D63: The Biochemical Pathways of THC and CBD
Understanding the intricate biochemistry of THC and CBD is critical for appreciating how these compounds interact within the human body. From metabolism in the liver to actions on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), these cannabinoids also interact with hormones and neurotransmitters, such as estrogen and dopamine. This involves complex pathways and receptor interactions that can offer therapeutic benefits while also having the potential for adverse effects.
Extensive Comparison Table: THC, CBD, and Biochemical Pathways
|Hormone/Receptor Type||Location in Body||Cannabinoids Involved||Synergistic/Inhibitory||Effect at Doses|
|CB1||CNS, Liver||THC||Synergistic||High Doses|
|CB2||Immune System||CBD||Synergistic||Moderate Doses|
|Estrogen Receptors||Reproductive Organs||THC, CBD||Inhibitory||Moderate Doses|
|Testosterone Receptors||Testes, Muscle||THC||Inhibitory||High Doses|
|Dopamine Receptors||CNS||THC||Synergistic||Moderate Doses|
|Serotonin Receptors||CNS, GI Tract||CBD||Synergistic||Moderate Doses|
|Adrenaline Receptors||CNS, Cardiovascular System||THC||Inhibitory||High Doses|
|Acetylcholine Receptors||CNS, PNS||CBD||Inhibitory||Moderate Doses|
|Noradrenaline Receptors||CNS||THC, CBD||Synergistic||Low Doses|
THC and CBD Metabolism
- THC is primarily metabolized in the liver by CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4 enzymes into 11-OH-THC, which is also psychoactive.
- CBD is metabolized by CYP3A4 and CYP2C19 into its various metabolites, such as 7-OH-CBD.
ECS Receptor Interactions
- THC primarily binds to CB1 receptors, influencing neurotransmission.
- CBD has a low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors but modulates them indirectly.
- THC decreases testosterone levels through inhibition.
- CBD has been shown to interact with estrogen receptors, but the full implications are not yet understood.
- THC increases dopamine release, creating euphoric feelings.
- CBD is known to modulate serotonin levels, affecting mood and anxiety.
- Both THC and CBD have complex interactions with adrenaline, acetylcholine, and noradrenaline.
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- Linge, R., et al. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016.
- Gururajan, A., et al. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2010.
Patients with conditions such as schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, or hormone-sensitive cancers should exercise caution with cannabinoids. For personalized, expert consultation, please contact Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic.
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