You know the word cannabis, but when it comes to breaking down its chemistry, you might be lacking in intel. Let’s dive deep into what cannabis is, where it comes from, the difference between CBD and THC, and their beneficial properties.
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a drug known for its controversial abilities to support the mind and body. Having gone through years of growing pains with groups misunderstanding its intentions, cannabis is finally being recognized for its wonderful benefits. As cannabis becomes more mainstream, many use the drug to help with a variety of medical conditions, such as anxiety, depression, glaucoma, and chronic pain.
Where does cannabis come from?
Cannabis is a group of three plants; Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These plants grow flowers that when harvested and dried may offer beneficial health properties. The cannabis plant trio has over 120 components, the majority of which experts have yet to explore. However, there are two strains that have been well researched and understood; cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
What is the difference between Hemp and other plants?
Hemp is a varietal of the Cannabis sativa plant and is also known as industrial hemp. The difference between hemp plants and other cannabis plants is their level of THC. Hemp contains 0.3% or less THC, the component responsible for creating a “high”. CBD is derived from Cannabis sativa, or hemp, and many people opt for it to avoid the effects of THC.
Now, let’s get into the difference between CBD and THC.
As mentioned above, Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause a body high on its own. Instead, CBD is known for its ability to help with stress, anxiety, and depression. Its mellowing effects may have a powerful and positive influence on one’s emotional and mental well-being. Many cannabis users choose CBD to help unwind and decompress after a long, stressful day, or even to help with sleep and insomnia. CBD is also known to help reduce inflammation, general pain, ease nausea, migraines, and seizures, and it can be found in prescription medication to treat certain kinds of epilepsy. CBD’s long-standing relationship with positive health effects has caught the attention of WHO. Multiple studies, including a report from the World Health Organization, state that:
- “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
- “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile…. Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.”
- “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) comes from the marijuana plant and is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. According to research done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, THC is said to stimulate brain cells to release dopamine (our body’s natural “feel-good” hormone), which creates a body euphoria-like sensation (aka, the “high”). While cannabis users may take THC for the elating body-high effects, the drug is also known for its medicinal purposes, helping with nausea, nerve pain, and glaucoma. CBD and THC often work together (sometimes referred to as the “entourage effect”) to help the user achieve their desired effect. This is why it’s important to understand dosing, and what your body needs. Discovering your perfect balance of CBD and THC is key to getting the best experience out of your cannabis exploration.
Overall, there is still much to learn about cannabis and its health and wellness benefits. While CBD may be a non-euphoric natural remedy to soothe the mind and body, THC creates a “high” for a more elating experience. Understanding your needs and health background is vital before exploring different strains. Consult with a professional if you’re unsure, and always know your limits.
Always remember that cannabis consumption differs from person to person. Be mindful of your dosing and consult your doctor if you’re uncertain whether CBD is right for you.