Opposites Or Nah? THC and CBD in Cannabis
Got an edible in your left hand and tightly rolled flowers in your right? How about CBD infused ointment in your medicine cabinet and a THC potent e-vape in the cupboard below the sink? If you consume cannabis or are mildly apart of the culture you’ll hear about the polar opposites, THC and CBD. Are THC and CBD really opposites, or nah? Let’s explore these two substances and determine if they should be seen as mutually exclusive. Could this be dichotomy correct and could we have one without the other?
To understand THC and CBD we must grasp the concept of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids are compounds which were discovered during the study of cannabis’ effect on humans. The compounds exist in three categories: as phytocannabinoids or the cannabinoids existing in the cannabis plant; as endocannabinoids or the cannabinoids naturally occurring within animals; and lastly synthetic cannabinoids, those created in the laboratory. The endocannabinoid system is a communicative process in an organism that stimulates and mitigates functions in a cell. The two dominate cannabinoids occuring in cannabis are THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or cannabidiol. These cannabinoids have been studied and the effects many consumers have anecdoted have gained solid research evidence.
THC is the Michael Jordan of all categories of cannabinoids. Why? The obvious reason being its potency in a given sample, which yields attractive psycho-physiological effects. The activation of appetite, delay of sensory perception, forgetfulness and euphoria are some of the tricks THC plays, when it mimics the endocannabinoid anandamide. CBD is the runner up or Scottie Pippen of cannabinoids. It is also the cannabinoid of choice for ailments galore. Why is this the case? The science suggests that when CBD triggers the body’s cannabinoid receptors, many conditions like inflammation and anxiety are mitigated. CBD affects the brain and body by artificially triggering cells for a eventual health effect.
The growing science informs us of the differing bodily effects of CBD and THC. If we look at some phenomena, such as the popular euphoric ‘high’, the two cannabinoids are indeed opposites. The effects of CBD on the brain do not induce the euphoric ‘high’ that THC is loved for. In other respects, the reported dichotomy is murky. Regarding anxiety, CBD is widely seen as a cure, while THC is seen to induce or combat anxiety, depending on the particular user. Comparisons between the two should therefore be nuanced. Indeed, THC and CBD could isolated from each other, for healing properties or specialization in a product. The two could also be present together, weighted in one direction or balanced. Opposites or nah, scientists and consumers are considering the two cannabinoids as best consumed in unison.
This article was written with the following references: