UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANISMS OF ACTION-CANNABINOID RECEPTORS ARE AN IMPORTANT CLASS OF CELL MEMBRANE RECEPTORS.
Receptors are akin to "locks," and the ligand compounds that bind to them are akin to "keys" in a lock & key system. They have about seven sections that pass through the outer cell membrane. Cannabinoid receptors are also coupled to G-proteins, where a lot of the signaling "miracles” happens when a molecule or compound binds to the outer portion of these receptors. The three main ligands that bind to cannabinoid receptors are all lipophilic (fatty or "Fat-loving" compounds), and include endocannabinoids (synthesized within the body), phytocannabinoids (plant-derived, such as from cannabis), and synthetic cannabinoids.
The cannabinoid receptors are further divided into two main subtypes, known as CB1 and CB2. Although they have some similarity, they are mostly differentiated by what tissue or organ system they are associated within the body.
CB1 receptors: Found mostly in the brain, with some presence in lung, kidney, liver, fat, heart, muscle, and bone. CB1 receptors are mostly associated with the psychoactive and euphoric aspects of THC.
CB2 receptors: Mostly found within the immune system and blood cells, and secondarily in lesser density within the nervous system, liver, gut, muscle, and bone.