Many of those who are familiar with the science behind cannabis have some kind of understanding of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. These bind themselves to CB1 and CB2 receptors, but they aren't the only ones. Evidence suggests that there's another receptor that cannabinoids target - G-protein coupled receptor 55, more commonly known as GPR55.
What does this mean for cannabis research? Could it be the key to understanding how CBD affects the brain? Keep reading to find out.
GPR55 is a recently discovered target that could be a major player in how cannabis affects the body and the brain. Identified for the first time in 1999, no one was quite sure how it was activated or what it even did yet. By 2007, however, studies reviewed that cannabinoids such as CBD are able to affect its activity.
The research community is considering this newfound receptor to be a possible third part of the set, where it would be referred to as CB3. There has been no commitment to this new name, as GPR55’s identity is only 14% similar to CB1 and CB2, while they are 64% similar to each other. It also looks a little different, but nonetheless, it has proven itself to have a significant role in the beneficial therapeutic effects of CBD and cannabis.
GPR55's Unique Role in the Benefits of Cannabis
Both CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD distillate are used as treatments for a variety of conditions, but little is known about why they work. Let's take a look at how GPR55 fits into the puzzle.
For patients with seizure disorders that don’t usually respond to traditional medications, bulk CBD isolate is a very promising strategy for treating epilepsy. You may have heard of Charlotte's Web, the popular strain of cannabis named for Charlotte Figi, whose seizures were drastically reduced thanks to the CBD-rich treatment.
Many clinical trials researching the effectiveness of this treatment have revealed how this is accomplished. In a mouse with Dravet Syndrome, the same condition that Charlotte Figi suffers from, scientists found that CBD blocked GPR55 activity in the brain's hippocampus.
While no animal or human studies are currently underway to prove the connection, there is also hope that GPR55 can help us better understand cancer. As we've mentioned, CBD blocks GPR55 activity. It's hypothesized that GPR55 activity contributes to the formation of tumors, while the blockage of GPR55 has anti-tumor effects in certain cancers including brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This disease occurs when the colon and the intestines become inflamed, and is common in patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Patients who suffer from IBD have higher than average GPR55 levels, which suggests that this new receptor may be playing a pro-inflammatory role for the body. Cannabis blocks the role of this receptor in tests with mice, which implies that it could have the same effect on humans.
CBG vs CBD
As you can see, cannabis research is an exciting medical frontier. In addition to GPR55, another promising new breakthrough has to do with cannabigerol, or CBG.
CBG is a phytocannabinoid, which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. These come from plants such as cannabis, unlike endocannabinoids that are sourced from your body’s ECS, or endocannabinoid system.
CBG has a very different chemical structure than CBD, and yet it contains some very important cannabinoids that allow it to have all kinds of medical treatment benefits in patients. This substance is only found in trace amounts, so it doesn’t get as much attention as the latter. But researchers are slowly finding that CBG may help to treat conditions such as glaucoma, Huntington's disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Explore CBD Products Online
While more research needs to be done, it's clear that cannabis has a lot of potential. While we may not know too much about CBG vs CBD or how CBD affects GPR55, we do know that CBD oil can be used to ease anxiety, reduce inflammation, and so much more. At Discount Pharms, we have a high-quality selection of wholesale CBD isolate & full spectrum CBD distillate to choose from.
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