Balanced CBD/THC strains will be a little more euphoric than CBD-dominant strains, though they’re much less likely to induce anxiety, paranoia, and other negative side effects. Strains like these tend to be the most effective for pain relief, and they’re also well-suited for THC-sensitive consumers who’d like a mellow buzz.
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, but they’re different in many ways that may influence your next dispensary purchase.
CBD can also block some of the intoxicating effects of THC. By binding to cannabinoid receptors, it will keep THC from activating those receptors. This translates to a less intense psychoactive effect, which is why products with a mix of CBD and THC are great for first-time consumers.
What are the medicinal effects of CBD?
Though clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can help manage different conditions, CBD became most famous for treating a rare and debilitating form of pediatric epilepsy.
CBD strains can be consumed just as you would THC strains. You can smoke or vaporize CBD-rich flower, eat a CBD-infused edible, swallow a CBD oil capsule, apply a CBD lotion, or use a CBD tincture sublingually. Hemp products also contain CBD, though it is a less efficient source and lacks the beneficial chemical diversity of cannabis-derived CBD products (more on that here).
One of the earliest success stories involves a young girl named Charlotte who was given an ingestible oil derived from Charlotte’s Web , a CBD strain that was specifically developed to provide her with all the benefits of the drug without the high.
The list of conditions CBD may help with is ever-expanding. More research is needed to better understand the efficacy and range of CBD’s benefits, but it’s popularly used to manage the following symptoms and conditions:
In the new study, the researchers took advantage of data from the Releaf App, which aims to help people track their marijuana use and learn what types of marijuana products seem to work best for their symptoms. The app asked users for information such as the strain of marijuana and the levels of THC and CBD.
The researchers noted that the study had several limitations — for example, the data was self-reported, and the study lacked a control group that didn’t use cannabis. Users may also have experienced a placebo effect, in which they expected certain products (such as those with higher THC, which tend to be more expensive) to work better.
Abrams agreed with the authors about the challenges of studying cannabis-based treatments, particularly given the numerous products that are commercially available. But “using an app like they did here is a good approach to collect sizable amounts of data.”
Abrams noted that, other than studies on CBD for epilepsy in children, there’s limited evidence on CBD’s effects. “Everybody’s espousing CBD for wellness,” Abrams told Live Science. “I just think it’s gotten a little bit out of proportion to the evidence.”
On average, participants experienced a 3.5 point decrease in symptom severity on the 11-point scale.
Still, the study is one of the first to examine, in real time, which marijuana properties are linked with reported benefits. Given the increasing popularity of medical cannabis, the researchers call for more studies to better guide patients about the dosage, effectiveness and safety of medical marijuana products.
The study found that higher THC levels were strongly linked with reported symptom relief. In contrast, levels of CBD were not linked with symptom relief. [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana]
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. CBD is present in all cannabis plants but more plentiful in hemp, rather than marijuana. Hemp has been legal federally since 2018, as is CBD as long as it’s found in a product that contains less than 0.3% THC.
“In states that have both recreational and medicinal programs, the difference between the two generally only extends to the amount that can be purchased at one time, and how high the taxes are on the product,” he says. “The cart is very much before the horse right now in terms of the medical marijuana industry.”
While research about many health impacts of cannabis — both positive and negative — is inconclusive or lacking, there are some important points to remember:
The relationship between CBD and THC
CBD and THC, the two main chemicals found in the cannabis plant, both have potential health benefits. However, research on both is extremely limited, since hemp (containing CBD) was federally illegal until 2018, and marijuana (containing THC) remains federally illegal.
“The claims of therapeutic applications of both CBD and THC far outpace actual peer-reviewed research,” he says. “CBD is essentially an anti-inflammatory, and while it has shown promise in several areas related to inflammation reduction, most of its purported uses are unvalidated.”
Overall, THC is a safer compound than many other drugs like nicotine or opiates, Piomelli says.
When THC is consumed in a therapeutic amount, no such intoxicating effect, such as the high, stoned feeling is experienced. Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC, and the effects of each, below.