THC VS. CBD

Sometimes one works better than the other, depending on a person’s specific needs, and sometimes they work in perfect harmony, creating “the entourage effect”. Let us take a look at THC and CBD separately and then join them together for an overall picture.

overall picture

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol also referred to as THC, is the chemical responsible for psychoactive properties of cannabis. It is also the most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana and the only compound that produces psychoactive effects. Interestingly, when a compound binds to a protein located on a cell surface (a receptor) the cell’s activity is changed and might signal bordering cells and affect gene regulation (turning genes on and off). What a person is really looking for is the psychoactive high that THC is responsible for.

The most common use of THC is for pain relief, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and nausea. It is also commonly used to lower blood pressure and should not be used with other drugs. It is extremely useful to recognize that teenagers, whose brain reward systems are still developing, should not use cannabis as it is associated with cannabis use disorders later in life.

It is also important to point out that the use of synthetic THC can cause lifelong injury and even death. Although synthetic THC is engineered to affect the same electro-chemical nerve signaling as cannabis, it is exponentially more potent and should never be used.

THC has proven medical benefits. There is an FDA approved list of THC based medications on the market including Marinol and Cesamet, for patients undergoing cancer treatment and to stimulate appetite in AIDS patients. Epidiolex is approved for treatment against childhood epilepsy. CBD does not have the same properties as THC but can be used to prolong the effects of THC.

Cannabidiol also referred to as CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound that is found in hemp plants, is an essential element to medical marijuana and is typically used in the treatment of various medical conditions. On its own, there is no evidence that CBD causes any abuse or dependency issues with humans. CBD is commonly used in the treatment of anxiety, arthritis, inflammatory issues and many more. One significant claim is that CBD has FDA approval for the first cannabis-derived medicine, for the treatment of severe childhood epilepsy syndromes. There are numerous internet videos that show the effect of CBD on Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. Neither responded to typical seizure medicine.

“Contrary to what we’ve all been mis-taught [marijuana is] not a very harmful drug… it’s a drug remarkably free of toxicity providing it’s used intelligently.”

-Lester Grinspoon, Psychiatry Professor at Harvard University

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates things like nausea, mood, and appetite. CBD attaches to the chemical receptors in the brain, the ones that also bind to serotonin. CBD receptors are divided into CB1 (found in the brain, kidneys, lungs, and liver) and CB2 (found in the immune system which affects the nervous system and gastrointestinal responses) categories.

We want this information to help us understand cannabinoids a little better and how they work in our bodies. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds and there are many. Receptor sites are found in parts of the body and are referred to as cannabinoid areas. Then, it makes sense that the system is known as the endocannabinoid system. The system is responsible for many physiological and mental processes.

CBD interacts with this system synergistically. That means that when CBD effectively joins this regulation system, symptoms are improved, sometimes even controlling symptoms in the most serious diseases.

We explained some of the benefits of CBD in other categories, such as how CBD can control the side effects of chemotherapy. Before CBD came along, some symptoms were impossible to treat, or the medication that was used caused serious side effects. *There are some mild side effects to CBD which include: fatigue, nausea, and irritability.

In short, CBD acts as an assistant to help our endocannabinoid system respond more efficiently.

Together, THC and CBD are receptor activators. They are chemicals with properties that have many effects from soothing the uncomfortableness of nausea to reducing the risk of cell growth due to cancer and providing lipoproteins, filled with good cholesterol, to protect against heart disease.

Often referred to as the antagonist, cannabis binds to natural receptors to ward off a wide array of human symptoms and ailments. CBD supports THC by prolonging the effects in a process that prohibits the breakdown of THC in the liver. CBD may also reduce the sometimes unwanted psychoactivity experience that THC provides. Some studies claim that a specific combined dose of THC and CBD injected into tumors found in the breast and brain may completely eliminate the tumors.

Scroll to top