In the last few decades the body’s own cannabinoid system has been identified. The discovery of this system, which comprises endocannabinoids and receptors, explains why cannabis has a positive effect on certain illnesses and conditions.
To date, two types of cannabinoid receptors have been identified: CB1 and CB2 receptors. The first type, which are found mostly in the central nervous system, modulate pain. They also have an anti-emetic effect, and influence memory and the motor system. Dronabinol – the main ingredient in cannabis – affects these CB1 receptors in particular.
The second type of receptors are peripheral, and found primarily in immune system cells (in the spleen in particular). They are probably responsible for the immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids.