Cannabinoids within our cells: their role in mitochondria


What are mitochondria?

Since microscopes were invented, we know that cells are the building blocks of life. The discovery that each human cell has a nucleus in which all of the genes necessary for the functioning of the human body are stored gave us additional insight into the importance of cells as individual units. We know that cells are not static, but very dynamic, flexible, fluid, and that provides a lot of information. Cells not only communicate with each other, but there is also intense communication within each cell.

If we had to look inside a single cell, we would see a complex architecture. The cell is separated from its environment by a lipid membrane. But the membrane has many other functions, among others it also allows the cell to communicate with its environment. It is also home to most cannabinoid receptors and the storage site for endocannabinoid production. Within the cell, we find many organelles, that is, next to the nucleus is the Golgi apparatus, the endoplasmic reticulum, in addition to many ribosomes and mitochondria. And the latter will be the central theme of this article.

Mitochondria are small organelles with fundamental functions for our health. They are very different in origin, structure, and function from other parts of the cell. Mitochondria look like tiny bacteria embedded within the cell, and according to some theories that’s also what they really are.

The main role of these organelles is the production of energy. We can imagine mitochondria as a small power plant within our cells, producing the energy necessary for cells to repair, reproduce, and perform all of their functions. All the food we eat actually travels to the mitochondria, where they transform into TFA (adenosine triphosphate) which is the form of energy that our cells can process. In addition to the immensely important role in energy production, mitochondria are also involved in calcium homeostasis, apoptosis, radical formation and oxidation, steroid biosynthesis, coordination of metabolism, and many others.

Different cells in our body can have a very different number of mitochondria. Red blood cells have between zero and a few, and liver cells have up to 2,000 mitochondria per cell.


Mitochondrial genes

Mitochondria have another interesting feature, particularly important in medicine. We know that the vast majority of our genes are in the nucleus in the form of DNA, but mitochondria have their own genes. In the nucleus, we store around 20,000 to 25,000 genes, while mitochondrial DNA contains only thirty-seven genes. So we can imagine the nucleus as the genetic encyclopedia and the mitochondria as a short brochure. We know that we inherit most of our genes from mother and father in the same proportion, but mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother. The reason is that the sperm only has mitochondria in the tail, and the tail does not enter the egg. So maternal mitochondria are the only ones present in the formation of the new baby. DMT Powder.

Medicine has long recognized mitochondria for their important role in health and disease. There is a fairly long list of states linked to the dysfunctions of these small organelles. Given that they are the energy plant of cells, their fundamental role in health AGAINST disease is not surprising. The symptoms associated with mitochondrial states can be very varied. Parts of the body that require a lot of energy, such as the heart, brain, muscles, and lungs, are often more affected. Symptoms can include seizures, strokes, severe developmental delays, inability to walk, speak, see, and digest food combined with a number of other complications.

Mitochondria and cannabinoids

When we look at the symptoms of mitochondrial diseases, we see that many symptoms are known to respond well to cannabinoid treatment (from seizures to muscle weakness and tremors). But little was known if or how cannabinoids affect mitochondria.

The first clear evidence was obtained when the outer mitochondrial membrane was shown to have CB1 receptors. This provided direct evidence that cannabinoids not only affect cell function, establishing homeostasis but also influence mitochondria and energy production. Buy CBD flower online.

The second evidence was somewhat more complicated. Cannabinoids are signaling molecules, and the signal that is sent to the cell after the cannabinoids bind to the CB2 receptor on the cell membrane actually travels first to the mitochondria and then to the nucleus. This leads to changes in the biochemistry of the cell. So if the mitochondria are not working well, the signal changes and the wrong message is sent to the nucleus. Or the signal reaches the mitochondria and changes the energy production in the cell. In fact, we know that cannabinoids decrease the activity of mitochondria, which means that mitochondria produce less TFA if cannabinoids are present. This can be good or bad news depending on the state of the cell, tissue, and body.

The effects are of course more complex since we know that the function of the mitochondria is affected by many factors; A very important one is the communication that takes place within a single cell. Especially the communication that is taking place between the nucleus and the mitochondria. Considering that the nucleus is something like the command center and the mitochondria the power station, the importance of their cooperation is evident.

Interestingly, much data on this topic comes from research groups that have studied aging. They found that a very specific signaling molecule, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), was very common in young cells but rare in old cells. And if this signaling molecule was repopulated at the concentrations found in the young cells, the cells behaved like young again. These experiments were repeated in mice and very similar results were obtained. Mice could be rejuvenated by supplementing this molecule (which serves as a communication channel between the nucleus and the mitochondria). If we transfer these findings to the human age, a body of 60 years could be rejuvenated at a biological age of 30 years. Buy CBD prerolls online.

Dr. Sinclair, A leading researcher on aging said we could compare this relationship between the nucleus and the mitochondria with a newly married couple, who talks all the time and shares everything (nucleus and mitochondria in young cells) with an elderly married couple where none share or listen to the other (nucleus and mitochondria in old cells). So communication is no longer flowing and the mitochondria don’t know how much energy the cell needs, and the nucleus has no idea what the mitochondria are doing, plus the cell’s functions no longer have the balance of homeostasis. This leads first to aging and can also subsequently cause serious pathologies, diseases, and symptoms.

Cannabinoids, especially CBD, have been shown to be importantly involved in the function of mitochondria. Because much of the metabolism (production of TFA from a food source) occurs in the mitochondria, a large number of free radical products and mitochondria are also subject to many stressors. CBD has been shown to function as a protective molecule for these organelles, allowing mitochondria to maintain their function despite the presence of free radicals or other mitochondrial disruptors. We know that CBD itself works as an antioxidant, just like some other phytocannabinoids (CBG and CBC).

The influence of CBD on mitochondria may also partly explain why CBD is effective in many cases of seizures. In many forms of seizures, there is a typical signal for epileptiform calcium, which comes from the mitochondria. And if these cells are subjected to CBD, this epileptiform calcium signal is normalized, which means that the trigger for the crisis is eliminated. And this has been firmly confirmed in epileptic seizures, where CBD has been shown to be particularly valuable in refractory epilepsies. Buy marijuana online.

Considering the role of cannabinoids in the functioning of mitochondria, the potency of the effects of cannabinoids as neuroprotective molecules is clear. When normally excited neurons are exposed to CBD, it has little effect on cells (slight elevation of cytosolic calcium), but in contrast, when hyperexcited neurons are subjected to CBD, activity is reduced (a pronounced decrease in cytosolic calcium). This means that when our nervous system is more active (stress, toxins …), CBD can counteract this process and secure neurons, by protecting the mitochondrial function in our nervous system. Which means that our neurons are protected and that they continue to function.


Essentially, cannabinoids, in addition to the wide variety of effects they have on maintaining or restoring our homeostasis, also play an important protective role in mitochondria, which supply our cells with the right amount of energy. Cannabinoids modulate the activity of mitochondria and can protect their function under adverse conditions. In this way, they ensure the proper functioning of our cells, protecting and restoring health at the cellular level. Data on the effects of cannabinoids on mitochondria once again show us the amazing health-promoting and protective effects that cannabinoids can have if used appropriately and wisely. Buy Hemp online.

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