For millenniums people have used cannabis itself with relatively few side effects. THC hits CB1 and CB2 receptors, but how CBD works is less clear.

It seems to interact with multiple systems: increasing the quantity of native cannabinoids in the human body; binding with serotonin receptors, part of the “feel good” molecular machinery; and stimulating GABA receptors, responsible for calming the nervous system. With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level. 

Harvard Medical School associate professor of psychiatry and medical cannabis researcher, Staci Gruber believes greater scientific engagement with the CBD phenomenon is as important as more careful regulation. “People have been using cannabis forever,” she said. “The question now is, How do we as scientists catch up?”

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