Cannabis plants have been found to have over 100 cannabinoids, groups of active compounds found in marijuana that produce many of the effects you feel from using the plant. So far, no cannabinoids are more popular than THC and CBD.
What makes these two compounds so different and why?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and Cannabidiol, or CBD, are the most well known compounds in cannabis for the potential effects they can produce
In recent years, a high CBD strain also known as Charlotte’s Web, has gained attention around the globe. It is named after Charlotte Figi, a girl who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome
Charlotte was treated when she was 5 years old with the strain and it had outstanding effects, greatly reducing her seizures
So why is it that CBD can have these effects, and THC doesn’t?
THC and CBD are made up of the same molecules.
Cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain, which explains why they affect so many different body functions
However, THC has the ability to get you high, and CBD does not. WHy is this?
THC is a psychoactive compound that produces the euphoric effect of cannabis
CBD has shown on the other hand that it may actually inhibit thc’s ability to get you high and may actually decrease this affect
CBD is currently being studied for it’s antispasmodic, anti nausea and anti-inflammatory effects
The atoms in THC and CBD are actually quite different, explaining why the two have such different effects on the body
This aspect makes an immense difference in how it affects our bodies
THC works by easily binding to CB1 receptors in your brain, therefore producing the euphoric effect and feelings of being high
Some people want the potential benefits of cannabis without getting high from it, making CBD an increasing attractive option. CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 receptors easily, therefore inhibiting the ability to get you high.
A new drug “Epidiolex” was released and approved by the FDA in 2018. It is an oral CBD solution that has shown to treat Lennox Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome- both two rare forms of epilepsy.
This was a moment that went down in history. This was the first time that the FDA has ever approved of a drug substance derived from cannabis. It is also the first time that a drug has been found and approved to treat Dravet syndrome.
So, is the role of THC no longer important? Not entirely.
Studies have shown that THC can help CBD have the effects that it does.
When taken orally, only about 6% of CBD oil is absorbed.
THC actually enhances the benefits of CBD and makes it easier for the body to absorb, making this duo quite the pair when taken together.
Studies show that CBD can potentially treat: psychosis, seizures, anxiety, depression, nausea, Pain, inflammation, mental disorders, and migraines
While THC has been studied to potentially treat: pain, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, anxiety, Muscle spasticity, Nausea, and also enhance mood
Both THC and CBD differ by having their own potential individual benefits and effects on our systems, however finding the best combination of cannabinoids for your own unique body could be the key.
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