Understanding the difference between CBD and THC is becoming increasingly important as Cannabis becomes legalized and the two molecules are more readily accessible. THC and CBD are the two most prominent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant – THC being the most prominent, and CBD following closely behind it. Both CBD and THC have different benefits on their own when it comes to treating ailments. Additionally, the two molecules can also work together. Before you take either molecule (or both) you should understand the benefits they provide.
CBD (or Cannabidiol) is one of over 100 compounds in the cannabis or hemp plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive.
There are two groups of cannabinoid receptors inside the body; CB1 and CB2. While THC activates these receptors, giving you a psychoactive “high,” the CBD molecule blocks them and activates other receptors in the body, including adenosine, serotonin and vanilloid. These receptors help the body produce dopamine (which regulates mood, memory and pain perception) and glutamate (which helps with brain cognitive function in the body).
When in the body, CBD can help reduce pain, seizures, improve sleep, relieve anxiety, stabilize blood sugar, stabilize blood pressure, kill/slow bacteria, reduce nausea, inhibit some cancers, reduce artery blockage, treat psoriasis, antipsychotic, suppress muscle spasms, promote bone growth, reduce inflammation and more.
THC is responsible for the euphoric, mind altering effects of the cannabis plant. The reason for this is that THC binds to CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the brain. This changes how the brain functions, and leads to the “high”. Unlike THC, CBD does not directly stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors. Instead, CBD can interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors indirectly.
Recreational consumers that are looking for a “high” tend to buy products that are high in THC, while consumers looking for relief without the psychoactive effects typically look for products with a higher CBD ratio (or products with no THC at all) depending on the consumer and their desire to feel “stoned”.
It’s important to note that THC can actually improve the effects of CBD. This is because while THC improves the medicinal effects of CBD, CBD decreases the psychoactive effects of THC (remember, CBD blocks the CB1 and CB2 while THC binds to them)
How can CBD and THC work together?
Because CBD doesn’t create a high, over the years it has been labelled ‘the good’ cannabinoid and THC the ‘bad’. But in countries where medical cannabis is legal, THC can be prescribed for a long list of ailments. For example, cancer patients going through chemo can benefit from CBD and THC as it eases nausea and improves appetite. Preclinical studies also indicate that THC can kill certain types of cancer cells.
CBD and THC have many different benefits both together and on their own. To find out which product is right for you, or to learn more about CBD and THC, contact us! We’re happy to help.