Cannabinoids interact with a variety of receptors in the brain to give the drug's main effects:
THC reacts with CB1 receptors. It is said to be a mild sedative (often causing a chilled out feeling or actual sleepiness) and also a mild hallucinogen (meaning that users may experience a state in which they see objects and reality in a distorted way).
There is also a second type of cannabinoid receptor CB2 which react more to CBD. These are only found in the immune system, and which are presumably responsible for other effects which are claimed.
Apparently beneficial effects relate to relief from pain and prevention of muscle spasms and tremors in certain conditions (multiple sclerosis, also some forms of arthritis) which are more or less untreatable with other drugs.
It is sometimes found to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps and childbirth.
As an anti-emetic, cannabinoids may relieve some of the side effects of anti-cancer treatments.
Glaucoma, a condition which may cause blindness due to buildup of pressure in the eye may also be reduced by treatment with cannabinoids.
It has been used in treating depression and other mood disorders, asthma, strokes, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, alcoholism and insomnia.
Following on from this, some researchers are investigating other cannabinoid molecules, possibly with a similar structure which interact with the second receptors and which may be of use in the future.
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