Cannabinoid receptors, denoted by the abbreviation “CB” (and numbered by order of their discovery) are located throughout the body as part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in almost every physiological process including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Since their discovery in the 80’s, they have become a significant focus for researchers, as we try to learn more about the diverse range of chemical compounds that can interact with these receptors.
Cannabinoid receptors sit on the surface of cells and “listen” to conditions outside the cell. They transmit information about changing conditions to the inside of the cell, kick-starting the appropriate cellular response.
There are two major cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. These aren’t the only cannabinoid receptors, but they were the first ones discovered and remain the best-studied. Recent research is now suggesting that there could be over 5 direct cannabinoid receptors, including