CBD & THC: Two Sides of the Same Leaf

Real talk: Not all forms of cannabis can get you high. This is thanks to CBD, or cannabidiol, one of the two main compounds that make up the cannabis plant.

The other more commonly known element is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC and CBD work ‘hand in hand’ with more than 60 other cannabinoids to provide us with the full spectrum if its healing powers.

Structural formula of Cannabidiol

CBD

In recent years scientists have been able to isolate and study the CBD molecule. Cannabidiol is growing in popularity amongst medical professionals and folks who seek the therapeutic properties of marijuana sans the head-trip. Incidentally, it’s capable of counteracting overly intense highs too (where was this stuff when I was in college!?!).

Cannabidiol is a neuroprotective agent that has been prescribed for its anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, analgesic and anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) features. Doctors have used it to treat patients who suffer from chronic pain, seizures, spasms, anxiety, depression, diabetes, schizophrenia, addiction and much more.

Commonly used as a topical oil to reduce pain and inflammation, CBD can also be consumed via toking, vaping, tinctures and capsules. Hemp-based CBD oil is sold legally in the US, but is not considered to be as potent as its ganja-based counterpart.

Structural formula of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol: You can’t get high without it. THC is the other main ingredient that comprises marijuana. The vast majority of strains have a higher THC to CBD ratio which is to say that most ganja can and will get you high.

With cannabidiol growing in popularity, THC has become saddled with somewhat of a “bad cannabinoid” reputation. Project CBD states, “The drug warrior’s strategic retreat: Give ground on CBD while continuing to demonize THC. Diehard marijuana prohibitionists are exploiting the good news about CBD to further stigmatize high-THC cannabis, casting tetrahydrocannabinol as the bad cannabinoid, whereas CBD is framed as the good cannabinoid. Why? Because CBD doesn’t make you high like THC does.”

Given its psychotropic side effects, the developing narrative paints THC as a purely recreational element, and CBD a medical one. The truth is that THC has just as much therapeutic value of its ‘straight-edged’ counterpart.

Providers use it for a whole slew of medical and mental health related issues like nausea, PTSD, asthma and glaucoma. Some use it to stimulate appetite, or a natural sleep aid — and that’s just for starters.

Scientists at Scripps Research Center in San Diego suggest that THC can potentially prevent Alzheimer’s-related dementia. THC is typically ingested via vaping & smoking or orally by means of caps, tinctures or edibles.

Whether these elements are on a solo mission or acting as an ensemble, the healing benefits of marijuana are astounding — and it appears as though scientists are just scratching the surface.

Dig this video illustrating how THC & CBD effects our grey matter:

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