You might be asking yourself, “Why is this app for medical marijuana talking about CBD?” That’s a fair question, but please hold your judgment until you hear us out! CBD and THC are both popular in their own right, yet so few people are aware that the two cannabinoids can be used together to create a better, more beneficial experience! In fact, in a 2019 study conducted by Australian researchers, a majority of participants reported that using CBD in conjunction with THC enhanced their high.
How CBD and THC Work Together
Before we jump into the reasons you should consider adding CBD to your MMJ routine, let’s dive into how CBD and THC interact with one another in the body.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, and THC, a.k.a. tetrahydrocannabinol, are both cannabinoids that naturally bind and interact with endocannabinoid receptors, more specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors, in the human body. The CB1 receptor is where the CBD plus THC magic happens, as it’s the receptor that creates the psychoactive effects you feel when you use cannabis.
In an article featured in WIRED, author Matt Simon writes that, “THC is an agonist that fits nicely into CB1, activating it.” He goes on to quote Adie Wilson Poe, a researcher studying cannabis for pain management at Washington University who studies cannabis for pain management, who states, “CBD can’t do that at the CB1, but it does sort of sit in the pocket. It can compete with THC for the spot in the receptor.”
Essentially, Wilson-Poe and Simon are saying that CBD will bind to receptors, taking up space on receptors that would otherwise be occupied and activated by THC. At first glance, this may seem like a bad thing—if CBD is inhibiting THC from binding to CB1 receptors, it must be diminishing its effects, right? The answer to that is yes.. and no.
Yes, CBD will inhibit or minimize some effects of THC, but studies show that it usually minimizes only the “negative” effects of the substance, including paranoia, the munchies, and anxiety. What’s more, combining a high amount of CBD with a smaller amount of THC is a fantastic option for those who don’t necessarily enjoy the psychoactive experience cannabis can induce.
Here are three more reasons to integrate CBD into your MMJ routine:
Enhances High Through the ‘Entourage Effect”
Coined by famed cannabis researcher, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, in 1988, the term ‘Entourage Effect’ refers to the use of CBD and THC synergistically for a superior cannabis experience. With over 50 years of research under his belt, Dr. Mechoulam came to realize that cannabis users reported enhanced effects when they used a variety of cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.
Furthering the researcher’s findings, the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management published a study that found patients who were given both CBD and THC reported better sleep and enhanced pain relief than those who used THC alone or placebos. Other studies, though animal-based, have also shown that the combination of the two popular cannabinoids resulted in a superior experience.
Reverses Possible THC-Related Anxiety
As mentioned above, using CBD alongside THC can decrease any potential anxiety that consuming cannabis may cause. This is due to how cannabinoids like CBD interact with the receptors in our body. Endocannabinoid receptors are located all over the body and, while the name may suggest otherwise, they interact with a number of different compounds found in our system.
For example, individuals with PTSD produce low levels of anandamide, which is a naturally occurring endocannabinoid in our bodies that is incredibly similar to THC. MMJ patients with PTSD, then, will find that the THC helps to mimic the effect of anandamide and correct the deficiency.
This is important when discussing how CBD can help protect individuals from THC-induced anxiety. Cannabidiol has been shown to reduce or, more accurately, modulate too much cannabinoid activity in the brain. Therefore, if you consume too much or find that you are especially sensitive to THC, using CBD can help calm down overstimulation caused by cannabis.
Reduces the Psychoactive Experience
Many, often uninformed, individuals believe that those who use cannabis medicinally only do so because of the psychoactive experience it gives. This is false. Many patients enrolled in medical marijuana programs around the country use the substance solely for the relief it provides them.
A majority of these patients are older individuals who are not your typical “stoners” and may not enjoy feeling high or disoriented from cannabis. Other patients use medical marijuana to help alleviate painful symptoms related to their conditions, but still have to clock into work day after day and are unable, or unwilling, to feel disoriented and high all day.
For these patients, using CBD alongside their medical marijuana can help them cut down the psychoactive effects of THC. Strains higher in CBD than THC will provide relief and a clear-headed effect.
Finding the Right CBD:THC Ratio
1:1 CBD to THC
Through many studies, researchers and cannabis connoisseurs alike have concluded that the best ratio of CBD to THC is 1:1, a perfect balance. With this ratio, patients will still experience some psychoactive effects of the THC, but reduce their risk of developing cannabis-induced paranoia and anxiety.
2:1 CBD to THC
However, if you’re looking to minimize the psychoactive effects of THC, it is recommended that you use a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC. Patients using this ratio will still experience a small high, but still feel lucid. This ratio is also recommended for boosting creativity!
8:1 CBD to THC
Want to experience the medicinal benefits of THC without feeling all that high? Try to utilize an 8:1 ratio of CBD to THC. This will impart a barely noticeable high while providing light relief.
20:1 CBD to THC
Recommended for first-time cannabis users, a 20:1 ratio will not produce any psychoactive effects, but will still result in a slight entourage effect, ensuring that the therapeutic properties of both THC and CBD are working in tandem.