Cannabinoids are a group of compounds that can be isolated from the marijuana plant. They have many applications within biomedical sciences and medicine. The properties of these compounds can be analyzed using various techniques, which are described here.
Rattiya Thongdumhyu | Shutterstock
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are a group of bioactive molecules found in the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa). Cannabinoids bind to a Gαi sub-type of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) known as cannabis receptors. The two main cannabis receptors are CB1 and CB2.
CB1 and CB2 differ in their tissue expression patterns. This along with differential interactions with the different cannabinoids gives rise to different effects within the body.
CB1 receptors are located ubiquitously throughout the human body but are mostly concentrated in the central nervous system, which leads to psychoactive effects. CB2 receptors are only located in particular parts of the immune system.
Types of cannabinoids
There are over 100 different types of cannabinoids. All