As cannabis becomes more and more accepted, people are starting to wonder about the different compounds in the plant and what their effects are. Two of the most popular compounds are THC and CBD, which have many different benefits. But do those benefits mean they are interchangeable?
Much debate has been had over the similarities and differences between THC and CBD. Some people swear by the benefits of THC, while others find CBD more beneficial. So, what are the real benefits of these cannabinoids? And are they that different? Let’s take a closer look at THC vs CBD.
What is THC?
The first place to begin is by defining what exactly THC is. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol and formally known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the 113 known cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant and is the most active.
The main difference between THC and CBD is the fact that THC has intoxicating effects. This is most likely because THC can mimic something called anandamide. Anandamide binds itself to CB1 receptors in the brain, which help to improve your mood. Since THC can mimic anandamide, it binds tightly to the CB1 receptors and prevents other neurotransmitters from being released, which results in intense feelings of euphoria.
What is CBD?
To better understand the difference between the two, you need to understand what CBD is. CBD, or cannabidiol, is another cannabinoid of the cannabis plant and is the second most active, accounting for around 40% of the extract from cannabis.
As mentioned above, CBD doesn’t have the same intoxicating effect as THC, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t psychoactive. Many sites claim CBD to be non-psychoactive, however, the definition of psychoactive essentially means anything that changes how the brain works or has effects on feelings, thoughts, awareness, mood, or behavior. In terms of how it works, it also attaches itself to CB1 receptors, but not as tightly as THC, which allows it to modulate the ability of the receptors to send signals. It also increases the natural levels of anandamide in the body, which helps to improve your mood without leading to feeling intoxicated.
How to Consume Both
The big question that many people have these days is “how can CBD be consumed?”, or “how can THC be consumed?”. The good news is that you can use many of the same consumption methods to consume both, and they’re all available at online head shops like Grasscity. For example, you can use pod-based vaporizers to consume THC concentrate, as well as CBD vape juice. You can also consume THC and CBD in the form of edibles, which provides the longest duration of effects of all consumption methods. Both THC and CBD can be consumed using tinctures, which are glass vials containing the oil which is dropped under the tongue. There are also dry herb vaporizers that can be used to consume cannabis or hemp flower.
Benefits of THC
In terms of the benefits that can be received from THC, there are quite a few. Some include relief from nausea and pain. Many people also report decreased muscle spasticity and symptoms of anxiety and depression. THC has also been recommended to those who are suffering from a decreased appetite, as well as glaucoma.
Benefits of CBD
When it comes to the benefits that could be received from CBD, they are quite similar to those that can be received from THC. CBD has been used to provide relief from pain, inflammation, and nausea. Many people use it to treat migraines, and medication has been made from CBD to reduce the frequency of seizures. There are studies underway to understand the effects of CBD oil when treating anxiety and depression, as well as other mental disorders.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, regardless of whether you use CBD or THC, the benefits seem to be similar, although more research and studies will need to be conducted to determine which provides stronger benefits.
However, research does indicate that it is more beneficial to consume both since they seem to work in tandem with each other. This can be done by consuming cannabis, but more specifically, medical cannabis. Always speak to your healthcare provider before conducting any sort of self-medicating routine, or when introducing anything new into your treatment list.