Our pets have CB-1 receptors in the brain and CB-2 receptors in the body, their natural messenger cannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG, anandamide’s effects can occur in either the central or peripheral nervous system. These distinct effects are mediated primarily by CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the periphery. The latter is mainly involved in functions of the immune system. Cannabinoid receptors were originally discovered as being sensitive to THC, which is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis.
The discovery of anandamide came from research into CB1and CB2, as it was inevitable that a naturally occurring chemical would be found to affect these receptors. The cannabinoids in cannabis attach to those same receptors., however, they resist letting go of those receptors so their effect is more powerful and longer lasting. Drugs that hang on to receptors longer than the natural messengers are called an agonist. The chief agonist cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD. When the effects of cannabinoids wear off, it is because they were processed (metabolized) by the pet’s liver into compounds that left through the bile and urine or were stored in the pet’s body fat.