If you’ve been keeping up with health trends lately, you’ve probably heard at least a little bit about CBD, Copaiba, and other compounds that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system. It’s quite a big deal since we now know that the endocannabinoid system is a powerful network of receptors. When stimulated, these receptors often produce a range of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits that were previously more difficult to create. Now we know that certain chemical compounds called cannabinoids can produce these effects simply by being ingested. There’s a lot we still don’t know about the endocannabinoid system, but there is one receptor called GPR55 that merits special attention for the health and wellness potential it has.
The G-protein coupled receptor 55, more widely known as GPR55, is a compound protein and receptor in all our bodies. Though discovered in 1999, it took nearly a decade before we understood precisely what it was for. It turns out that GPR55 reacts similarly to the cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system, being activated by many of the same substances. Several cannabinoids including THC have been shown to stimulate this receptor, however, CBD has been shown to block its activity. This has caused some debate as to whether GPR55 should be considered part of the endocannabinoid system, or whether it should be considered something of its own.
At present, we still aren’t one hundred percent sure how GPR55 operates, but it clearly plays a role in the way CBD and other cannabinoids influence our bodies.
Effects Of GPR55
What makes this protein/receptor so interesting is the ways in which it appears to influence the development of certain illnesses. Unlike most cannabinoid receptors, which produce mostly positive effects when stimulated, GPR55 may be at least partly responsible for contributing to several unwanted effects. Epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, and some forms of cancer have been linked to higher levels of GPR55 throughout the body. Because of this, CBD and other compounds may provide a useful tool for treating or preventing these illnesses in the future.
As a member of the metabotropic class of receptors, GPR55 can create a variety of downstream effects in different cells. The extent of these downstream effects is still not wholly known, but there are a few specific examples. Studies have shown that blocking GPR55 caused reduced inflammation in mice, which may explain why CBD demonstrates anti-inflammatory qualities. Other studies in the early stages appear to indicate that GPR55 has tumor-inducing effects when activated, as well as anti-tumor effects when blocked. These studies are still tentative for now, but it’s an encouraging sign in the fight against several kinds of cancer. Similar results have been observed in studies on epileptic seizures, suggesting that it may be a key factor in future treatments. All these results support the medical relevance of CBD and other compounds that influence our bodies’ vast network of receptors.
What’s interesting about GPR55 is the encouraging signs it gives for holistic medicines. Rather than resorting to industrial pharmaceuticals with potentially debilitating side-effects, there’s a chance of vastly improving your health with a simple, naturally grown substance. In order to understand the concept better, here are a few key points to keep in mind.
- GPR55 is a receptor, similar to those of the endocannabinoid system.
- Compounds such as CBD can block the receptor, while others like THC may activate it.
- When activated, it may lead to inflammatory, tumorous, and other negative effects.
- When blocked, it may help in treating and preventing these effects.
- GPR55 may explain why CBD has been linked to so many health benefits and further establishes the medical relevance it already has.
As research continues, we should expect to hear more about GPR55 going forward. For now, we have the benefit of knowing a little bit more about how our body works and how we might better improve our health and wellness.
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