CB1 and CB2 receptors are cannabinoid receptors that allow us to synthesize cannabinoids. What are cannabinoids, you ask?  They are molecules found in plants, like hemp. These molecules can be extracted and consumed for treating various conditions, and they allow you to achieve homeostasis within your endocannabinoid system. This all begs the question, what are the differences between CB1 vs. CB2 receptors?

If you feel like you need more information before tackling this question, we have many learning resources, including an article about cannabinoid receptors. Or you can start with the basics with this CBD oil guide.

Understanding CB1 and CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors

Although more research is needed, here is a summary of what is understood at this point:

  • CB1 receptors target motor activity, coordination, cognition, short-term memory, appetite, how we perceive pain, as well as the immune cells. CB1 receptors are found all over the body but primarily reside in your head. There are other protein receptors, but CB1 is the most abundant in the brain.
  • CB2 receptors pertain to the kidneys, pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle, bones, eyes, respiratory tract, skin, as well as reproductive, immune, and cardiovascular systems. That being said, much like CB1 receptors, CB2 receptors are found all over the human body.

cb1 vs. cb2 receptors and the endocannabinoid system

Fun fact: there are no cannabinoid receptors in the medulla oblongata, which is why there is no mortality risk associated with cannabis consumption.

Those are easy-to-digest, over-simplified explanations. For more details and possibly confusing science, continue reading. If you feel like you have a good enough handle on CB1 vs. CB2 receptors, then check out other helpful articles with information about CBD.

What Do CB1 Receptors Do?

CB1 receptors are useful for many reasons. CBD includes little to no THC, but, interestingly, that CB1 receptors are what mediate the effects of THC. Our body produces cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) which interact with plant-based cannabinoids (exogenous cannabinoids) to alter how you feel. The impact of exogenous cannabinoids depends largely on your body’s production of endocannibinoids.

The various terpenes (learn more here) in CBD are what give you different effects when consuming it. CB1 receptors were discovered in 1990, and it explained how cannabinoids affect the immune system on the molecular level.

It’s believed that one of the primary functions of CB1 receptors is that they inhibit neurotransmitter release. One exciting takeaway is that CB1 receptor antagonists can be a very successful treatment for obesity and metabolic syndrome (essentially, we’re talking about the suppression of appetite).

What Do CB2 Receptors Do?

Maybe a better question to ask is what they don’t do. A key difference between CB1 and CB2 receptors is that the latter does not have an effect on the mind. They show promise in treating a variety of pathologies, and the fact that they do not affect psyche makes them such a valuable medium. Think about all the different drugs people make that upset and/or disrupt them mentally and emotionally. It’s easy to see the benefit of leveraging CB2 receptors as much as possible.

One of the clinical applications of CB2 receptors includes the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s noteworthy that almost all diseases are accompanied by changes in levels of endogenous cannabinoids and/or the expression of CB2 receptors.


CB1 and CB2 receptors have a lot in common, but they also have important distinctions. Whether you are suffering from insomnia, pain, inflammation, anxiety, or even epilepsy, White Tiger CBD oil is comprised of natural cannabinoids that will interact with your body’s endocannibinoid system to improve on the symptoms of whatever ails you. If you have any general questions about CBD as a treatment for your symptoms, or about our CBD products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Nature.com: CB1 Receptor Signaling
Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors as a Therapeutic Target