The Importance of Receptor GPR55 In Cannabidiol Therapy

Cannabidiol (CBD), is the main non-psychoactive component of cannabis and has been used medically for the treatment of many conditions.

It’s been thought that CBD helps various conditions by mainly binding to CB1 and CB2 cannabis receptors.  However, scientists have discovered that there are many different receptors CBD can bind to in order to exert its effects. One of these receptors is known as G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55).

GPR55 was first identified in 1999, and at the time, no one knew what its function was or how it was activated

In 2007, with the discovery that CBD and other cannabinoids can affect its activity this receptor’s activity, our scientific understanding of cannabis was greatly enhanced. GPR55 mRNA is expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS).

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CBD’s Effect on the Receptor

CBD Tincture
Through its interaction with the GPR55 receptor, CBD has been demonstrated to have anti-tumor effects (image via CBD User’s Manual)

While some endocannabinoids activate the receptor, CBD seems to block it.  This is what causes CBD to exert its many therapeutic effects. CBD’s positive effects on conditions such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, and anxiety are mainly due to its relationship with CBD User’s Manual.

In fact, in verified cell lines, which is usually the first stage of cancer research, GPR55 activation seemed to have pro-tumor effects. CBD was pivotal in the blocking of GPR55 activity resulting in anti-tumor effects.

These anti-tumor effects were witnessed in cancers as varied as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and brain cancer

CBD’s direct effect on these cancers remains an exciting yet untested future direction of cancer research. It is unfortunate that human and animal testing has not been performed yet.

GPR55 and CBD are two terms that simply will not go away when we talk about cannabis therapy. As more evidence comes out supporting the use of these two compounds in therapy, we will need to expand our horizons.  Human testing is required so that we can better understand the effects.

In order for this to happen, healthcare practitioners need to be educated on the benefits of cannabis so the stigma against it can be erased. Physician education is crucial… Especially accurate, up to date, relevant education. If we accurately provide physicians with up to date information with supporting evidence… They can no longer ignore the medical uses of cannabis.

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