medical marijuana cbd vs thc

December 15, 2021 By admin Off

Both Piomelli and Weiner say that CBD has virtually no potential for abuse and very few side effects. However, long-term, high-dose use of CBD has not been studied enough to say definitively that it is safe, Piomelli says, adding that it could potentially affect liver function.

Hemp is higher in CBD, while any cannabis that has a THC concentration of greater than 0.3% is classed as marijuana, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“THC is really not a very dangerous substance when you look at it pharmacologically,” Piomelli says. For example, it would take a massive dose of THC to cause an overdose, so realistically it’s extremely unlikely that a person would overdose on THC, he says.

Although naturally, the substances might occur in equal amounts, humans have bred cannabis to be high in THC (marijuana) or high in CBD (hemp).

Despite the limitations of research about CBD, proponents claim that it can help with conditions ranging from insomnia to chronic pain. However, these purported benefits haven’t been proven, Weiner says.

The relationship between CBD and THC.

The root of the distinction comes down to a simple fact, Piomelli says: “THC is intoxicating and produces the high, stoned feeling associated with marijuana [when consumed in toxic amounts]. CBD is not intoxicating. It’s not psychotropic. It doesn’t have any of the strong mental effects that THC has.”

CBD can be taken as a tincture, gummy, or by other means, but is not generally smoked, which THC often is. Since CBD is a legal substance, its production and dosage are not regulated.

The differing amounts of CBD and THC, as well as the concentration of each compound, explain the claimed variations in different strains of CBD and THC, Piomelli says.

THC, the abbreviation for the compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive chemical unique to the cannabis plant. When a person ingests THC — which can be done by smoking cannabis or eating products containing THC — THC activates the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

“In states that have both recreational and medicinal programs, the difference between the two generally only extends to the amount that can be purchased at one time, and how high the taxes are on the product,” he says. “The cart is very much before the horse right now in terms of the medical marijuana industry.”

With CBD no effect has been demonstrated on the neurotransmitter dopamine, however, THC has been shown to impact dopamine levels, which may lend to its psychoactive effects. CBD has no psychoactive effects, Piomelli says.

CBD and THC, the two main chemicals found in the cannabis plant, both have potential health benefits. However, research on both is extremely limited, since hemp (containing CBD) was federally illegal until 2018, and marijuana (containing THC) remains federally illegal.

Under federal law, marijuana and thus THC remains a schedule 1 substance with no accepted medical use. However, research indicates that THC also has medical benefits, which has led at least 35 states and Washington D.C. to legalize its medicinal use. Medical benefits include:

These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which affects many areas of the brain and body. Since cannabinoid receptors are so common and THC activates those, the effects of THC are wide-ranging, Piomelli says. Common effects of THC that often draw people to recreational use include:

However, there are concerns about the long-term use of THC, particularly during the teen years. For example, frequent THC use can increase mental health issues, especially in people already at risk. Pregnant and nursing moms should also avoid cannabis because the effect on fetuses and babies hasn’t been studied, Piomelli says.

What is THC?

Their effects are responsible for the recreational and possible medicinal use of the cannabis plant, says Daniele Piomelli, PhD, director of the University of California Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis, and professor of anatomy and neurobiology, biological chemistry, and pharmacology.

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. CBD is present in all cannabis plants but more plentiful in hemp, rather than marijuana. Hemp has been legal federally since 2018, as is CBD as long as it’s found in a product that contains less than 0.3% THC.

Although scientists do not differentiate between the strains, it makes sense that different concentrations would produce different effects, Piomelli says. For example, since THC and CBD have opposite effects on the cannabinoid receptors, marijuana with a greater amount of CBD could have fewer psychoactive effects than marijuana with a lower amount of CBD, since the CBD is essentially blocking some of the effects of THC.

The research on CBD is limited because for years researchers thought that it did not affect the body, according to Piomelli. However, there are potentially three scientifically recognized uses for CBD, he says. They are:

When THC is consumed in a therapeutic amount, no such intoxicating effect, such as the high, stoned feeling is experienced. Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC, and the effects of each, below.

Keeping track of the difference between CBD and THC can be tricky, especially since the science is inconclusive in many areas. Here’s a breakdown.

While research about many health impacts of cannabis — both positive and negative — is inconclusive or lacking, there are some important points to remember:

What is CBD?

Overall, THC is a safer compound than many other drugs like nicotine or opiates, Piomelli says.

Many states have legalized marijuana to treat conditions ranging from anxiety to glaucoma. However, it’s important to recognize that chemically, there is no distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, says Aaron Weiner, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and addictions specialist.

Piomelli, who has been researching cannabis for decades, says that the plant clearly has an effect on our bodies, and should not be taken lightly or without considering health impacts.

Although all cannabis contains some amount of both compounds, Piomelli says the amount of each dictates whether the cannabis plant is classified as hemp — legal in all 50 states — or marijuana. Marijuana is entirely illegal at the federal level, but legal for recreational use in 15 states and medical use in 35 states and Washington D.C.

CBD and THC are the two most common chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Although the plant contains more than 140 chemical compounds that are unique to cannabis, CBD and THC are most plentiful.

“The claims of therapeutic applications of both CBD and THC far outpace actual peer-reviewed research,” he says. “CBD is essentially an anti-inflammatory, and while it has shown promise in several areas related to inflammation reduction, most of its purported uses are unvalidated.”

“A lot of people are reassured that these are natural compounds, and believe that natural compounds can do no harm, but that is wrong,” he says. “This is a very ancient, very potent plant. Respect it.”

"Start low and go slow" is the term you'll hear from many doctors when it comes to medicinal THC. Because it's the psychoactive compound, it can cause feelings of euphoria, a head high, and in some patients, anxiety. "Everyone's reaction to THC is variable," says Dr. Solomon. "A tiny bit of THC for one patient won't make them feel anything, but another patient could have the same amount and have a psychoactive response."

"THC is commonly known and is helpful for pain relief, anxiety control, appetite stimulation, and insomnia," says Dr. Tishler. "However, we've learned that THC does not work alone. Many of those chemical [compounds in marijuana] work together to produce the desired results. This is called the entourage effect."

Keep in mind: Hemp oil doesn't necessarily mean CBD oil. When shopping online, it's important to know the difference. What's even more important is to know where the hemp was grown. Dr. Solomon warns that this is imperative because CBD is not currently regulated by the FDA. If the hemp from which the CBD is derived was grown overseas, you could be putting your body at risk.

Despite the higher CBD ratio, hemp plants don't typically yield tons of extractable CBD, so it takes a lot of hemp plants to create a CBD oil or tincture.

Because CBD is such a newcomer, there aren't set recommendations on how to use it: The dose varies based on the individual and the ailment, and doctors do not have a milligram-specific, universal dosing method for CBD in the way they do with classic prescription medication.

THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol)

A compound (phytocannabinoid) found in cannabis plants.

"People are looking to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, but don't want to experience high or psychoactive effect," says Dr. Solomon. He did mention that CBD can be more effective when used with THC (more on that later). But on its own, it touts bonafide healing properties. (Here's a full list of CBD's proven health benefits.)

Why is everyone so obsessed? In short, CBD is known to alleviate anxiety and inflammation without getting you high. And it's not addictive like some prescription anxiety medications can be.

Hands down, CBD is the most popular component of this herbal remedy. Why? Approachability. Because CBD doesn't have a psychoactive component, it appeals to a range of enthusiasts, including those who aren't trying to get high or who might have adverse reactions to THC (more on what that is, below). Not to mention, the World Health Organization reports that CBD has little to no negative side effects.

"Hemp is a bioaccumulator," he says. "People plant hemp to cleanse soil because it absorbs anything the soil has in it-toxins, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers. There is a lot of hemp that comes from overseas, and it may not be grown in a [safe or clean] way." American-grown hemp-especially from states that produce both medically and recreationally legal cannabis-tends to be safer because there are stricter standards, according to Consumer Reports.

A family (genus, if you want to get technical) of plants, comprising both marijuana plants and hemp plants, among others.

For example, CBD, though helpful on its own, works best with THC. Indeed, studies show the synergy of the compounds found in the entire plant deliver enhanced therapeutic effects versus when they're used solo. While CBD is often used as an isolated extract, THC is more frequently used for therapy in its whole flower state (and not extracted).

You'll often hear a doctor use the term cannabis in lieu of more casual terms like pot, weed, etc. Using the term cannabis also potentially creates a softer barrier to entry for those who have been a bit apprehensive when it comes to using marijuana or hemp as part of a wellness routine. Just know, when someone says cannabis, they could be referencing either hemp or marijuana. Keep reading for the difference between those.

Cannabis is one of the buzziest new wellness trends, and it's only gaining momentum. Once associated with bongs and hacky sacks, cannabis has made its way into mainstream natural medicine. And for good reason-cannabis has been proven to help with epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and more, while pre-clinical trials are also proving its efficacy with preventing the spread of cancer.

Cannabis (the umbrella term for marijuana or hemp)

He advises that when buying and using a hemp-derived product, to make sure the product has been "independently tested by a third-party lab," and to "find the COA-certificate of analysis-on the company website," to ensure you're consuming a clean, safe product.

And although WHO says there are no significant side effects, CBD could potentially cause dry mouth or impact blood pressure. It is also contraindicated with certain chemotherapy medications-so it's important to talk to your doctor before adding any kind of medication into your regimen, including natural, plant-based medication. (See: Your Natural Supplements Could Be Messing with Your Prescription Meds)

Stigmatized and outlawed for decades, marijuana receives a bad rap thanks to government efforts to crack down on its use. The truth is that the only potentially "negative" effect of consuming medicinal marijuana is the intoxication-but for some patients, that's a bonus. (Keep in mind: There aren't enough long-term studies on marijuana to know if there are negative effects from prolonged use.) In certain cases, the relaxing effects of THC in marijuana can alleviate anxiety as well.

Your primer on all things cannabis, including how to make the most of the therapeutic benefits (with or without the high).

If you're a CBD or THC rookie (and these acronyms are totally throwing you off), don't worry: We've got a primer. Here are the basics-no bong required.

Depending on the type of cannabinoid, it's either a chemical compound in a plant or a neurotransmitter in your body (part of the endocannabinoid system).

Marijuana (a high-THC variety of cannabis plant)

Specifically the cannabis sativa species; typically has high amounts of THC and moderate amounts of CBD, depending on the strain.

A compound (phytocannabinoid) found in cannabis plants, THC is known to treat a number of maladies-and to be exceptionally effective. And yes, this is the stuff that gets you high.

A couple things to keep in mind: "CBD is not a pain reliever," says Jordan Tishler, M.D., a cannabis specialist, Harvard-trained physician, and founder of InhaleMD.

Side note: CBD is found in marijuana, but they're not the same thing. If you're interested in using CBD on its own, it can come from either a marijuana plant or from a hemp plant (more on that, next).

The CBD compound can be put into oils and tinctures for sublingual (under-the-tongue) delivery, as well as in gummies, candies, and beverages for consumption. Looking for faster relief? Try vaporizing the oil. Some patients find that topical CBD products can provide anti-inflammatory relief for skin ailments (although there is no current research or reports to back up their success stories).

"A cannabis plant has over 100 components," says Perry Solomon, M.D., anesthesiologist, and chief medical officer of HelloMD. "The primary [components] that people talk about are the active cannabinoids in the plant, known as phytocannabinoids. The other cannabinoids are endocannabinoids, which exist in your body." Yes, you have a system in your body to interact with cannabis! "The phytocannabinoids you're used to hearing about are CBD and THC." Let's get to those!

There have been some studies that state otherwise, finding that CBD is effective in treating neuropathic pain (both studies were conducted with cancer patients, and CBD mitigated pain associated with chemotherapy). However, more studies need to be done to say definitively.