Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Self Help Community › Forums › Health › THC vs CBD: What’s What?
jaylin31Participant@jaylinJune 3, 2019 at 5:26 am #3083
Marijuana, cannabis, hemp, weed, name it whatever; these green leaves are becoming more and more popular. Not so long ago, the plant’s awful reputation was a result of all kinds of myths surrounding it- bad for brain, addictive, a bad drug… However, nowadays the usage and benefits of this plant are recognized and acclaimed. With more and more researches and experiments taking place, the perception of what the cannabis plant really is, is slowly shifting. Actually, it turns out to be quite a magical plant- it can be used for production of oils, beauty skin care products, beverages, gummies, paper as well as for smoking- and at the same time is natural.
There is a great confusion of how its active ingredients affect our bodies and minds. Every human being is different in its own way and might respond differently to substances. The two “crown” molecules in the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. The main difference between these two is: THC gets you “high”, CBD does not. So what is the real truth behind this magical plant? Keep on reading to find out.
Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis Molecules<
When research was done on cannabis and its effects, it was discovered that in our body there is a complex system responding to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that was named endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system consists of cannabinoid receptors, cannabis like chemicals- endogenous cannabinoids and enzymes that control the production and degradation of the endocannabinoids.
The cannabinoids found in the plant are called EXOGENOUS cannabinoids and the ones that are synthesized in our body are called ENDOGENOUS cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). Our body has the ability to produce endocannabinoids of which 2- AG and anandamide are studied the most. These natural chemicals activate the cannabinoids receptors that are found everywhere in our body- CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor. Therefore, the endocannabinoid system is involved in many physiological functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, immune system, mood, mental health, diseases, cell growth.
How do the endogenous cannabinoids THC and CBD affect our endocannabinoid system? Both of them are psychoactive, meaning both have an effect on our brain; however THC is also intoxicating, causing the “high” sensation. Research has also shown that small doses of cannabinoids signal the body to produce more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors.
What is THC?
One of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is actually a lipid. THC binds to the CB1 receptor in our endocannabinoid system and activates it- if CB1 gets blocked by another substance, THC will not have the mind altering effect. The THC intoxication affects us on physiological level. Our brain is affected mostly in the prefrontal cortex, a region in the brain where the decision- making and executive function centers are found.
Different types of cannabis offer different amount and version of cannabinoids- the cultivation, extraction and preparation all affect the final result of the quality and the amount of THC concentration.
How can we intake THC and what are the Effects?
THC is activated with heating, therefore it can be ingested by smoking or heated together with a career oil such as butter or coconut oil. The oil can be used to prepare edibles (edible is any food or drink that contains cannabis such as brownies, crackers, cookies). However, when smoking, the effect is immediate but it lasts for a short period of time. On the other hand, THC edibles are much more potent and the influence and its effects are felt hours after ingestion. It is much easier to control the dosage by smoking rather than risking an overdose by an uncontrolled dosage. What’s interesting is that there is no lethal dose of THC meaning you cannot die from overdose. However, too much THC can result in paranoia.
If you have two people in the same environment with different characteristics and internal states, their response to THC might be completely different. The response depends on the mood and expectations of the user, the quantity and quality of the strain and the interaction with other drugs in the body. It can have lots of different effects- it is not just the hippie painted picture of “let’s get high and chill”. It can act as intensifier of the state you are in, it can relax you, relieve pain, make you euphoric or it can cause anxiety and panic.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It has the same chemical formula as THC but their atoms are arranged differently, thus resulting in different interaction with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body and brain. Therefore, the effect that CBD has on our bodies is different than the THC.
Both CBD and THC bind to CB2 receptor whereas the story with CB1 receptor is slightly different. THC binds directly with CB1 but CBD does not. Its presence in some cases, can lower the effect of THC, neutralizing the psychoactive effects. CBD does not cause altered state of consciousness and does not have an effect on your cognitive abilities, making it more suitable for consumption on daily bases, while providing a lot of benefits.
So what are these benefits?
Researches have shown that CBD is useful in pain treatment, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, anxiety, Parkinson’s. CBD is extracted in the form of oil and consumed as such. CBD vape oils are the most potent option for an immediate effect.
There are no harmful side effects known, nor that in higher concentrations can be detrimental for our health, making it a very friendly option for our body. CBD increases anandamide levels in the body- the anandamide being one of the endocannabinoids. In medical use for pain relief CBD is preferred over THC primary because of the absence of the “high” sensation. However, in pain treatments, combining both CBD and THC might be the best option.
- This topic was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by jaylin31.
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