The medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant have made it quite famous among the masses now. But do you know why this plant is so beneficial for us? 420 doctors credit it to the two main components – THC and CBD.
The medicinal properties of the plant are actually the result of combined efforts of more than 100 compounds present inside it. But the two most researched ones are THC and CBD. Both these compounds have some amazing properties that make them useful for our body in various ways. They have many similarities. But there are some noticeable differences too. And the most important one being: THC makes you high, while CBD doesn’t.
There are many other interesting things to know about these two compounds. And if you are thinking of using cannabis for its medicinal properties, I think you should learn about them.
In this article, we’ve discussed all the things you should know about the two most famous compounds of the marijuana plant- THC and CBD.
So let’s begin.
THC & CBD
Up until recently, most people associated cannabis plants with getting high. This means the sole focus of the people was on THC, which is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive properties. However, in the past few years, the limelight has been shifted to CBD too, another cannabinoid of the plant, which has become quite famous for its medicinal properties. And this has suddenly changed the whole perspective of people towards cannabis. The discovery of CBD opened a new door for the researchers to study the plant at a much deeper level.
So, let’s see what we know about these two famous cannabinoids in detail.
What is THC and How it Interacts with Our Body?
THC, a.k.a. Tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive properties. Or in simple terms, this is the compound that makes you feel high. However, this is not the only function of THC. THC has some amazing medicinal properties too.
When THC enters your brain, it interacts with your brain cells and thus increases the dopamine level in it, making you feel very relaxed and happy. It also reacts with the CB receptors in your brain, and thus provides you with some amazing therapeutic benefits. Some THC strains give you a great burst of creativity and energy, while others provide you with a nice mellow feeling as you get high slowly.
Some of the very common effects of THC include:
- Appetite increase
THC is also famous for providing relief in conditions such as pain, insomnia, and anxiety. However, a high dose may lead to some very opposite effects in these conditions. Also, you should know that cannabis reacts differently with different people. A dose of THC that doesn’t affect one person may be too much for another. And therefore, many 420 doctors recommend, if you are consuming a high THC cannabis strain, start with a low dosage and consume very slowly.
What is CBD and How it Interacts with Our Body?
CBD, a.k.a cannabidiol, unlike THC, doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. And thus, it won’t make you feel high. This particular compound is typically known for its medicinal properties only.
Though the research is still going on to find how CBD interacts with our body, scientists suggest that there is some definite relation between the compound and the ECS (Endocannabinoid System). The ECS has two main cannabinoid receptors- CB1 and CB2. CB1 is generally found in the brain and has a very significant role in altering our sleep, mood, memory, appetite, etc.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors are most commonly present in our immune system and help moderate inflammation. While THC has a direct interaction with these CB receptors, CBD acts indirectly. It actually modifies these CB receptors to make them interact with other components more effectively.
Some of the most common effects of CBD include:
WHO also reports that CBD can be useful to treat conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, Nausea, Arthritis, Huntington’s, Multiple sclerosis, etc.
The Entourage Effect
The “Entourage Effect” is nothing but the way all marijuana compounds work when they are together. The recent research suggests that when all the compounds of cannabis, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, are together, they work much better, as compared to when they are working individually. The scientists say that the effect all the components produce together is just impossible to achieve with one individual compound only. Each cannabinoid has some specific benefits to offer to us. But when you consume multiple cannabinoids together, they enhance the effects of each other, making the final result much more fulfilling.
To understand this further, let’s see an example. Say, you are using cannabis to treat your pain symptoms. While THC alone can be very effective in alleviating your pain, if you take it with CBD, you probably won’t have to face any side effects of THC, such as extreme anxiety or paranoia.
Therefore, in order to achieve better results, 420 doctors recommend using the full-spectrum cannabis plant, instead of just a single compound product.
In the United States, laws regarding cannabis may seem a little confusing or complicated. At the Federal level, cannabis is still a Schedule I drug and is considered illegal. However, many state governments have now legalized the use of marijuana at the local level. But you should note that even among the states that have cannabis legal now, very few allow recreational use. And therefore, if you are thinking of consuming cannabis, check your state’s laws first.
However, if we talk about just CBD products, the rules are different. While the CBD extracted from a cannabis plant is still considered a Schedule I drug, if it comes from a hemp plant, it can be used legally.
Now, what’s a Hemp Plant?
Cannabis vs. Hemp Plant
Cannabis and Hemp are the two different versions of the cannabis plant, with just a small legal distinction.
The term “hemp” is generally used to classify those cannabis plants that have a THC level of 0.3 percent or less. On the other hand, “cannabis” is the type of plant that has more than 0.3 percent of THC.
The hemp is generally harvested in the industrial environment, and the product extracted from them is not usually intoxicating due to a very less amount of THC. This is the reason why the CBD extracted from this plant is considered legal, even at the federal level.
There is no denying the fact that cannabis has become a huge deal in the country now. And the credit goes to, none other than, these two amazing cannabinoids- THC and CBD. Both these compounds offer some amazing benefits to our body, individually as well as together. However, you should note that the studies are still going on. And there is a lot more to be found out.
THC and CBD have many benefits to offer you. However, if you are thinking of consuming cannabis medicinally, we recommend you consult a qualified doctor first. Your condition and your body play a very big role in defining how these compounds may react with you.