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The Endocannabinoid System or Endogenous Cannabinoid System (SCE) is defined as a complex endogenous system of signaling that is widely distributed in the organism of mammals and intervenes in multiple metabolic pathways regulating cell physiology in a versatile manner. This system consists of the cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands or endocannabinoids, the enzymes responsible for the synthesis and inactivation thereof and the intracellular signaling pathways regulated by the endocannabinoids, as well as the transport systems
Endocannabinoids are compounds derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids of which the most important are the two derivatives of arachidonic acid, AEA and 2-AG belonging to the group of Nacylethanolamines (NAEs) and 2-monoacylglycerols (MAGs), respectively.
The first specific receptor of THC, called cannabinoid receptor type 1 or CB1, was identified and later cloned after affinity screening by THC of several orphan receptors bound to G proteins that had previously been characterized. The CB1 receptor is located primarily in the Central Nervous System. In addition to its location in the brain, CB1 receptors are also present peripherally. In contrast, the second cannabinoid receptor, designated CB2, turned out to be quite different from CB1 both in the amino acid sequence and in its distribution in mammalian tissues. The CB2 receptors are located mainly in spleen, tonsils and in different cells of the immune system. Both receptors possess seven transmembrane domains, an extracellular amino-terminal domain and an intracellular carboxyl-terminal domain.