Medical Marijuana - Understanding CBD vs THC
Medical marijuana can seem like a wonder drug. In reality, it is just the complex interaction of it’s many cannabinoids that give it its unique properties. Let’s talk for a second about naturally occurring molecules. Some cannabinoids are naturally produced by your body and are called endocannabinoids. Others are found in nature, such as in cannabis, and those are called phytocannabinoids. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that is separate from our other systems that is able to interact with these cannabinoid molecules.
Generally, the two most prolific phytocannabinoids found in cannabis are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). To put it simply, between the two, THC is the psychoactive component, while CBD is the non-psychoactive component. In short, THC is what generally gives the euphoric “high” feeling, while CBD relaxes the body and helps many medical conditions. Let’s take some time to look at both of these compounds:
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Strains with high THC levels are considered to be potent and cause an intense euphoric feeling. There are many positives that come from THC. Those suffering from PTSD will find great benefit in using high THC strains, as it has been shown to reduce acute symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, arousal, and recurring nightmares. THC has been shown to help improve moods in patients, and even make the difficulties of certain treatments such as chemotherapy easier, by helping to alleviate certain symptoms such as pain or nausea. THC is an important cannabinoid, and it is complemented by CBD in cannabis.
Cannabidiol is the most medicinally beneficial cannabinoid in cannabis. Luckily, it is also one of the two most prevalent ones, along with THC. CBD has been shown to have many medicinal benefits, such as inducing sleep, stimulating appetite, pain relief, and many more. There have also been studies that show that CBD has anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, properties. CBD has shown incredible results in treating inflammatory diseases such as IBD (Crohns and ulcerative colitis). CBD has also indicated that it helps mellow out the psychoactivity caused by THC, which is an important fact for patients considering the medical benefits without wanting the ‘high’. Many of the medical cannabis products sold in PA will have higher CBD levels and lower THC levels.
These cannabinoids work with our endocannabinoid system to offer a new method for symptom relief that other prescription and over the counter medicines can’t utilize. This means that medical marijuana can be a new form of treatment that works synergistically with other medications to provide a more rounded therapy for potential patients. Or, as it appears to many, a wonder drug.