A new animal study has identified another way that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating compound in marijuana, affects the brain and nervous system without getting users high. If replicable in humans, the finding may strengthen the argument that CBD could be a safer alternative to standard pain and anxiety meds for many patients.
While excitement continues to build around the potential for CBD to offer pain and anxiety relief, research showing the drug’s mechanism of action is still quite thin. Most attempts have focused on the endocannabinoid system, home of the CB1 cannabinoid receptors that marijuana’s psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), binds to, resulting in the euphoria associated with the drug.
But the latest study shows that CBD acts on different receptors to deliver pain and anxiety relief without euphoria. Specifically, the findings point to interaction with serotonin (5 HT) receptors that are central to