There are two major chemicals—or cannabinoids—in cannabis that are used for their medicinal properties: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While there are thought to be over 100 cannabinoids in any given cannabis plant, these are two of the most prolific due to their popular effects sought after by medicinal users.
So, what is the difference between THC and CBD anyways?
The biggest difference—which anybody familiar with either will know–is the high. While THC produces a sense of euphoria in the user, CBD is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that also has many uses in medicine. Though the chemical interactions are more complex, they can simply be described as the binding of the cannabinoid and receptors in the body, resulting in the interactions users experience.
To put it plainly, while these two cannabinoids work very well together, their atoms are arranged a bit differently, giving them their different effects; hence why they work so well together. It is referred to as the entourage effect.
THC, being the psychoactive property in cannabis, is, again, what makes people feel that high. THC binds to two receptors in the brain—CB1 and CB2—which deal with memory, pain, mood, and more. While it can have a lot of positive effects (pain relief, mood enhancement, etc.), it can also cause anxiety and paranoia depending on the strain and person. Some medicinal uses of THC include anti-cancer side effects (such as with chemotherapy), multiple sclerosis, and AIDS among many others.
On the flip side, CBD is a cannabinoid that’s been researched in-depth more recently. According to researchers, CBD is what balances some stronger effects of THC such as the anxiety and possible memory loss; this even ranges to lowering THC’s psychosis-like effects. In all, CBD can be used to treat a lot of different maladies including anxiety, inflammation, pain, seizures, nausea, and so much more. CBD is highly ideal for those who don’t want to feel the high that THC produces.
Another key difference between THC and CBD is their effects on sleep. While THC is often used as a sleep aid and promotes sleep, CBD does quite the opposite, going so far as to incite wakefulness. Because different strains contain different amounts of THC and CBD, some will cause drowsiness while some wake you up. Keep in mind everyone is different and may experience slightly different effects based on your own unique biological make-up.
What’s important to keep in mind is that these two cannabinoids work together; CBD is the calm to THC’s psycho-activity. While targeting a specific cannabinoid may work for certain illnesses, using these two together may be of more benefit than using them apart. In any case, knowing about these two cannabinoids can allow medicinal users more freedom in determining the best course of treatment for their illness. AGRiMED offers a variety of formulations for medical cannabis patients to meet your specific needs.