Although CBD is still being tested and scientists are learning more and more about the cannabinoid, it is well known that CBD does not provide the same ‘high’ as most cannabis products. In a nutshell, this is due to the lack of THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for providing the ‘high’. However, let’s dig into the science a bit:
On a molecular level, THC and CBD have very similar structures. However, CBD does not directly stimulate CB1 and CB2, the canonical cannabinoid receptors, like THC does. THC, the principal psychoactive component of cannabis, makes a person feel high by binding to CB1, the most abundant protein receptor in the brain and central nervous system.
CBD acts through multiple receptor-independent channels and it also binds to various receptors in the brain, including serotonin 5HT1A (which contributes to CBD’s antidepressant effect), TRPV1 (which contributes to CBD’s anti-psychotic effect), the nuclear receptor PPAR-gamma (regulates gene expression), and the orphan receptor GPR55, among others