“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.
“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.”
What is CBD?
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 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.
CBD vs 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.
Although CBD in certain forms is legal in most states, the specifics of the legality of any THC or CBD product can vary from one state to the next. Several states have also approved the use of marijuana and THC for recreational purposes.
Some research suggests that the potential therapeutic effects of THC and CBD tend to be greater when the two cannabinoids are taken together at the same time. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.
Because the laws regarding the use of cannabis and cannabis products are rapidly changing, you should always check your state's laws before using products containing CBD or THC.
THC, which may be administered as medical marijuana, may be used to alleviate symptoms of a number of conditions. It may be helpful for conditions such as:
This interest is likely to continue to grow as cannabis and marijuana products become legal in more states. A number of different products have emerged that contain CBD, THC, or both that are designed to alleviate ailments such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia. In order to understand the side effects and potential benefits of these products, it is important to first understand the differences between CBD and THC.
Which One Should You Take?
CBD is often used to alleviate symptoms associated with:
However, many CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC. While these amounts are small, they may still be detectable if you are consuming large quantities of CBD or if the products you are using contain more THC than the packaging label claims.
A family (genus, if you want to get technical) of plants, comprising both marijuana plants and hemp plants, among others.
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).
Laws are continuing to change but, currently, THC is legal (regardless of medical necessity) in 10 states. In 23 additional states, you can use THC with a doctor's prescription. (Here's a full map of every state's cannabis rules.)
Cannabis (the umbrella term for marijuana or hemp)
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)
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.
Marijuana (a high-THC variety of cannabis plant)
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.
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.