May 5, 2017

CBD and THC on green background

Some Basics on CBD

First and foremost, CBD is not a new compound. It's always been a part of the cannabis plant. For years the only people who understood the role CBD plays in marijuana were the hardcore devotees of cannabis. CBD was mainly overlooked because it is not, in its precise nature, a psychoactive compound like THC. In other words, it won't give you much of a high.

As scientists and others began to explore the medical uses for marijuana, they realized that CBD could be extracted in such a way that it is possible to use the compound without the side effects of THC. That means no high, no paranoia, no hallucinatory experiences. Now, you might be saying, “Where's the fun in that?” Well, for people with a variety of ailments ranging from multiple sclerosis to epilepsy, CBD is emerging as a very successful alternative therapy.

The success of using CBD to treat epilepsy in children even contributed to the creation of CBD-dominant strains of cannabis like Charlotte's Web. CBD is now also found in topical creams, drinks, and oils.

Comparing CBD and THC

Here's an interesting tidbit that you might not know about CBD. It actually can help extend the psychoactive affects of THC. Strains with a good balance of THC and CBD can offer a high of extended duration. But the two compounds are vastly different. Think of them as fraternal rather than identical twins.

THC is a psychoactive compound. It can produce a cerebral or body high depending on the cannabis strain. Indica strains are more relaxing and physically sedating, whereas the high from a sativa strain is more cerebral and creative. In both cases, THC drives the psychoactive effects of the bud. Both varieties, however, also contain CBD.

CBD is rarely found in greater concentrations than 4% in a marijuana strain. In fact, 4% would be considered a high CBD level. Compare that with THC which often exceeds 20%. Researchers have discovered that isolated CBD can have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety properties that are not psychoactive.

Crohn's Disease, PTSD, and Multiple Sclerosis have all shown a positive response to CBD therapies. Most impressive, however, is that CBD has been especially effective in treating Dravet's Syndrome. This disease is a powerful form of epilepsy that targets children. Charlotte Figi, the inspiration for the Charlotte's Web strain, suffers from this syndrome. Thanks to treatment with CBD, Charlotte has made amazing progress and recovery. Parents are encouraged that there is a way to treat their children with medical marijuana that is not psychoactive.

As more tests emerge about the medical efficacy of CBD, this lesser-known cannabis compound could be poised to give THC a run for its money. CBD products already account for a significant number of sales in dispensaries.