What’s up my canna-curious family! Welcome back to CBD: The Drip! This week’s article is based around a startling statistic I saw posted by BDS Analytics, stating that over 60% of American Adults do not understand the difference between CBD and THC. Within this report there was one line in particular that really stood out to me, “Legal cannabis is new, cannabis is not.” This is something I often forget, because I have been in the cannabis industry off and on for the last decade – does not mean everyone around me has. So although at first I found their statistic startling, I was then immediately given a reality check as I read that line. I realize not everyone is involved with the cannabis community, and most are just starting to become canna-curious. So regardless of where you are in your cannabis journey, it is my hope we can learn together and grow.
In this week’s drip we will be talking about THC & CBD, what they are and what they can do for you. Here are today’s topics;
- What is THC
- What is CBD
- Trying THC and/or CBD for the first time
THC and CBD are the most dominate cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, cheekily referred to as the power couple. Most may confuse these cannabinoids to be the same, which they aren’t – however they do go hand in hand and actually work better when used together. First let’s look at THC, or scientifically speaking: Tetrahydrocannabinol, this is perhaps the most known cannabinoid due to its “bad boy” profile of getting you stoned. But, this is not all that THC does, there is literally SO much more behind this cannabinoid. In fact, THC is the powerhouse healer when compared to CBD. Sounds crazy right? Everyone is going bananas over CBD, but in reality without THC the therapeutic benefits are minimal.
THC and CBD are found within the resin secreted by the cannabis plant, note there are many other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids also found with the resin. THC, or any other cannabinoid for that matter, is not something you can see with your naked eye. Cannabinoids are a molecular makeup of the plant’s compounds (this is why it is so important that all of your cannabis products are third party lab tested, which is a whole other topic for another day) so although you can’t really see them, you can feel them. Have you ever touched a cannabis plant? The resin is that stickiness left on your fingertips. That stickiness is the goodness of the plant – this is where you will find and extract your THC and CBD.
Now that you know where THC and CBD come from, let’s talk about what they do and how they do it.
What is THC
CBD is all the craze, but THC is all the power? Hmm that sounds weird, but its true. THC is a catalyst for CBD, amplifying its therapeutic benefits allowing its user to tap into the entourage effect, which the same will not hold true when using just CBD alone. Over the decades THC has received a bad rep, being known as the cannabinoid that gets you high or stoned – but for a minute let’s look past this, knowing THC is not the only cannabinoid to get you stoned. So what else does it do?
THC is a powerhouse when it comes to healing, with a laundry list of benefits like; chronic pain, liver disease, depression, anxiety, insomnia, regulate appetite, soothing nausea, inflammation, and in some cases cancer treatment.
How does it do all of this? THC has immediate effects on your body once consumed because of its ability to bind to your CB1 receptor. CB1 receptors are found throughout your brain within the portions responsible for short-term memory, learning, problem solving, and coordination. Normally, these receptors are activated by your naturally occurring endocannabinoids, but THC also has the ability to mimic your endocannabinoids by activating the neurons in your brain – telling your body how to function, allowing your brain to create new memories, while regulating your everyday experiences (mood, pleasure, pain, sleep, appetite).
So yes, THC will get you high, but there is also so, so, so much more it can do for your overall health and well-being. Now let’s talk about CBD.
What is CBD
Cannabidiol, aka CBD is the hottest supplement on the market for 2019 – all for good reason! CBD is labeled as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it will not get you high or stoned. It will produce euphoric feelings, providing more of a relaxed, body high, which makes it the perfect entry point for canna-curious readers. CBD is unique in its ability to make you feel your best, I say this because CBD does not have an overwhelming feeling of relief, but instead is more of a silent creeper – quietly seeping into your bloodstream, regulating your overall well-being and bringing you balance which in turn allows you to feel your best every day. CBD is not a magic pill that immediately fixes all your ailments, instead it slowly restores balance within, creating a foundation for your body to feel its best and operate like so. I overheard a woman once say, “CBD is not about what you feel, instead it’s about what you don’t feel”.
To give better context, here is another laundry list, but this time for CBD benefits; regulate your mood, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, migraines, muscle spasms, control and minimize seizures, addiction, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, Fibromyalgia, regulate and optimize sleep.
With such a long list of benefits, it is understandable how some could compare CBD to snake oil, (especially when thinking about how saturated the market is with crap products). So I want to provide some facts, the science behind the medicine.
CBD is the power tool in moderating your Endocannabinoid system (ECS). Earlier we talked about endocannabinoids and your CB receptors, both major components of your ECS. Your ECS is responsible for maintaining balance throughout your entire body, all major systems and organs are regulated by your ECS. Remember earlier we talked about THC binding to your CB receptors? Well CBD works differently within your ECS, rather than binding to CB receptors CBD actually modulates all receptors, not just cannabinoid (CB1 and CB2) receptors, but all receptors in your body and brain. CBD does this by enhancing, or inhibiting, the binding action of certain receptors and transmitting a signal to change the shape of the receptor. What this is saying is that CBD has the uncanny ability to change your body’s natural pathway to either amplify or inhibit your body’s natural response to best benefit you. For example, CBD reduces anxiety by changing the shape of the GABA-A receptor in a way that amplifies the natural calming effect of GABA. At the same time, CBD also has the ability to inhibit receptors, like being able to weaken CB1’s ability to bind with THC. This weakened affinity will lower THC’s psych activity, meaning people won’t feel as “high” when using CBD rich cannabis, in fact a CBD rich product with little THC will convey therapeutic benefits without any mind altering effects.
Trying THC and/or CBD for the first time
If you’ve made it this far, my guess is your very curious to try cannabis. You want to know what it’s like, without making the mistake of getting “too high”. To those canna-curious readers, my best advice to you is; start low, start slow, and understand no matter how high you get, you can always sleep it off. For those of you familiar with 1970’s brick weed, please know times have changed and even the worst gram on the shelf at your local dispensary is going to be 10x the potency. So again, pace yourself, begin with micro dosing, start with CBD rich products and give your body time to digest what you have consumed prior to taking more.
Starting with CBD rich products, limiting THC usage should make you most comfortable during the beginning stages of your cannabis journey. All of our CBD Oils have less than 1% THC, meaning you will not get high. You will feel relaxed, with an elevated body high but you will be of sound mind. For more information, you can check out my other article “CBD: Will I get high?” to have a better understanding of what to expect.
For those who have dabbled in cannabis products, i'm curious to hear what you have tried and what was your experience? To those who have not yet started, what is holding you back? Drop your responses in the comments below!