CBD and THC are the two primary cannabinoids, of the over 113, identified in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids are found in both the cannabis and hemp plant. Hemp has a high concentration of CBD and a low concentration of THC (less than 0.3%). Cannabis (marijuana) has a higher concentration of THC, which varies by strain, however, has an average of around 12%. The key difference of CBD and THC is that THC is psychoactive, meaning it creates a ‘high’ or euphoria. CBD oil is non-psychoactive, and therefore maintains a mostly legal status in the US and other countries, unlike cannabis with a high THC concentration.
THC VS CBD Benefits
There are many benefits that CBD and THC share. The fact that THC is psychoactive and remains federally illegal, although currently medicinally legal in many states and countries, limits both its availability and impedes extensive research. CBD, alternatively, has relatively extensive research with respect to a vast number of its medicinal properties. When you look at the list of medicinal properties of each of these cannabinoids, there are a few that are exclusive to each, in terms of help with various conditions and some that are shared.
CBD is used to help with the following conditions:
THC is used to help with conditions such as:
* Muscle Spasticity
How THC and CBD Work in the Body
Both THC and CBD have their effects in the body due to their activity on the receptors on the cells of the Endocannabinoid System. THC binds well with the CB1 receptors, concentrated in the nervous system and the brain, while CBD does not. To illustrate, THC molecules are shaped particularly in a way to make the connection- like a plug in a socket. When the connection occurs, THC stimulates the CB1 receptors.
CBD, instead, is an ‘antagonist’ of CB1 receptors, meaning it is not a good fit. In fact, it actually suppresses the CB1-activating properties of THC. In simple terms, CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. That means if you have a cannabis strain that has say, 22% THC, you will have a strong psychoactive effect. However, for instance, if that cannabis strain also has 8% CBD, the psychoactive effect will be reduced, which minimizes feelings of paranoia, often associated with high levels of THC.
CBD does not fit exactly into either CB1 or CB2 receptors. CBD actually stimulates both receptors and causes a reaction without binding directly, which creates changes in the cells that contain them. CBD also binds to a protein-receptor couple, TRPV-1, responsible for regulating pain, inflammation and body temperature.
Although CBD and THC play different roles, in some cases, in the way in which they interact with the Endocannabinoid System, they both have powerful medicinal properties. With continuing scientific research, as well as anecdotal evidence, it is becoming more evident every day that the medicinal benefits of these cannabinoids far exceed our previous knowledge.
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