There are two compounds in marijuana that everyone knows: THC and CBD. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, and it gives cannabis its potency. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the most dominant nonpsychoactive ingredient. The levels of these in cannabis products can determine your next purchase at the Purple Leaf!
All marijuana has both THC and CBD, but producers can grow strains that have higher levels of each or a nice balance of the two. Here’s what makes these compounds different and how they give certain strains their effects!
How THC And CBD Affect The Body’s Endocannabinoid System
There are over 100 compounds called cannabinoids in marijuana, and they interact with receptors found throughout the body in a system known as the endocannabinoid system. How they affect this part of the body depends on how they influence CB receptors to achieve effects – some are related to your inflammatory responses, while others can influence your psychological state. The most well-known of the cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
When you inhale or ingest a cannabis product, the THC binds with the CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system; CB1s are prominent on your central nervous system, and thus affect the brain and spinal cord. This relationship is why THC makes you feel the stereotypical effects of cannabis: euphoria and being “high.”
CBD, on the other hand, affects CB2 receptors, which research shows can affect the rest of the body. It’s believed to reduce inflammation, but regardless of the health implications, CBD does not give the feeling of being high. CBD can even diminish or block some of the psychoactive effects created by THC! By binding to cannabinoid receptors, it can keep THC from activating those receptors and create less psychoactive effects.
Long story short: THC intoxicates, CBD does not. You’ll find the amounts of each of these cannabinoids on the label of your marijuana product so that you can gauge the levels before buying.
How Different Levels Of THC And CBD Can Make Your Decision
So when it comes to choosing a flower, vape, or edible at the Purple Leaf, should you pick one with higher levels of THC or CBD?
Products that are high in THC can top 20 percent THC, while others are even nearing 30 percent (for those new to cannabis, this is a lot). After years and years of breeding for higher levels, the strength of many common strains has grown. Depending on your experience with consumption, high doses can provide a euphoric experience; for others, it can induce anxiety and paranoia. While high THC is great for recreation, proceed with caution if you don’t know your tolerance!
Products that have higher levels of CBD often deliver very clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric high that strains with high levels of THC can give. Consumers who are sensitive to the side effects of THC (like dizziness, anxiety, and paranoia) should opt for a product that has a nice balance of THC and CBD.
But to answer our question with another question: why not both? Products with a mix of CBD and THC are great for first-timers, as they create a euphoric feeling greater than CBD-dominant strains while still being less likely to induce the negative side effects of THC-dominant choices. Products that have a nice balance are ideal options for pain relief, too!