Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 57

endocannabinoids phytocannabinoids When a cannabinoid binds to a cannabinoid receptor, it acts as an agonist, which means it activates the receptor to produce a biological tissue response. Whereas cannabinoid antagonists block a cannabinoid receptor from being activated by an endocannabinoid. Naturally occurring cannabinoids within the body are known as endocannabinoids, from plants phytocannabinoids such as that from the cannabis plant, and lastly synthetic cannabinoids which are manufactured artificially. synthetic cannabinoids The grouping of the cannabinoid receptors, receptor proteins and endocannabinoids make up what is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is involved in the regulation of a large range of physiological functions in the body including mood, memory, fertility, pain-sensation and appetite. As such administration of phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids, which are not naturally found in the body, can influence physiological functions mentioned earlier, such as mood, pain-sensation and appetite. And this happens through interactions with the cannabinoid receptors of the body. Different cannabinoids will have different physiological responses through how and which receptors they bind to, such as the appetite stimulating effect of THC, and the pain-relieving effects of CBD. DO YOU HAVE A SCIENCE-BASED QUESTION FOR DR RICHARD? EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO THE EDITOR AND THEY MAY BE FEATURED IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF VAPOUROUND: ROISIN@VAPOUROUND.CO.UK CB1 = The brain and nervous system, as well as the lungs, liver and kidneys. CB2 = Gastrointestinal system, tonsils, spleen About the scientist: Dr Richard Cunningham has a PhD in medicinal chemistry from Queen’s University Belfast where he also worked as post- doctoral researcher for a number of years before working in the US at the Mitchell Cancer Institute in Alabama. Among his areas of expertise are organic synthesis, nucleosides, nucleotides, cellular biology, vitamins, aminoglycosides, drug delivery, phosphorous chemistry and chemical analysis. He is now the director of quality at Liquid Sciences in the UK. VM21 | 57