CBD and THC are perhaps the best-understood cannabinoids. This makes sense – they are, after all, the two most dominant compounds in the marijuana plant. Many strains of marijuana are known for having high levels of THC – high-CBD strains are less common. However, with the medical community paying more attention to the medical benefits of CBD, that is beginning to change.
Both compounds have important health benefits: THC has antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-tremor, anti-inflammatory, appetite-stimulating and anti-emetic properties, and CBD has anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects.
THC is difficult to use for clinical purposes because of its undesired psychoactive side effects. Because of this, interest in non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD has recently shown a significant increase, and studies have yielded interesting results.
As it turns out, CBD can be used to reduce THC’s intoxicating effects, such as paranoia and memory impairment. It also appears to counteract the drowsiness caused by THC. These are particularly valuable to the medical community since the problem of psychoactive side effects has been a major barrier in the path to acceptance of medical marijuana.
CBD is now being used in clinical trials involving young children with epilepsy because it has been shown to counteract the anxiety and paranoia THC causes in some persons. Cannabis featuring high levels of THC is commonly used to induce drowsiness. Cannabis rich in CBD seems to have the opposite effect.
The two were once lumped together, but research in recent years has allowed us to see that THC and CBD are two completely different compounds. This goes a long way towards separating CBD from the stigma often attached to marijuana and paving the way towards more effective cannabis-based treatment.