the masses, and to smoke, eat, vaporize, do what the fuck ever to absorb such a wonder?

    Or not? I don't fekin know mang? Don't be gettin all up on my backaboutit.
  2. OrangeJuiceandKush OrangeJuiceandKush

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    Well every animal makes cannabinoids just not THC thats why the receptors are there. Scientists believe that the cannabinoids that mammals make are for controlling appetite mood and happiness. They are not meant specialized or evolved for the chemicals in marijuana.

    Nature’s (Legal) Cannabinoids | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

    That pretty much answers all your questions... I think

    As for LSD and alcohol they function differently alcohol in essence poisons you and attacks your motor functions/mental capacities thats why our livers try as hard as possible to remove it from our bodies.
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  3. GunCow GunCow

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    Are you saying that THC is included in these animal-based cannabinoids?

    Could use a lot more input guys!
  4. OrangeJuiceandKush OrangeJuiceandKush

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    No THC is not a mammal made cannabinoid it is exclusive to the marijuana plant im pretty sure. THC just has the ability to attach to the receptors we have which are not actually for THC they are meant for our naturally made cannabinoids.
  5. GunCow GunCow

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    Then I must misunderstand the definition of cannabinoids? To my knowledge, they are chemicals produced only by cannabis.

    I just read on wikipedia that "Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds which include the phytocannabinoids (oxygen-containing C21 aromatic hydrocarbon compounds found in the cannabis), and chemical compounds which mimic the actions of phytocannabinoids or have a similar structure (e.g. endocannabinoids, found in the nervous and immune systems of animals and that activate cannabinoid receptors)."

    It says our endocannabinoid whatevers in the system mimic the action of real cannabinoids. Do they just have a similar structure?

    Fucking biological shit mang.
  6. RockyMountainHigh RockyMountainHigh

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    • Since: Oct 15, 2009
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    In short, yes.

    The main receptor(s) for cannabinoids are labeled CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors (keep in mind your body has hundreds if not thousands of these type of receptors) are found abundantly in the brain but not many other places in the body. CB2 are found in your immune system and circulatory system.

    These receptors are somewhat specially 'shaped' and have selective chemical processes that only allow cannabinoids to bind to them. ANY cannabinoids whether produced naturally or ingested possess a similar enough structure to allow them to bind to a receptor site.
  7. OrangeJuiceandKush OrangeJuiceandKush

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    Exactly, the receptors will allow any cannabinoid to attach itself like THC but they are there for the cannabanoids made within our own bodies. Cannabinoids all have different affects though like THC is much stronger then our natural ones
  8. GunCow GunCow

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    Then what is the chance of Cannabis developing such a similar chemical that would bond with animal systems?
  9. Blunts 4 Me Blunts 4 Me

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    It's just that the structure of the chemical happens to be close enough to the structure necessary to bind to the receptors.
  10. Kushy Kushy

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    Endocannabinoids are molecules made by your body and are excreted into your bloodstream which then attach to your receptors like a key in a lock, in order to regulate mood, hunger, sleep, and pleasure. Anandamide, one of the bodies main "pleasure molecules", also attaches to your cannabinoid receptors.

    Phytocannabinoids are similar chemicals made by a plant. Technically these were not "made FOR us", but more coincedentally we evolved with certain endogenous chemicals that a plant just so happened to mimic.

    This video suggests that we evolved our THC and cannabinoid receptors from sea-squirts

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  11. ToastyRoadie ToastyRoadie

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    Here is another informative video...


    #!
  12. silencesoloud8603 silencesoloud8603

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    Remember, all life on earth originated in the same place (and no, I'm not talking about not when God jacked off into the Garden of Eden). I don't know a whole lot about abiogenesis, but basically the first life forms arose from chemical reactions. Somewhere in this mess was the last universal ancestor of all life today. Read the article for more details, but over about 3.5 billion years this thing gave rise to humans, cannabis plants, poison ivy, DEA agents, dogs, cats, and that pigeon that shit on your car last week. All this irreducibly complex heavenly splendor comes from the same basic chemicals. Because of this, it should be no surprise that very different organisms produce chemicals that are similar to each other or bind to certain receptors. Our endorphin system is another example. Our bodies make chemicals that bind to the mu, kappa, and delta-opioid receptors (enkephalins, beta-endorphin, dynorphins, and endomorphins... hell, we even make small amounts of morphine!) and serve functions such as pain relief, similar to the endocannabinoid system. That doesn't mean we evolved to use cannabis and opiates, what it means is that we discovered these plants that had evolved to produce chemicals that are the same as or similar to chemicals produced by our bodies. It does, however, explain why we like weed and opiates so much (common recreational opiates are mu-receptor agonists, molecules that activate the mu-opioid receptor, which is the main subtype responsible for the euphoric effects). It's not because we evolved to use these drugs, it's because these drugs work on systems that use similar chemicals and manipulate these system's effects.
  13. Buzzby Buzzby

    • Buddhist Curmudgeon
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    The cannabis plant is the only known non-animal source of cannabinoids. All animals have cannabinoid receptors because all animals produce endocannabinoids. Animals that never come in contact with cannabis plants (i.e. fish) produce endocannabinoids and have cannabinoid receptors, so the endocannabinoid system has nothing to do with the cannabis plant.

    It's not true.
  14. GunCow GunCow

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    Then are Cannabis cannabinoids considered to be not-unique?

    Why would Cannabis be the only plant to produce a chemical that reacts and binds with widespread chemical receptors in the brain of mammals?
  15. GunCow GunCow

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    Yes but why?
  16. GunCow GunCow

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    Interesting. What similarity or connection is their between animals and cannabis that would allow it or guide it into producing a this exclusive chemical? Why is cannabis the only plant to produce this stuff? Why the hell does it produce it anyway?

    Why exactly do cannabinoids benefit cannabis?

    This is really interesting guys, its making for a really good informative thread.
  17. OrangeJuiceandKush OrangeJuiceandKush

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    Cannabis is the only plant to make THC and cannabinol

    "THC in cannabis is assumed to be involved in self-defense, perhaps against herbivores.THC also possesses high UV-B (280-315 nm) absorption properties, which, it has been speculated, could protect the plant from harmful UV radiation exposure.....It also makes us high as balls :D"
  18. GunCow GunCow

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    Is that logical? A self-defense mechanism? I know of plants engineering compounds for self defense, but cannabinoids? A chemical found, like you guys say, in most other mammals? The radiation thing is kinda interesting. It just doesn't seem to make sense that Cannabis is the only plant that does this kinda shit.
  19. OrangeJuiceandKush OrangeJuiceandKush

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    Nobody knows for sure why THC is made by cannabis those are educated guesses by scientists. I was specifically talking about THC not all cannabinoids, cannabinoids (not THC) have alot other uses mentioned in previous posts. I do find it strange that only cannabis makes THC but if you think about it isn't it like that for many other drugs? Certain plants make certain drugs and those drugs are made only by using that plant for example the Coca Plant.
  20. anonymousgimp anonymousgimp

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    Your body creates an endogenous substance called anandamide. It acts similarly to THC and other cannabinoids. It is released by your body when needed. Some instances include exercise, also known as the "runner's high", and the feelings of euphoria felt during sex.

    As for your question about other substances: Our body does contain receptors for other substances. For opium, our body has opiod receptors. For cocaine, we have the dopamine receptors. Alcohol interacts with our GABAA receptors. None of these work the same, and it is understood that some substances act upon not one, but many different systems. For instance, MDMA acts upon our seratonin, our dopamine, and norinephrine receptors.

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