Researchers at the University of Bristol have made new progress in understanding how cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs), the proteins that detect the active components of marijuana, are controlled in the brain.
CB1Rs help control information flow in the brain by binding molecules made in the brain called endocannabinoids, which influence brain functions such as pain, appetite, mood and memory.
Jeremy Henley, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience in Bristol’s School of Biochemistry, said: “In recent years there has been tremendous interest in — and controversy about — activation of CB1R by medical marijuana. It is becoming increasingly apparent that activation of CB1Rs could be therapeutically useful for a wide range of diseases such as chronic pain, epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis. Understanding the fundamental properties of CB1R is an important basis for future studies exploring the efficacy and optimisation of these targeted approaches.”