CBD vs. THC: Battle of THE Cannabonoids – Debunking myths 2018
Which strain to choose?
That’s one question that’s baffled every consumer of CBD for therapeutic purposes.
In states where marijuana is legal, the medical supplements often come with a high amount of THC too. On the other hand, most CBD companies give you straight up CBD-rich hemp strains.
Both seem to have the same amount of good testimonials. So, seriously speaking, which one performs better?
Well, I am Aaron, and today we are working to resolve this CBD vs THC Question.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids refer to any chemical compounds that affect the Cannabinoid receptors in our brains. These receptors run a pretty neat system.
So, our brain rewards us for all of the good things we do. That short stint of dancing which made you feel great for weeks, that exercise run that made you super pumped up? All endocannabinoids (which are cannabinoids produced inside the body).
However, we did not find the cannabinoids that way. Our good old Cannabis plant had phytocannabinoids (Phyto- means from the plant) which were CBD and THC.
Now, both of these acted on Cannabinoid receptors, and we were completely baffled. Like, why does our brain react to entirely unrelated plant products? Oh well, we found out that a system called Endocannabinoid system exists which rewards our mind.
That would have been all. However, it appeared that this Endocannabinoid system had a significant role in health. Not only were CBD and THC protecting our brain, but they were also acting like anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anticancer and other medicines.
So, unlike what e first thought, our body had not grown magical receptors for CBD and THC out of the blue, but, instead CBD and THC were acting as potent activators of a system that played a huge part in protecting our bodies as a whole.
Thus, we land here, CBD or THC? Which do we take?
What is CBD and its Benefits?
Let’s go back to 1960s, and we know that CBD and THC exist, but, we have no idea how they work and what happens? This was when CBD and THC were both isolated by the same scientist!
Robert Mechoulam was the first one to isolate the compounds and is the reason why we know so much about it now.
So, what makes CBD special? Well, in the first tests alone, we knew that this compound was kind of different. For one it had no effect of “high” on the lab animals. It didn’t even show a behavioral difference that THC used to have.
In fact, the best revelation came later. It appeared that by changing the concentrations of CBD and THC in the extracts, we could have an effective response. High CBD: low THC strains are in demand simply because of this reason.
And in the years afterward, we got to know that CBD has some great medicinal properties. Like
1. It works to reduce anxiety
In a special anxiety-inducing maze, it was found that CBD-treated mice performed much better. This was an accurate model for human anxiety as well. So, you can count on CBD to be a good option for anxiety.
2. It acts to reduce neuropathic pain
There are several studies about CBD which says that it reduces neuropathic pain, whether it is from chemo, straight up chronic pain, or orofacial pain. Even double blind studies have shown CBD to be effective in cases of pain management.
3. Has substantial anti-epileptic and anti-seizure properties
4. It protects the brain
5. It has anti-inflammatory properties
Cytokines are these chemicals inside our body that cause inflammation. CBD has been shown to block cytokine actions in many cases and act to reduce inflammation. So, much so that it is being considered as a novel drug.
6. It works to suppress the psychotic effect of THC
In a meta-review it was found that CBD counteracts the effect of THC, and has overall positive effects only. It is also not associated with the usual anxiety that marijuana extracts are associated with.
See, the difference was clear. CBD was acting on a very different set of receptors. CBD works on the CB2 receptors and has huge roles in immunity. While THC acts on the CB1 receptors and has more of a role in the “high” and other effects.
What are THC and its benefits?
THC is the thing that causes the “high” when taking marijuana. It’s a potent psychotic and induces many behavioral changes. However, its therapeutic activities came into view when Rick Simpson decided to make it and try to cure cancer.
This was a guy making cannabis oil at his home and using it on himself. And lo and behold, his cancer was gone. This made him extremely popular, and he was giving his Rick Simpson Oil to anyone who wanted it.
However, since, it was illegal and THC is a potent psychotic, it was shut down. However, the medical science community had questions now. Over the years, we have found out a lot about THC. And here are its benefits.
1. It helps take care of your heart
2. It has anti-cancer properties
3. Helps increase appetite
4. Numbs the pain
5. Helps insomnia and induces a good sleep
So, here was the difference. THC was working on the CB1 receptors, and CBD was acting on CB1 receptors to block it. So, unless your plant had over 22% of THC, there was a very slight chance you would get high.
However, CB1 receptors were in the brain and had psychotic effects that induced the “high,” which for many people was undesirable. In fact, it is the reason marijuana is not legal in so many states.
Which one is better – CBD or THC?
This is where it becomes hard. Let’s be honest; both have some properties that will help us. However, it comes down to what you want out of your medicine.
THC, for example, helps in numbing the pain, has anti-cancer properties. However, it causes a high. A high is very difficult to manage if you tend to feel paranoia and anxiety.
On the other hand, CBD helps as an anti-anxiety and antioxidant, and has anti-epileptic properties. It also suppresses the high that THC gives out.
So, overall, it is hard to choose your perfect medicine. We must remember that the entire brand of medicine from marijuana plants is about personalized medicine. This means that your personal needs come before everything else.
So, which one is better overall, is a question that should be left entirely to you. Prefer THC? That’s great. Prefer CBD? That’s great too!
Is CBD better with THC?
Yes! CBD acts along with THC to create something known as the “Entourage effect.” Now, this is an effect, where the two chemicals come together to create a cascade of results that are very good for you.
Imagine, two superheroes working together to save you, that’s what CBD and THC together are at the end of the day. So, with these two, you have potentially better medicine.
Legal Status of these Cannabinoids
CBD is legal all across the 50 states of the U.S. and in several countries. However, THC is only legal in the states and countries where marijuana is legal.
This is also partly why the fight for THC is still on. Because together CBD and THC have great qualities, which does not shine through with only CBD. So, a lot of patients cannot benefit from pure CBD oil.
However, anything with a THC content below the 0.3% is considered to be legal.
Final Thoughts: CBD vs THC
CBD and THC are high chemical compounds on their own. Their multiple properties are so numerous that they are still being discovered and debated all across the spectrum.
Medical science comes out with a discovery about these compounds almost every single day. So, for us, who have benefited from CBD use, both compounds offer beautiful possibilities when it comes to medicine.
So, it’s pretty pointless to go into this as a debate. CBD and THC both have their amazing properties, and as consumers, we only have benefits to get.