With product lines in the cannabis and hemp market constantly expanding, many novices to the industry can quickly become overwhelmed. A good delineation point to start with is the difference between CBD products, which are derived from hemp, and THC rich products that come from cannabis plants.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC,) is the cannabinoid most often associated with medical marijuana. THC elicits the psychotropic (“high”) effect in users. The therapeutic potential of THC is significant and expansive. The compound can act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, appetite stimulant and sleep aid, among other benefits.
Most individuals find the “high” from THC to be very enjoyable in moderation, but others find the feeling to be slightly to very unpleasant. With that said, medical marijuana still offers significant medical benefits to people who want to avoid the “high” feeling. After all, THC is just one of many cannabinoids. Evidence suggests that use of the cannabinoid CBD can elicit many of the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana without having the euphoric or dysphoric effects.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as “CBD,” is the major non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, and it has the potential to aid in a range of medicinal scenarios as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, and antiemetic agent, and that’s barely scratching the surface.
Although THC does have certain benefits that cannot be achieved through CBD use alone, studies have shown that a combination of high CBD with lower THC levels result in the medicinal benefits of both, without any noticeable psychotropic effects from THC. So, for those who are interested in the benefits of medical marijuana but are wary of feeling the “high” associated with THC, you can be assured that there are medical marijuana products available to meet their needs.
What are the Medical Benefits of THC and CBD?
THC and CBD each have many medical applications and therapeutic uses. THC is often used for its euphoric, relaxing, and pain-relieving effects, while CBD is effective in treating anxiety, epilepsy, and in some cases even psychosis. Here are just a few of the most common uses of these two cannabinoids.
Common uses for THC:
- Sleep aid
- Appetite stimulant
- Pain management
Common uses for CBD:
- Pain management
CBD Tends to be Used More Than THC for Medical Treatments
THC is classified as an illegal drug with considerable immediate and long-term cognitive side effects, including impaired thinking and reasoning, reduced ability to plan and organize, altered decision-making, and reduced control over impulses. In addition, chronic use of THC can be associated with significant abnormalities in the heart and brain.
CBD lacks the euphoric cognitive effects of THC. In fact, CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC, both in plant form and when administered from extract. Cannabis plants containing small amounts of CBD and high levels of THC result in a stronger “stoned” feeling, while plants with more CBD and less THC create a weaker “buzz.” Given the increasing popularity of medical marijuana, breeders are currently creating strains with higher CBD to THC ratios to minimize the psychoactive side effects.
Overall, the lower health risks of CBD in combination with its lack of euphoria make it an ideal candidate for patients worried about feeling high. However, in combination with low doses of THC, CBD can deliver even greater medical benefits.