Cannabis is loaded with more than 85 active cannabinoids that have different effects on the human body. The two most common components are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Read on to find out how the two differs, and how you can maximize the medicinal benefits of cannabis by choosing the right compound.
Getting High (or Not)
THC, or the psychoactive compound in marijuana, has an unshakable reputation for getting people high. It’s a widely popular buzzword that gets tossed around frequently by musicians, industry professionals and cannabis enthusiasts. When it comes to average volume, THC trumps CBD greatly, with exceptional THC strains reaching 20 percent potency, while strains with four percent CBD are considered to be high. If you’ve ever felt anxious or paranoid from smoking too much weed, blame THC. The compound is responsible for generating mind-altering (through the release of dopamine) and sleep-inducing side effects, which is why recreational users are obsessed with finding THC-potent strains.
Scientists have only discovered CBD recently. At an atomic level, the compound is a structural isomer of THC. Basically, this means that they are equipped with the same chemical composition, but their atomic arrangements differ slightly (THC supports a closed ring, while CBD comes with an open ring). Compared to THC, CBD can’t get you high. Furthermore, it has the ability to counteract anxiety that comes with THC. The secondary compound may also keep you awake and mildly alert, so strains with high levels of CBD may not be effective for night caps.
“While it was originally believed that THC is a breakdown product of CBD, it is now known that both THC and CBD are actually metabolites of their decarboxylated acidic forms, THCa and CBDa. These acidic precursors are decarboxylated (essentially dried) by heat or extraction to produce THC and CBD; only then do they become psychoactive,” explained Zach Reichard from Medical Jane.
In the last few decades, scientist have uncovered numerous medicinal benefits associated with CBD. It comes with anti-cancer, anti-seizure and pain-relieving properties; and since it won’t get you high as a kite, children can take it safely at prescribed doses. Researchers found CBD to be effective in treating Crohn’s disease, PTSD, multiple sclerosis and Dravet’s Syndrome (a crippling form of epilepsy that targets children).
There are several CBD-potent cannabis strains available in the market today, such as Charlotte’s Web and Sour Tsunami. However, most people who rely on the compound for its medicinal properties ingest it through a liquid medium. An example of a product that provides regulated doses of CBD in liquid form is Elixinol’s hemp oil tinctures. Ranging from 100mg to 3,600mg options, the medicine is composed of organic oil extract from specially bred industrial hemp plants. The brand also offers a selection of CBD variants, in the form of capsules, oral applicators and liposomes.
“Through the Industrial Hemp used to produce Elixinol is a special variety of Cannabis Sativa (a relative of Marijuana) it does not contain the psychoactive properties of THC as Marijuana does and as such is not limited to serving sizes of 10-30mg which makes Industrial Hemp a much more practical source of Cannabinoids,” said the company on its website.
For more CBD education and exploration check out Elixinol.com.