The body’s own cannabinoid system
Cannabinoid receptor 1
Cannabinoids are produced by the body itself. The endocannabinoid system is part of the nervous system and mainly comprises the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 including their natural ligands. It is named after the substances found in cannabis plants – known as cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids activate the cannabinoid receptors. Two cannabinoid receptors have been identified up to now. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is primarily found in nerve cells. It is most frequently found in the cerebellum, basal ganglia and hippocampus. As these areas of the brain play an important role in memory (hippocampus and cerebellum) and the regulation of movement (basal ganglia and cerebellum), scientists suspect that cannabinoids have a significant influence on learning and movement processes.
Cannabinoid receptor 2
In contrast, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is primarily found in immune system cells and in bone-forming (osteoblasts) and bone-resorbing (osteoclasts) cells. Its most important function is to inhibit and control inflammation.
Other physiological processes that involve the endocannabinoid system include pain, sleep induction, controlling appetite and movement, temperature regulation and neuroprotection. If the amount of cannabinoids produced by the body is insufficient, it is necessary to supplement these substances from external sources in order to regulate and harmonise the processes in the body.