Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two types of cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Although both substances interact with a body’s cannabinoid receptors, their effects are extremely different.
What is THC?
THC is the main psychoactive component of the marijuana plant and is the primary agent responsible for creating the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use. How? It imitates the effects of a neurotransmitter called anandamide which helps humans regulate sleep and eating habits and the perception of pain. The effects of THC may include:
-Altered sense of sight, smell and hearing
What is CBD?
Though CBD has the same chemical formula as THC, the atoms are arranged differently. This slight variance is what prevents CBD from having the psychoactive effect THC has. For this reason, and because it is plentiful in nature, CBD is favored as a medical treatment over THC.
The effects of CBD may include:
-Reduction of psychotic symptoms
-Relief from convulsions
What do THC and CBD treat?
Studies indicate that THC and CBD may be able to help treat the symptoms of:
–Chemotherapy: Reduces nausea and vomiting while increasing appetite
–Multiple Sclerosis: Improves spasticity and bladder function and reduces pain
–Glaucoma: Reduces pressure inside eye
–AIDS: Stimulates appetite
–Spinal Injury: Lessens tremors
–Schizophrenia: Reduces psychotic symptoms
–Social anxiety disorder: Lowers anxiety
–Depression: Reduces overall symptoms
THC is classified as an illegal drug with cognitive side effects. These side effects include impaired thinking, decreased reaction time and reduced control over impulses. Chronic use of THC may also be associated with heart and brain abnormalities. Not only does CBD lack the harmful cognitive effects of THC, it also counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC.
Due to the lower health risks of CBD – formulations that have ratios of CBD: THC are preferred to formulations that have higher ratios of THC:CBD and formulations of marijuana with high CBD make for better candidates to try first as a medical application than strains with higher amounts of THC.