Many people consider CBD and THC in the same light, except that CBD doesn’t make you feel ‘high’. This is a gross oversimplification, which we will go into later. At the same time, anecdotal and research-based evidence suggests that CBD can negate certain psychotropic effects of THC. The relationship between humans and cannabis is much more complicated than any on/off switch. If you’re curious about altering your THC experience, or concerned about “blowing it”, read on!
THC, the more noticeable (to most people) compound in cannabis, makes you high. Positive mental effects include stress-relief, creativity, and sedation, all of which are largely based on the cannabis strain. THC binds to neurochemical receptors in the brain, especially the CB1 receptor. CBD also binds to this receptor, although at a different location. This modulates the structure of the receptor, making THC consumed afterward less likely to find its ‘matching’ receptor. This is the “CBD makes you less high” argument.
However, CBD consumption has also been known to inhibit THC metabolization, which means the THC in your system takes longer to consume. THC and other cannabinoids also bind to many neuroreceptors other than CB1. The effects of combining THC and CBD are much more accurately considered as ‘altered’ than ‘negated’.
Cannabis as a Whole
Cannabinoids are the compounds found in cannabis plants and their extracts. Cannabis plants and their extracts contain more than 100 of these chemicals, many of which possess well-documented and varied effects on human consumption.
A major discussion on the effects of various CBD and THC products is concerned with their extraction methods. Some products provide ‘natural’ CBD, obtained through cultivation that focuses on boosting the plant’s CBD content, and by a less intrusive chemical extraction process.
Synthetic cannabis products are mostly ‘isolates’; the process of making or extracting them strips the oil of its multitudinous other compounds. Terpenes and the other cannabinoids are left behind. These types of tinctures are generally the focus of most clinical studies.
As recognition of the ‘entourage effect’ takes hold, many consumers are taking to enhancing their synthetic THC or CBD oils with terpene-based cannabis concentrates. Natural extracts like those you can buy online from True Blue Terpenes, can add balance, flavor, and desired effects to your CBD extract.
Even a cursory understanding of cannabis reveals that most anecdotal (and increasingly clinical) evidence points to the synergetic benefits of many of these compounds. Terpenes, especially, are suggested as one of the primary beneficial components of cannabis, yet many consumers and researchers continue to experiment with bland CBD isolate. Trichomes, the haven of cannabis compounds, are estimated to be composed of about ten percent of terpenes.
Terpenes are found throughout the floral kingdom and are increasingly being linked to many health benefits. The most common cannabis terpenes are myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, pinene, and linalool. A brief list of proposed beneficial effects of these five terpenes includes: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedative, anti-bacterial, anti-depressive, anti-oxidant, and anxiolytic. Some respiratory ailments are also documented as treatable with medications that include pinene.
Incentives to Test it Yourself
The increase of public interest in CBD has been complemented by volumes of new clinical research. These range from the treatment of various mental and physiological conditions as well as less noticeable bodily issues.
A 2015 NIH study found conclusive evidence that CBD can treat some anxiety disorders brought on by underlying conditions such as PTSD and OCD. Additional studies have investigated its effects on movement and pain disorders.