Why CBD is More Effective with THC
By now, you’re probably well-acquainted with the hype surrounding CBD, the highly beneficial cannabinoid that can be used to treat an entire laundry list of conditions and diseases ranging from insomnia and arthritis to epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Although CBD products have become increasingly ubiquitous in health stores and groceries, it’s still early days in terms of what we know about it and more research certainly still needs to be done. Due to the lack of research, misconceptions about CBD abound, but one thing that researchers do seem to agree on is that CBD is more effective when THC is present. Here are several reasons why:
1. When CBD and THC are combined, they’re a powerhouse.
According to multiple studies, the effects of CBD are enhanced when combined with THC. In a test involving an animal model of colitis, CBD was found to enhance THC’s anti-inflammatory properties. Meanwhile, when tested on brain and breast cancer cells, the combination of CBD and THC produced a more potent anti-tumoral effect than when they were tested alone. Research has also found that the two compounds are more beneficial in treating neuropathic pain together than when they are used separately.
In 2015, scientists in California analyzed the medical records of over 84,000 male patients and found that the ones who used cannabis and not tobacco had a 45 percent lower rate of bladder cancer.
2. Whole plant cannabis preparations are superior to single compound ones.
CBD is enhanced by THC due to an occurrence called the ‘entourage effect.’ It’s the idea that the combination of all of the compounds found in cannabis, like the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids, all work together in harmony to enhance each compound’s efficacy and help draw out all their positive effects. In the case of CBD, the saying ‘the more the merrier’ definitely applies.
3. THC is therapeutic in itself.
THC gets a bad rap; it has been for decades and, even though more states are starting to see the light in terms of legalization, you won’t be able to change this perspective overnight. Most of the reason why THC is demonized in the media is due to its psychoactive properties. People dismiss it as just a recreational ‘drug.’ But, like CBD, THC also has its health benefits. It has been shown to inhibit the enzyme that causes Alzheimer’s related dementia and is a potent treatment for anti-nausea and appetite enhancement. It’s also been shown to be a great sleep aid and has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. Just like CBD, it’s even been known to help reduce the signs of aging, both mentally and physically.
4. Ensemble versus entourage
Some researchers favor the term ‘ensemble effect’ more than entourage as the latter denotes that one compound is the ‘rockstar’ and, therefore, more important than the others. But this isn’t the case. Their interactions are actually more complex than the popular term implies. Each compound brings its own benefits to the table and together, they work synergistically.
5. Essential for long-term benefits.
Some experts suggest that the wide-ranging benefits of CBD tend wear off after a few months unless THC is used in combination with Cannabidiol.
6. There are special cases.
Although THC and CBD enhance each other’s positive effects for the most part, there are a few instances where the addition of CBD can actually work against THC’s benefits. In the treatment of glaucoma, CBD actually blocks the absorption of THC, which helps reduce eye pressure when treating the condition.
7. Reduces side effects
While THC’s psychoactive reputation may raise some eyebrows and lead people to choose THC-free CBD products instead, when combined, CBD actually reduces the anxiety and paranoia associated with THC, and works together to enhance its use as a muscle relaxant and sedative.A study done in 2012 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that Cannabidiol inhibits ‘THC-elicited paranoid symptoms and hippocampal-dependent memory impairment.’
8. It won’t cause intoxication.
The THC content in most CBD products is very small and not enough to cause impairment or intoxication. Just enough to allow users to benefit from the all-important ‘entourage effect.’ Legally, the THC amount in CBD products should not amount to more than 0.3 percent.
If you’re looking to reap the full benefits of CBD, the addition of THC, along with other cannabis compounds, is essential. Look for full-spectrum CBD products. However, if you are trying to avoid THC specifically, but still want to benefit from other compounds like terpenes and flavonoids, choose a broad spectrum CBD product.
Despite all we know, the internet is full of conflicting evidence and more research is still desperately needed to untangle all of the mysteries of the cannabis plant. Even with federal legalization on the horizon in the next decade, there’s still so much to be discovered about this mighty plant.