All animal bodies, including the human body, possess an endocannabinoid system comprising different chemicals receptors. This system initiates motivational effects, modulates the perception of pain, and fights off inflammation in certain parts of the body. Two main types of receptors exist in the endocannabinoid system; the endocannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and endocannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2).
THC and CBD interact with this system via CB1 and both (CB1 and CB2) receptors, respectively. Predominantly located in the central nervous system (CNS), CB1 receptors include various structures, including the cerebellum, hippocampus, and basal ganglia, among others. When THC binds to these CB1 receptors, it triggers the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana that are commonly known as the high effect.
In contrast, the chemical component CBD interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD has a counteracting effect on some of the cerebral impacts of THC when it interacts with CB1 receptors, and it does not trigger any brain "highs" because it is non-psychoactive. Moreover, when acting on CB2 receptors, CBD has exhibited potential in mitigating inflammation and curbing symptoms of pain. This makes CBD an attractive medical alternative in treating several diseases like epilepsy, cancer, anxiety, and depression, among others.