Cannabis compounds such as CBD and THC have recently gained popularity, as the demand for natural medicine increases. These cannabinoids affect the user by interacting with specific receptors within the brain. The effects experienced will depend on the levels of THC and CBD in areas, inside the brain where cannabinoids interact.
THC is the ‘high causer’, but it best works together with CBD. This power couple interacts with each other to optimize the potential of each other’s curative ability. CBD enhances the anticancer and painkilling properties of THC while lessening the psycho-activity it causes in the brain. CBD also mitigates the dangerous effects caused by too much THC. It tames the anxiety and the rapid habit you feel when high.
One could say that CBD-rich cannabis is relaxing but not intoxicating. It lowers the effects of the THC high while still prolonging its duration.
Their close relationship may lead people to assume that they have the same effects on the human body. But this is not the case.
Researchers say, THC directly binds to CB1 cannabinoid receptors that are mainly found in the brain and the nervous system. The CB1 receptor is the reason you feel high when you smoke cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t directly bind with this receptor. Instead, it interacts with other receptors and pathways within the body. This is why it has many health benefits compared to THC.
If you were to vaporize an entire marijuana flower, you’d be consuming a wide array of cannabinoids. So many compounds are at play and together, they cause ‘The entourage effect’. This is a phenomenon that occurs when more than one cannabinoid interacts with the body. They produce a stronger influence than any of those components alone. However, weed growers have for decades, bred THC-rich strains at the expense of CBD.
Researchers have also discovered that if you apply both CBD and THC to tumor cells in the lab, the combo is more effective than THC alone.
The Difference Between CBD And THC
If you were not aware, CBD and THC do have the same chemical structure. Each has 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. The difference lies in the arrangement of its atoms. Thus, the name Tetrahydrocannabinol for THC and Cannabidiol for CBD.
Memory and Cognition
THC has been shown to cause dangerous long-term effects on parts of the brain that are important for memory and learning. But then CBD handles this. It is neuroprotective. Meaning it will ease the memory and cognitive impairments caused by THC. Using cannabis with the same levels of THC, but varying quantities of CBD may cause varying degrees of short-term impairment.
When consumed in high doses, marijuana can provoke feelings of anxiety and paranoia in some people. Inexperienced users tend to make this mistake. The feeling of anxiety can be attributed to THC. CBD helps to reduce the anxiety caused by THC. In fact, when administered on its own it’s known to induce a laxative effect on the user.
Pain and Inflammation
Both have been shown to help in pain relief. However, CBD is believed to have more anti-inflammatory properties. When you combine the two, they can reduce nausea and suppress muscle spasms. CBD has recently been receiving increasing attention because of its more potent healing properties compared to THC.
Some progressive countries have already legalized marijuana. Growing weed for sale has become a very lucrative business in countries like Uruguay, Canada and some states in the USA. However, CBD is still in the gray area of the law. It’s only allowed for research or when used for medical purposes. If you have to use CBD, it is much safer to use it from a legal perspective.
What does all this mean?
Cannabis is a very complex plant. When growing weed, you even have to avail all the conditions necessary for the plant, otherwise, it won’t produce high-quality buds.
THC and CBD, explains why people experience varying effects when they smoke different strains of marijuana. For those growing weed, marijuana with a high THC content sells more compared to CBD. This can be attributed to the ‘highness’ caused by THC leading to its wide usage as a recreational drug hence a higher demand for it.
They both have many similarities, but one should know that none is better than the other. Some of the psychoactive effects of THC could be a benefit instead of a setback. Such as the increased appetite for chemotherapy patients suffering from dietary problems. Depending on your needs, you can consume one of the other or both.
In the end, THC always stands out as the Rockstar, that only reaches its full potential when it rolls with a crew. This ‘crew’ consists of hundreds of other cannabinoids that scientists know about so far.