The Benefits of Using Both CBD and THC

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One of the comments we hear from people who have never tried CBD products is, “No thanks, I’ve got the good stuff (i.e. marijuana).” While marijuana, both medicinal and recreational has gained broader acceptance throughout individual states in the US, it is still classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug—the highest likelihood of abuse—and therefore, is illegal. When the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, it cleared the way for the production of hemp and its related products, including CBD. The benefits of CBD have been highly touted by both medical professionals and users alike with some seeing it as a legal alternative to the high-inducing pot plant. This mentality highlights the confusion between THC and CBD, which can both be beneficial to your body.

Let’s Talk Receptors

Your body is filled with receptors that can elicit a response from the food you eat to how much exercising you do. Additionally, you have an entire system in your body with receptors that respond to THC and CBD called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS has been recognized as a major neuromodulatory system whose main functions are to exert and maintain the body homeostasis. Within the ECS, there are two types of receptors called CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found throughout your body and in general, the CB1 receptors are found in the nervous system while the CB2 receptors are found in the immune system.

See chart below.

Blocking Effects

The CB1 receptors within the nervous system generally respond well to THC. This is why people commonly use THC for pain management. The side effect of this is of course the “high” or euphoria that comes with THC. In contrast to this, CBD has been shown to be an effective anti-psychotic and according to Adie Wilson-Poe from the Washington University (in St. Louis, MO), “We specifically see that CBD protects against the paranoia and anxiety and the racing heart that THC produces.”

Additionally, CBD may block THC’s effectiveness in other medical applications such as lowering eye pressure to treat glaucoma. CBD may also block other prescribed or OTC medication. We always advise to consult with your medical care provider before taking any CBD products.

The Entourage Effect

Aside from a handful of instances where THC and CBD have conflicting interests with the ECS, they actually work well together in a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect is the idea that the sum of all the organic compounds in the hemp plant are greater than the sum of its parts.

It is important to note that there are actually 60 cannabinoid compounds within the cannabis plant. We tend to focus on THC and CBD, because they are the most prevalent and researched. But it is important to note that other cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and CBC play an important role in the overall effectiveness of any hemp-based product. Additionally, there are other compounds like terpenes and flavonoids that may be beneficial for whole-body health.

A recent study of using whole-plant CBD versus purified (isolate) CBD shed a bit more light on the benefits of the entourage effect:

“There was a higher number of patients reporting improvement after using CBD-rich Cannabis extracts (318/447, 71%) than those treated with purified CBD (81/223, 36%), with valid statistical significance… The roots of this difference is likely due to synergistic effects of CBD with other phytocompounds (aka Entourage effect), but this remains to be confirmed in controlled clinical studies.”

While this study clearly shows the benefits of the entourage effect, there may be those who still don’t like the idea of ingesting THC. Rest assured that the Farm Bill only allows a maximum of .3% THC in any CBD product. This small amount allows your body to receive the benefits of THC and the entourage effect, but not the high. However, as we’ve stated in the past, be sure that whoever you’re buying your CBD from can show you their independent lab testing report so you can verify the ingredients.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Consult your care provider before taking any herbal supplements.

The statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Results from products may vary. These items are not intended to cure, treat or prevent any diseases.

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