Human cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB(1)) has attracted substantial interest as a potential therapeutic target for treating obesity and other obsessive disorders. An understanding of the mechanism governing the transition of the CB(1) receptor between its inactive and active states is critical for understanding how therapeutics can selectively regulate receptor activity. We have examined the importance of the Thr at position 210 in CB(1) in this transition, a residue predicted to be on the same face of the helix as the Arg of the DRY motif highly conserved in the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. This Thr was substituted with Ile and Ala via mutagenesis, and the receptors, T210I and T210A, were expressed in HEK 293 cells. The T210I receptor exhibited enhanced agonist and diminished inverse agonist affinity relative to the wild type, consistent with a shift toward the active form. However, treatment with GTPgammaS to inhibit G protein coupling diminished the affinity change for the inverse agonist SR141716A. The decreased thermal stability of the T210I receptor and increased level of internalization of a T210I receptor-GFP chimera were also observed, consistent with constitutive activity. In contrast, the T210A receptor exhibited the opposite profile: diminished agonist and enhanced inverse agonist affinity. The T210A receptor was found to be more thermally stable than the wild type, and high levels of a T210A receptor-GFP chimera were localized to the cell surface as predicted for an inactive receptor form. These results suggest that T210 plays a key role in governing the transition between inactive and active CB(1) receptor states.