Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC are chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant. Cannabis contains more than 100 different cannabinoids, of which THC and cannabidiol are two of the best known. All cannabinoids interact with the human body through its endocannabinoid system which is primarily in the brain and nervous system, serving to regulate many functions including mood, inflammation and pain.
For many years, it has been known that THC is the compound which causes people who use marijuana to experience a high, however little has been understand until recently about the effects that CBD can have on the body. It has recently been demonstrated that cannabidiol actually balances the effect of THC on the body, and also provides a number of medical benefits, working to relieve several symptoms.
A Psychological High
THC is known for getting you “high”, however cannabidiol has no psychoactive properties. While THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the body, changing the way in which the brain functions, CBD does not bind to the same receptors and therefore produces none of the same psychoactive effects. It does, however, affect other elements of the mind and body’s physiology. CBD has been shown in research to function as an antipsychotic and antidepressant due to the way it interacts with brain receptors.
Both CBD and THC interact differently with the body. While THC activates the CB2 and CB1 receptors, cannabidiol has a more indirect effect on the body. THC stimulates the body to be more relaxed, more tired and more hungry. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, interacts indirectly with the CB2 and CB1 receptors, increasing the amount of endocannabinoids produced naturally by the body itself by inhibiting the enzymes which break them down.
Medical Use Of THC And CBD
Both CBD and THC have medical uses and benefits. THC can be used for pain relief and relaxation while cannabidiol can treat epilepsy, psychosis and anxiety. Some examples of conditions treated by each compound include:
- Drowsiness and sleep promotion
- Appetite stimulation
- Pain relief
- Muscle relaxing
Most regions and countries have strict legislation regarding the use of THC, however cannabidiol has a more unclear legal status. cannabidiol derived from cannabis is still classified as an illegal drug, however when it is derived from industrial hemp, it can legally be sold and imported. Although some regions and countries have legalised the use of THC for both recreational and medicinal purposes, as yet, whether or not it can be used depends on where you live.