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August 15, 2021 1 min read

The nerves in the gut are called the enteric nervous system, sometimes called the “second brain.” Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found throughout these nerves. All disorders of the gut are thought to involve the enteric nervous system, making these receptors an attractive target for treatment when illness is present. Scientists have found that the number of cannabinoid receptors can increase (upregulate) in certain intestinal illnesses, indicating that the endocannabinoid system is mounting a response to try to restore balance.

In addition to cannabinoid receptors, other receptors, such as PPARs, GPR55, and TRPV1, are found throughout the gut and are involved in intestinal inflammation and pain. Since cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), interact with these receptors, CB1 and CB2 are also therapeutic targets for treatment by anyone using cannabis medicine for gastrointestinal disorders.

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Brenda Hutchinson
Brenda Hutchinson


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