Whether you are new to cannabis, cannacurious, or long time believer in the benefits of cannabis, many of us do not know a lot about the science behind this plant. More and more people are using cannabis for health and wellness. Many may be wondering, “Why can’t I just use a CBD only product? What does THC bring to the table from a wellness standpoint? What are the benefits of using CBD and THC together?”
What are CBD and THC
Both CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.
Are you starting to glaze over? Stay with us, it gets more interesting.
A difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body. Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors. The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain, immune function, stress, and sleep. All things we care about and have a huge impact on our daily lives.
How are CBD and THC different
Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. CBD is psychoactive, just not in the same manner as THC. It doesn’t produce the typical high associated with THC.
CBD is shown to help with anxiety, depression, and seizures .THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It produces a high or sense of euphoria.
CBD binds very weakly to CB1 receptors. CBD needs THC to bind to the CB1 receptor and, in turn, can help reduce some of the unwanted psychoactive effects of THC, such as euphoria or sedation.
What is CBD and THC Together Called?
CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, some research suggests that taking them together — along with smaller organic compounds in the cannabis plant, known as terpenes or terpenoids — is more effective than taking CBD or THC alone. This is due to an interaction between phytocannabinoids and terpenes called “The Entourage Effect.” The Entourage Effect is the theory that all compounds in cannabis work together and when taken together they produce a better outcome.
What are the benefts of CBD and THC Together?
A high CBD to THC ratio has been studied to mitigate the negative psychosis effects of THC alone, reducing paranoia and anxiety symptoms related to what people may consider a “bad high.” This may be because CBD is an antagonist, meaning it blocks signals to cannabinoid receptors, as opposed to an agonist which activates them.
One subtype of those receptors is the CB1, which are largely spread in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves and in the brain. They regulate the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate.
You know — the happy stuff!
Though it does not only regulate mood but also pleasure perception, synaptic plasticity (important for learning and memory), as well as motor function. Another subtype is CB2, which are focused primarily on the immune and gastrointestinal system. They are not as densely expressed in the brain as CB1 receptors.
What it really comes down to is that when THC and CBD are using together it likely increases the ability of cannabis to affect different areas of the body, improves absorption of active ingredients and minimizes negative side effects.
Do CBD and THC need to be Consumed Together?
Dosing is extremely important as overactivation of CB1 receptors via THC can result in temporary discomfort.
Paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, or delusions may be caused by an overstimulated endocannabinoid system. An excess of cannabinoids flood the brain in parts of the brain that regulate fear and related emotional responses.
However, this does not quite happen with CBD which has a lower binding affinity. Thus, taking THC and CBD in tandem with one another may be sufficient for delivering the pain and symptom relief you need from a more anxiolytic, analgesic compound without overdoing it.
Different Ratios of CBD: THC and their Benefits
Low and slow is the general rule of thumb for dosing cannabis products. Understand that your method of consumption will also differ in onset time. Edibles will take up to two hours to metabolize, while direct inhalation is almost instantaneous. A vaginal suppository has an onset time of 15-30 minutes, but unlike an edible, a vaginal suppository bypasses the digestive tract and liver and depends only on body temperature to melt at a specific rate to be absorbed by the surrounding skin. The suppository also allows you to use more THC without the typical psychoactive high.
Thus, it is very important to research the expected response time, wait for its entire duration for the cannabinoids to take effect, and feel things out before going for another dose.
Some studies suggest that the golden ratio is a solid 1:1. Though take the time to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Start with a very low THC percentage and work your way up, especially if you are new to cannabis.
Ways of Consuming CBD and THC Together
There are now many products on the market, that already combine CBD and THC. It is easy to find edibles, topicals, suppositories, tinctures and beverages that combine CBD and THC into one product. In addition, any product labeled as full-spectrum means the product contains all the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant.
With diligent research and patient consumption practices, you’ll be well on your way to finding what ratio makes you feel
G Y N O M I T E!