What makes CBD non-psychoactive as opposed to THC? Let’s take some time to clear up any misunderstandings you might have when it comes to CBD and psychoactivity.
When addressing psychoactivity we first need to talk about the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems (outside the brain and spinal cord), consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors. If I’ve lost you, not to worry, we’re only focusing on the CB1 receptors which are just a part of the endocannabinoid system.
CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and central nervous system. The difference between CBD and THC boils down to the difference in how each cannabinoid interacts with the body’s CB1 receptors. While THC binds with CB1 receptors, giving the user a “high” feeling, CBD does not.
Imagine if the cannabinoids were like puzzle pieces, THC molecules are perfectly shaped to fit with CB1 receptors. When this takes place, THC connects with these receptors, stimulating them and causing the user to experience typical symptoms of ingesting cannabis.
CBD meanwhile is a misshapen puzzle piece thus leaving the CB1 receptors unstimulated. Even more so CBD acts as a suppressant of CB1 qualities of a cannabinoid like THC. This leaves the user feeling calm and free to experience the benefits of CBD without the potentially overwhelming feelings associated with THC.