It’s easy to get lost in all the information out there about cannabis, including what it’s effects are and what ailments are best suited for it’s individual cannabinoids. The cannabis plant contains over 114 compounds, most of which we didn’t even know existed until the last decade. This in itself has led a revolution and re-evaluation of which cannabinoids and compounds correlate to certain illnesses and bodily functions. Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC and Cannabidiol, CBD are making all the headlines, and rightfully so. So how do they stack up against each other. Let’s take a little look at CBD vs THC, the heavyweight battle in the world of marijuana.
Round 1. What is THC and CBD?
Before we get started, let’s find out a little bit about THC and CBD. These two are making their way to the top of the medical world with staggering speed. It’s becoming clear that medicinal properties in cannabis have a tonne more functions than just induce a psychoactive high and make you hungry.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC) is most heavily researched and scrutinized compound in Cannabis. Discovered in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechulam, THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis responsible for “high” like effect from cannabis. THC can be described as creating a euphoric, bliss like state that can be felt for hours.
When THC is introduced into your brain chemistry is stimulates certain brain cells and releases a substance called dopamine, as well as activating receptors in all sorts of ways. This rush of dopamine and activated brain cells will affect the users though process, perception of time and memory function.
CBD on the other hand does not create any psychoactive effects. It’s main functions are still being researched, but unlike THC, it doesn’t mimic the bodies endocannabinoids, but rather boosts the amount of natural cannabinoids in our bodies.
Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is why topical cannabis works, as even the skin and muscles in a given spot on the body have cannabinoid receptors.
As well as regulating the ECS, CBD make’s it so they can’t be broken down as easily. This allows them to work their magic and better regulate essential bodily functions. Now let’s continue onto round 2 in CBD vs THC.
Round 2. How do CBD and THC Interact With Each Other?
Although this is a CBD vs THC article, doesn’t mean they can’t be best friends that actually help each other out. An important difference between CBD and THC stays in the biochemical mechanisms by which these slightly different molecules actually bind with animals’ cannabinoids receptors. THC binds well with a specific neuronal receptor named CB1, while CBD binds mostly with the receptor CB2. CBD reduces or “antagonises,” some of the effects of THC like anxiety, paranoia, tachycardia, and possibly the high itself, by partially blocking CB1 receptors.
Clinical research on the simultaneous use of THC and CBD is just at its first stages. However, people reported better effects and less anxiety with hybrids containing a balanced proportion of CBD and THC than using strains with high THC alone. It also seems that CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anticancer properties, while both CBD and THC stimulate neurogenesis, the creation of new cells in the nervous system.
A common therapeutic strategy seems to be administering consistent and measurable doses of CBD plus as much THC as a person is comfortable with. Some conditions seem to respond well to a small dose of a CBD with little THC, while others benefit more from a balanced ratio around 1:1. Different CBD:THC ratios can also be used at different times of the day. What follows is a rough description of the effects for each one of the significant CBD:THC ratios that people are today looking for, together with a selection of the corresponding cannabis genetics.
Research so far seems to have found that 1:1 THC:CBD ratio provides the most therapeutic relief across wide categories of ailments, with just minor side effects. This proportion between cannabinoids is having the best effect on sleep, pain and muscle spasms reduction, and it is under research for the treatment of autism, cancer, fibromyalgia, and skin diseases. The relaxation comes with very light high effect and little euphoria.
Round 3. Picking Between CBD and THC
Now that we know what each cannabinoid do respectively, which is right for you? That in itself is a trick question, because as we’ve seen, the 2 work hand in hand quite well for a plethora of ailments.
While most symptoms can be improved with a combination of THC and CBD, it’s not the case for every one. If you were looking to rid yourself of anxiety, a high dose of THC alone would not be recommended. While a mixture of both or higher levels of CBD are fantastic to crush that pesky anxiety.
Here’s a little break down of what to expect from CBD vs THC
- Sedation – Induces a state of relaxation overall wellness
- Analgesic – Reduces inflammation and pain
- Helps patients fall asleep
- Uplifting and Euphoric – Creates a psychoactive
- Appetite Stimulation
- Anti-Depressent – Reduces Depression and Anxiety
- Reduces Seizures and Convulsions
- Anti-Emetic – Reduces Vomiting and Nausea
- Anti-oxidant – It fights neuro-degenerative disorders.
- Anti-psychotic: It combats psychosis.
While THC alone has many amazing health benefits, it’s becoming clear that coupled with CBD, the improvement of symptoms in numerous conditions is unparalleled. With CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects, it’s use as a medicine is far less scrutiny than products loaded with THC. That being said, we don’t need to worry who would win in a CBD vs THC, in this battle royale, every one’s a winner.
We’ve come a long way in recognizing cannabis as a legitimate medicinal miracle. The more time spent on researching marijuana without scrutiny, the more advances we’ll see popping up from every corner. It’s safe to say we’re watching a holistic revolution right before our eyes.