Dating back for thousands of years, in ancient civilizations all around the world, marijuana has long been recognized and used for its medicinal properties. Today, as modern science and research continues to prove the possible benefits of using cannabis-derived products to treat a wide variety of ailments, more people are looking to medical marijuana as a natural cure. It’s becoming easier to find cannabidiol (CBD) in products and medications, the first CBD-based drug was approved by the FDA in 2018, and more states are voting in favor of recreational or medical marijuana laws.
As patients turn away from prescriptions or over-the-counter medications in favor of medical marijuana, and as laws begin to change, there is still a lot misinformation about cannabis-derived products.
Research on cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary two compounds from the cannabis plant, has been limited so far, predominantly due to the legal status of medical marijuana.
At a federal level, it is illegal to use or carry marijuana for any reason, even as more states are starting to legalize it. Make sure you know the laws in your state before you purchase or use any medical marijuana products. Some states have passed laws to allow medical marijuana, but it must be prescribed by a licensed doctor, others have legalized it in all forms, and the rest follow the same law as the federal level.
In the 1980s, it was discovered that in our bodies, we naturally have receptors for cannabinoids, now recognized as part of the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates many biological functions, including sleep, appetite, motor function, reproduction, and more, which means it plays a powerful role in our day to day lives. Due to this powerful system, medical marijuana and the compounds extracted from it have a high potential for widespread relief and healing.
CBD is found mostly in the hemp plant, sold in gels, gummies, oils, supplements, and extracts. THC is the main psychoactive compound of marijuana, also available in oils, edibles, capsules, and more. Both interact with the endocannabinoid system in our body, but each with their own distinct properties.
CBD, unlike THC, does not have a psychoactive effect on the brain, meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with THC. Both have the same molecular structure, but a slight difference in how the atoms are arranged on a molecular level is what accounts for the difference in effect.
In recent studies, CBD has been effective in stimulating bone growth, and reducing inflammation as well as other advances. THC is most often used to reduce pain and help induce relaxation, suppress muscle and nerve spasms, and reduce pain resulting from nerve damage.
CBD is typically viewed as a safer option compared to opioids and other prescription medications, and it tends to have wider applications. However, each compound has its own strengths, and both are studied extensively each year to discover their full potential in curing or healing some of the most common ailments.
Before choosing to use CBD and THC together, experts recommend learning more about these two compounds to determine if it is right for you. Each compound found in the cannabis plant, and each specific strain of marijuana has their own unique properties and can affect your health in very different ways. While all common strains produce THC and CBD, some contain a lower concentration, altering the end effect. The combination of the two compounds are a promising treatment for a wide variety of ailments that affect thousands of people each year.