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A Basic Introduction to the Cannabinoids: THC:CBD

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Cannabis is going mainstream fast, with the national legalization in Canada and the passing of Prop 64 in California there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the ancient plant. Although it’s been around far longer than the duration of our society, we’re in the infancy of understanding it’s true potential. Prohibition stunted researcher’s ability to study the plant, but as the globe begins to ease up on “Marijuana” it creates more opportunity for us to discover how we can best use it to improve our lives.

Along with the buzz comes a bit of falsity, confusion, and a lack of understanding, especially regarding the cannabinoid CBD as it’s trending across the country. There are at least 113 cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds secreted by the flower to protect itself, they’re similar in composition to the natural compounds our bodies make, called endocannabinoids – such as Anandamide, which THC mimics, and is known as “the bliss molecule.”

Each cannabinoid is different in composition causing it to interact with the receptors in uniquely individual ways. This is the reason for cannabis’s amazing ability to treat a wide range of ailments. It’s common for us to receive questions from people claiming they’ve heard a lot about CBD and the many benefits it has, so we thought it’d be a good idea to compare the two most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis (THC & CBD) and share them with you, because it’s possible you’re demonizing something that could actually benefit you.

What is THC?

For starters, let’s discuss Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – the cannabinoid most people think of when they consider consuming cannabis. This “phytocannabinoid” interacts with CB1 receptors located throughout the brain and central nervous system, inducing the psychoactive or intoxicated state of mind. The effects felt from THC are typically what people fear before trying it themselves, luckily, today’s canna-culture has developed low-thc ratios, including flower; which enable people to receive a therapeutic effect without the head high – providing access to the benefits without feeling impaired.  THC is commonly used to treat: pain, stress, insomnia, and acts as an appetite stimulant.

What about CBD?

Moving on to the lesser known cannabinoid making a lot of noise recently, Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound that has a plethora of medical benefits and generally accounts for more than 40% of the plants extract. “CBD is an alluring option for individuals seeking relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, spasms, and other off-putting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria;” you shouldn’t have to sacrifice energy and focus in order to feel good inside your body.

According to Project CBD, the scientific research, mostly sponsored by the US government, “underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders.”

How does THC & CBD interact with my body?

The way THC and other “cannabinoids” like CBD interact with the body are through the “endocannabinoid system,” which is a physiologic system located throughout the body, involved in regulating homeostasis; it influences the way we experience the world around us. Unlike THC which interacts with the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system working as an agonist – (activating the receptor its binding to), CBD has little binding affinity to either CB1 or CB2 receptors and instead acts as an antagonist – (it binds to a receptor but does not activate it, and can block the activity of other agonists), modulating several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. Because of this CBD can be used to counteract the “head high” of THC if it becomes too much, but keep in mind products containing both THC & CBD are associated with psychoactive effects, just at varying levels.

Broadly speaking what are the different type of ratios?

  1. THC - Dominant - High THC:Low CBD - Highly psychoactive
  2. Balanced - Equal parts THC:CBD - Mildly psychoactive
  3. CBD - Dominant - High CBD:Low THC - Non-psychoactive

What’s the best approach to receive maximum benefits?

There are both THC and CBD isolate products available, but studies show a synergistic effect between THC and CBD allowing the consumer to benefit from the “Entourage effect,” which provides the user with the full spectrum of therapeutic compounds cannabis has to offer, when paired together. If you’re seeking treatment for inflammation related issues a High CBD product is a great place to start, but if you’re looking for a pain remedy or sleeping aid it’s really important that some level of THC be included in the regime.

Start slow and dose low. We suggest taking personalized notes, so you can find what works best for you.  We have products for every user so If you’re new to cannabis we suggest a product with a balanced ratio, or one with a higher level of CBD so you can ease your way into the preferred treatment zone.

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