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How CBD Counteracts THC (How To Control Your High)

By CannEvolv


This article includes affiliate links

Take too many edibles, smoke a little too much weed, or just want the therapeutic effects of cannabis with less of a high?

CBD can help. Here's why

Does CBD make you less high?

In a word, yes.

CBD mitigates the effects of THC on the CB1 receptors in the brain.

CB1 receptors are responsible for regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and glutamate.

When THC binds to the CB1 receptors it acts as a partial agonist, and triggers the feeling of being high by releasing said neurotransmitters.

Dopamine and serotonin create a pleasurable feeling while a reduction in glutamate causes a slow, tired feeling. This is one of the major causes of the feeling of being high.

When ingested, CBD indirectly affects the CB1 receptors making them less susceptible to binding with THC.

Studies have shown that when CBD is present, it acts as a negative allosteric modulator. This means that the CBD molecule binds to a different part of the CB1 receptor and changes the shape of the receptor. The change in shape of the CB1 receptor makes THC less likely to bind to the receptors resulting in less of a "high".

CBD changes the shape of the CB1 receptors
THC and CBD interaction with the CB1 receptor

This is great news for people who are wanting the medical benefits of THC and other cannabis compounds but also want to mitigate the high that comes from THC consumption.

CBD allows for greater dosage of therapeutic cannabinoids while keeping the "high" more under control.

CBD has also been shown to directly affect TRPV1 receptors.

TRPV1 receptors play a role in pain processing and heat sensation. CBD acts as an agonist on the TRPV1 receptors lowering the perception of pain and reducing inflammation by desensitizing the receptors.

CBD at low doses corresponding to plasma concentrations observed physiologically inhibits or desensitizes neuronal TRPV1 signalling by inhibiting the adenylyl cyclase – cAMP pathway, which is essential for maintaining TRPV1 phosphorylation and sensitization. CBD also facilitated calcineurin-mediated TRPV1 inhibition. These mechanisms may underlie nociceptor desensitization and the therapeutic effect of CBD in animal models and patients with acute and chronic pain. - CBD Effects on TRPV1 Signaling Pathways in Cultured DRG Neurons

Conclusion: CBD Can Help in Controlling Your High

THC is a CB1 agonist while CBD is a CB1 modulator.

Due to CBD being a CB1 modulator, the presence of CBD mitigates the effects of the THC "high" by changing the shape of the CB1 receptor. This makes it harder for THC to bind to the CB1 receptors.

The less THC binding to CB1 receptors means less of a high feeling.

If you do not have access to CBD these things have been reported to help bring down your high:

  • Drink ice cold water

  • Eat something spicy (Capsaicin activates the TRPV1 receptors which CBD also effects)

  • Eat some fruit or something full of other beneficial terpenes

  • Deep breathing exercises

  • Aroma therapy


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