CBD and THC are naturally occurring cannabinoids which arise in different densities in every marijuana plant. Cannabis contains over 113 cannabinoids which interact with the brain and body in a range of different ways.
On its own, CBD is non-psychoactive and helps support wellness on many levels. Used together, the healing properties are even more profound. Here’s a concise but comprehensive comparison of CBD vs. THC.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is derived from all cannabis products including hemp. It is also the reason that CBD is available in some areas where marijuana is prohibited. There is no psychoactive component to CBD. CBD binds with endocannabinoid receptors dispersed throughout our nervous system but concentrated in the spleen. Pain and inflammation are reduced when taking CBD through the mechanism in which it blocks pain receptors in the brain.
When ingesting or smoking CBD and THC, the higher the CBD content the more body-focused the altered state thanks to the calming effect it has on the entire body. CBD is also neuroprotective and it can stop cancer from spreading as well as shrink tumors, but more on this later. Here are the main effects of CBD in a nutshell:
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol gives cannabis it's “high.” The psychoactive effects of cannabis are caused by THC. THC binds with endocannabinoid receptors which are found in various areas of the body but are concentrated in the brain. Even though THC has a definite medical benefit, recreational consumers are after the highest THC concentration possible to reach the highest elevation of euphoria and cognitive stimulation.
Pleasurable psychoactive effects of THC include decreased anxiety and lowered inhibition, increased self-confidence, sociability and awareness, and various sought-after effects on memory, cognitive function, and numerous motor skills.
Here’s a wrap-up of the main effects of THC:
The Medical Effects of CBD vs. THC
Both compounds have a profound range of medicinal effects. The before-listed qualities of each only begin to touch on the thousands of individual conditions and their symptoms which cannabis can help, heal or cure. Here’s a closer look at the main functions and benefits of both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol.
THC – Pain suppression and immunoregulation
The endocannabinoid system plays a core role in immunoregulation and is affected the most by THC. THC, therefore, has 20 times the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone. Science accepts the profound analgesic and anti-hyperalgesic effect and role in reducing pain. CB1, expressed in the brain, and CB2, in its largest concentration in the body, act upon the immune cell response affected by the administration of THC.
T-cells and dendritic cells are regulated by the way that cannabinoids balance cytokine and chemokine production. This drastically lowers the amount of inflammation in the body and assists recovery from immune-mediation injuries to the organs. This anti-inflammatory regulation via the body’s immune function is the main factor behind THC’s ability to help with physical pain and the main reason that THC is a preferred means of treatment for autoimmune disorders.
CBD – Neural pain modulation and lowered inflammation
Cannabinoids help manage pain in an entirely different way to THC. All injured tissue results in neural and nonneural cells producing endocannabinoids. These modulate pain signals by changing how sensitive you are to inflammation. This is done mainly through the release of CB1 and CB2 receptors which then regulate neuroimmune reactions.
Your endocannabinoid system also mediates pain arising from stress, as well as relieving inflammation and hyperalgesia. Therefore, long-term use of CBD serves to protect the body from diseases and lowers pain by mediating inflammation, while also proving invaluable to the treatment of severe pain. Hyperalgesia occurs through long-term opiate use and causes the patient to experience a higher degree of sensitivity to certain sensations of pain.
CBD + THC
Other than the way that CBD and THC act together to produce desirable cognitive and health effects, both help for a range of other conditions. THC and CBD help for sleep disorders by calming the mind and body while lowering anxiety. Depression, restlessness and an overactive nervous system can account for extremes in poor sleep experienced. A combination of CBD and THC also boosts the painkilling properties of cannabis-based extracts.
Up to 30% more pain reduction can be expected when using THC and CBD together. CBD also mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC meaning that when you find a dose which suits you best you’ll have all of the benefits with little to no disturbance to your cognitive function. THC is however prohibited in many states of the US, and around the world.