Despite only being a “partial agonist” of the CB1 receptor, THC gets the job done

I wish I had paid more attention to the pharmacology aspect of psychology when I studied it in college.

Since my degree was in something else, I didn’t have to take Biological Psychology as a course like other students. In retrospect, avoiding that class was a mistake. The biology of the brain is a fascinating field of study, especially since neuroscience is developing in real time. As we learn more about the biology of the brain, it illuminates our entire understanding of human psychology as a whole. Knowing how cannabis affects the brain requires studying its pharmacology. On one hand, there’s the endocannabinoid system and the fact that THC is a “partial agonist” of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Even though it’s only a “partial” and not “full” agonist, it has a significant pharmacological effect on the human brain and the entire body. The role it plays in the nervous system is both unique and complex at the same time. Some have looked towards synthetic cannabinoids that are “full agonists” of the CB1 receptors, but they don’t necessarily pose much medical use if they’re too disorienting when taken. Although some psychedelics are seeing promising effects in clinical use, typically the doses administered aren’t nearly as crazy as one would expect. With cannabis, you want the option to start at a low dose and work your way up, because a new user isn’t necessarily going to be able to handle the same dose as an experienced user. Even if THC is a “partial” agonist, it’s still quite powerful in doses above 25 milligrams if you have no tolerance to the cannabinoid. Most cannabis dispensaries sell products for varying medical applications.

 

Medical marijuana