By: Janie Greenthumb
Cannabis has many benefits that scientists are just starting to discover. There is a complex, wonderous interaction of molecules that happens between cannabis and our bodies. Here is a quick science lesson:
Cannabis has two species, marijuana and hemp. There are cannabinoids in each species called phytocannabinoids that interact with our own endocannabinoid system and scientists are just beginning to explore this system. We have cannabinoids that are naturally produced in our bodies called anandamide and 2-AG. The most prolific phytocannabinoids that naturally occur in cannabis are: THC in marijuana and CBD in hemp.
Here are the benefits of THC and CBD
THC – tetrahydrocannabinol
This is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Strains with high THC are very helpful because they cause an intense euphoric feeling. Many of our patients find it effective for alleviating pain, nausea, increasing appetite, relieving insomnia, and reducing muscle spasticity. If you are okay to inhale smoke/vape and a strong odor is acceptable then a good way to consume is with a joint or vape pen. You will feel the effects immediately with this method. If you can’t smoke/vape then tincture is a great way to consume with about a 15 min. wait time for onset of effects. Edibles are a much longer lasting effect that can have much more potency because of the conversion of THC in the liver. A good rule of thumb is to start with a low dose and slowly ingest more as needed.
CBD – cannabidiol
This is the most medicinally beneficial cannabinoid in cannabis. It has no psychoactive effects so there is no “high”. There are many potential health benefits such as anxiety, inflammation, migraines, pain and mental disorders. The strongest scientific evidence for CBD is how effective it is in helping childhood epilepsy disorders such as Lennox-Gaustat syndrome and Dravet’s syndrome. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases stop them altogether. Consuming CBD comes in many forms. The most common is tinctures but you can also consume capsules, edibles, and oils. Other available options are dabbing with concentrates, inhalation with vape pens, or smoking high CBD marijuana strains. These have a more immediate effect than ingesting it. Topicals are a very effective way to relieve symptoms such as localized pain and inflammation.
How THC and CBD benefit together
THC and CBD compliment each other well and along with terpenes they can cause what is known as “the entourage effect”. Scientists theorize that if taken together, it will enhance the effects more than when taken alone. Research says this may be beneficial to fungal infections, cancer, epilepsy, inflammation and can have neuro-protective properties. An great example of this is RSO, or “Rick Simpson Oil”.
There is many paths to navigate through cannabis from medical benefits to the best way to consume it. Our friendly, knowledgeable Budtenders can help guide you through the all the options and tailor your experience to what you need. We also have medical marijuana consultants on staff by appointment, schedule a free consultation today!
Never been to a dispensary before? Check out our Budeez guide for beginners:
THC or CBD? Leave a comment below!