Pharmacology of Cannabidiol (CBD)

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Although there has been an explosion of interest in CBD in the past few years, few among the public understand what it may be doing in the body. Many people assume that CBD is just like THC, but without the psychoactive side effects. The truth is very different.


  • CBD potently blocks both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 1
  • CBD may have indirect effects on the CB1 and CB2 receptor functioning.
  • Much of the anti-anxiety effect of CBD is from its effects on the serotonin 5HT-1A receptors.
  • CBD inhibits the activity of FAAH and MAGL, which increases the levels of endo-cannabinoids.
  • CBD probably has other modes of action that have not been discovered yet.