3-D Understanding of Cannabis

October 21, 2016

cb1Overcast with some patchy-fog this early Friday on California’s north coast, and fairly-warm for the time frame.
We’ve about a 10-percent chance of drizzle today, but a supposedly big rain to cycle in maybe by Sunday — all in the season.

This morning, let’s set aside the creepy-freaky adventures of a roasting T-Rump for a second, and look at a new study published yesterday in the journal Cell, which examines how we get stoned — marijuana and a receptor in the brain.
And researchers have also created a detailed, 3D image of the little nugget, called a cannabinoid receptor 1.

This an advance in the better understanding of how we get high, how pot operates, especially in medicinal, marijuana-derived drug developments.

(Illustration found here).

A dangerous medical pot off-shoot — marijuana-based medication, which sometimes carry terrible side effects.
Key point on the study from ScienceDaily: ‘The new insights into the human cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) will provide an essential tool for understanding why some molecules related to THC have unexpectedly complex and sometimes harmful effects. The findings also have the potential to guide drug design for pain, inflammation, obesity, fibrosis and other indications.’
An example cited was a pot-derivative drug developed for the treatment of obesity, and though it worked on the weight-gain, it could also bring-on depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts — side-effects horror sometimes way-beyond the original problem.

This new research will move the marijuana tale along — pointed details from The Verge:

Imagine the receptor like a switchboard, says study co-author Zhi-Jie Liu, a molecular biologist at ShanghaiTech University.
It’s connected to wires that can each cause pain relief, appetite suppression, or depression.
If you don’t know how the wiring works, you risk having bad side effects when you tinker with the whole thing.
Or you send people to the hospital after they use synthetic marijuana like K2 and Spice.
Synthetic marijuana is a bunch of man-made chemicals that interact with CB1.
It’s supposed to have the same effect as marijuana, yet it’s far more dangerous.
But without knowing how CB1 works, it’s hard to figure out why.
It was very hard to study the CB1 receptor because it moves around too much.
All receptors in our bodies are held together by both internal and external forces, says Raymond Stevens, a chemist at the University of Southern California.
To study an individual receptor, scientists take it out of the natural environment with various chemicals.
But these chemicals can cause the protein to fall apart, which means it’s impossible to see what it looks like.
“This receptor was one of the most difficult to study given how unstable the receptor is,” Stevens wrote in an email.
This was especially surprising because CB1 is so common.

THC binds to this CB1, though, other shit can cling there, too, and produce wildly different results — as with “K2, or “spice,” so-called ‘synthetic marijuana,’ which can really fuck you up if allowed.
As one of the study’s authors, Zhi-Jie Liu, notes the bottom line: ‘“As marijuana continues to become more common in society, it is critical that we understand how it works in the human body.”

Dude, like…Duh!

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