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CBD | THC | BS? - There is a great deal of information out there about medical marijuana and it's pros and cons.  It can be all very confusing.  Hopefully this will help shed some light on the subject.

 

The things in cannabis (marijuana) that have an effect on humans are called cannabinoids.  In less technical terms - things that come from, or are similar to things come from the cannabis plant.

Broadly speaking there are two main cannabinoids that are of interest (at the moment at least, but definately watch this space).  

  1. Cannabidiol or CBD
  2. Tetrahydrocannabol or THC

See the image on the right (thanks to medical marijuana inc for the picture)

As you can see the two molecules are a bit different.  Because of these differences they have different effects to the body, and these effects are CB1 or CB2 systems.

CBD works mainly indirectly, whereas THC works directly on both CB1 and CB2 systems.  THC has a stronger effect on CB1 system.

The CB1 system is mainly found in the brain, and in some parts of the peripheral nervous system (nerve around the body outside of the brain itself).  The CB2 system is widely distributed throughout the body.  There are CB2 receptors in the brain, but nowhere near as many as there are CB1 recptors.   

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