Updated: Apr 2
Curious about Cannabidiol (CBD)? It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the differences between hemp derived CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) if you plan to incorporate cannabis products into your wellness arsenal.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabis plants contain a variety of chemicals. Some of these are called cannabinoids. The most common two are THC and CBD.
Hemp is a type of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) plant that can be very CBD-rich. Industrial hemp has THC levels that are federally regulated (<0.3% THC maximum). You can also find other CBD-rich varietals that contain higher levels of THC.
There are actually many more cannabinoids that are of interest for general well-being such as CBG and CBN (plus many others), but we will stick to THC and CBD for today and dedicate another blog to exploring minor cannabinoids.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD is popular among many because it’s a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. That means it doesn’t get you “high” like THC does.
This effect due to CBD’s affinity at the CB2 receptor site within our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex communication network of CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body. It’s responsible for regulating many biological functions such as body temperature, sleep and appetite.
CB2 receptors are found throughout the body's immune system. CB1 receptors, on the other hand, are more concentrated in the spinal column and brain. This difference in location of cannabinoid receptors plays a vital role in why CBD is not intoxicating but THC is. The widespread locations of CB2 receptors throughout the body also accounts for the long list of potential benefits that can be experienced using CBD from skin conditions to sleep improvement.
What is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
THC has been well known since the 1960’s and is probably most famous for its psychoactive properties. THC has shown to help people deal with appetite loss, pain and wasting syndrome. Many medical marijuana programs in various U.S. states have specific qualifying conditions that allow people to obtain a medical marijuana permit/ID. Some examples of common ailments listed as qualifying conditions are: cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, severe debilitating pain, MS and Parkinson's Disease, among others. The fact that these medical marijuana programs exist in itself should be a testament to the therapeutic potential of THC rich cannabis.
The Mind, Body And Spirit Connection
People have been using cannabis in various forms for medicinal or spiritual purposes for thousands of years. The spiritual aspect of cannabis and THC seems to be slowly being lost due to legalization. We are treating this sacred healing herb as a commodity which reduces its value and effectiveness. It’s important to recognize the history of cannabis use in a spiritual setting to foster feelings of connection and oneness with the universe. It is impossible to fully heal if we limit ourselves to only treating our symptoms as they manifest.
There is an undeniable mind, body and spirit connection that is just beginning to gain more ground in traditional western science. Cannabis/hemp is a tool that we can use to heal all three aspects of ourselves when used with respect and responsibility. We are living at an exciting time in history and our progress with regard to cannabis is no exception. There are many cannabinoids left for us to discover as well as talks of a possible CB3 receptor in our bodies. Where will cannabis take us next?
Love and blessings, Andrew