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CBD, THC, and Marijuana: What you Need to Know

The Center for Disease Control defines marijuana as dry leaves, stems, flowers, buds, and seeds of the cannabis plant. In the past decade, legalization in multiple countries has led to research that has uncovered multiple uses for cannabis and its constituents. 

Cannabis constituents that get the most attention are CBD and THC. What is the difference between the two, and how can one benefit from use? Below is what you need to know.

  • A combination of CBD and THC may be used to relieve pain and inflammation. 
  • Sublingual placement or ingestion are the safest ways to consume CBD.
  • Vaping CBD is damaging, but not as damaging as smoking. 
  • The side effects of CBD are mild.
  • CBD is safe for humans and pets. 
  • CBD is under investigation as a medicine for over 50 ailments and conditions.
  • Consult with a physician before consuming CBD or any other supplement. 
  • CBD Is legal at the federal level, thus you do not need a medical marijuana card to purchase. 

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive chemical in hemp and marijuana. When extracted from hemp, CBD contains little to no THC -making it legal at the federal level. CBD is typically sold as an oil or infused in a carrier oil, including coconut oil and olive oil.

The carrier oil may trigger side effects in some users. Consequently, if you are prone to allergies, always check the ingredients before consumption or topical application. Pure CBD rarely causes adverse side effects. Long-term and short-term users report mild side effects, including dry mouth, fatigue, and diarrhea. 

CBD as a drug

As a medicine, research is ongoing on the use of CBD as treatment or management for over 50 illnesses and conditions, including cancer, HIV and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and skin conditions, including dryness, eczema, folliculitis, and other conditions.

Currently, epidiolex, a synthetic version of CBD is in use as a treatment for epileptic seizures.  

Anecdotal evidence and preclinical studies claim that CBD offers users the following benefits:

CBD can relieve pain anywhere in the human body

Through interactions with the human endocannabinoid system, the part of you that is responsible for the management of pain, immunity, sleep, appetite, and other functions. CBD can relieve chronic pain in as little as 15 minutes, depending on the dose and the quality of the product. That means it has uses in:

  • The treatment of injuries. 
  • Chronic pain.
  • Acute pain 
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Radicular pain 
  • Nociceptive pain.

According to research, CBD’s pain relieving quality is enhanced when combined with THC. But the issue is CBD is legal across all states, and THC/marijuana is not. Why?

The law defines marijuana as any product that contains more than 0.3% THC. On the federal level, cannabis remains a schedule 1 drug. But state laws differ, meaning, in some states, you may use marijuana as medicine only, and in others, you may use it recreationally and as medicine.

What you need to remember is if you are in a state that is yet to fully legalize weed, you will need a medical marijuana card to purchase.

CBD and mental health

Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, and it does not trigger the part of your brain that is responsible for pleasure, meaning the risk of developing dependence or addiction is minimal. 

Treatment for mental disorders involves the use of medicines that can trigger problems, including insomnia, sexual dysfunction, headaches, drowsiness, and mood swings. Some may also cause dependence and addiction.

CBD is a great alternative to said medicines not only because it does not create the risk of addiction. But also because it can cure and prevent anxiety -it has neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties, and the side effects are mild.

According to research, CBD is useful in the treatment of mental disorders, including:

  • PTSD/post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Stress
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety.

Chemo and cancer treatment

CBD is not a cure for cancer, but it can reduce the symptoms and the side effects of chemotherapy. Clinical trials say that patients on CBD report a significant reduction in pain after ingestion of CBD. 

What is Sativex?

Sativex is a spray that contains equal amounts of THC and CBD. The FDA is yet to approve its use in the US, but UK authorities have approved it as a pain reliever for chronic pain patients, including persons living with HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases. 

According to the FDA, research by pharmaceuticals, including GW is ongoing. So, they may change their stand in the future. But as is today, you may get into legal trouble if you import cannabis products into the US. 

You may access to THC and CBD locally. 

CBD may improve heart health

Research has shown that CBD can help regulate blood pressure and lower it in persons who have high blood pressure. That is beneficial in that consumption eases pressure on the vessels and the heart, keeping it functioning as it should.

High blood pressure is a condition that is a consequence of lifestyle choices, lack of physical activity, medicines, illnesses, and some inherit it. 

Because of that, it is vital to establish the underlying cause before treatment. The reason for that is if you do not address the underlying cause, your pressure will go back up after treatment. 

the long-term side effects of sustained use of CBD remains unknown, but what we do know is the majority of users experience mild side effects that go away once they cease consumption. 

Other uses for CBD include:

  • It may cure insomnia. At high doses, CBD has a sedative effect, and at low doses stimulating effect.
  • CBD may be used as an alternative treatment for substance abuse, including, cocaine and heroin. 

Why not buy back-alley CBD

The FDA considers CBD as a supplement. Because of that, the organization does not regulate it. 

The market is flooded with products that may contain harmful ingredients. The product may contain heavy metals, the CBD content could be lower or higher than advertised, and production and storage methods may create risks for the user. 

What you want to avoid are products whose origins are in question. 

What is THC?

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a psychoactive chemical in marijuana that causes a high. The chemical gets a lot of negative publicity but, it has uses in the treatment of several ailments, including sleep apnea. 

According to the CDC and research, THC will affect your health in the following ways:

  • THC may improve sleep.
  • A combination of CBD and THC can prevent and relieve pain. 
  • THC may reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy.
  • THC can reduce muscle spasms in paraplegics. 

Warnings from the CDC

According to the CDC, the method of consumption matters. When smoked, marijuana may damage the lungs and create the risk of small blood vessel scarring and bronchitis. Smoking may also increase the risk of heart or vascular diseases. 

Although not as serious as smoking, vaping can also damage the lungs and increase the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. The use of concentrates delivers high levels of THC into your system.

So, for medical reasons, it is safer to consume THC and CBD through sublingual placement or ingestion.