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5C-AKB48 is a synthetic cannabinoid made to mimic the mechanisms and effects of THC. It works by acting on CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the body, which respond to 5C-AKB48 in a similar way as THC. In fact, 5C-AKB48 has a higher binding affinity than THC, which means its effects could potentially be more powerful . It produces effects similar to cannabis, but for a shorter period, since it lacks synergy with the other cannabinoids present in cannabis. The effects when consumed are mainly physical, causing pain relief, increased appetite, vasodilation, a tingling feeling and a sensation of gravity being lifted. 5C-AKB48 can cause anxiety and paranoia, but on the other hand, it can lead to mindfulness and thought connectivity. It’s a psychostimulant, but its effects are not predictable . As an indazole-based chemical, 5C-AKB48 is a white, yellowish powder . It’s a more potent form of AKB48, as the 5-chloropentyl structural component optimizes binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body .
A 2016 test-tube study published in “Psychopharmacology,” researchers looked at the effects of AKB48 on human CB1 and CB2 receptors. It revealed a nanomolar affinity of AKB48 with the receptors, indicating a tightly-formed bind. The study concluded that not only does AKB48 effectively bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors as a real cannabinoid would, but also at a high potency . In a 2017 study published in “Frontiers in Psychiatry,” researchers tested the effects of AKB48 on mice. They found that it stimulated the release of dopamine, which could suggest mood-enhancing qualities. Furthermore, it occurs without binding to the dopamine transporter, making its effects on dopaminergic pathways significantly different from addictive substances like cocaine and amphetamine .