Consumers of cannabis value potency (a high THC content) and it’s one of the biggest factors in making a particular strain more sought after. While demand for THC has led to an oversaturation in the market of high-potency products, many consumers now want less intense products that happen to be lower in THC yet higher in CBD (cannabidiol), which is the non-intoxicating compound.
The Difference between CBD and THC
THC and CBD, both cannabinoids originating from the cannabis plant, are different in a few ways that may dictate your next purchase. THC is defined by the way you feel when you consume cannabis, but you can’t feel the effects of CBD. Unlike THC, you will not get that high feeling with CBD. CBD Is commonly used for pain management.
CBD can prevent intoxicating effects of THC as it binds to cannabinoid receptors. It actually keeps THC from activating the receptors, giving you a less intense psychoactive effect. This is why you may choose a mix of CBD and THC if you are a first-time user.
This doesn’t mean that by itself, CBD can’t give you an effect. Actually, high doses of CBD can lead to a very relaxing experience whereby you may feel relaxed and tingly, with a clear head.
CBD vs. THC: Legal Issues
The Farm Bill passed in December 2018, and it said that industrial hemp is a legal agricultural commodity in every state. The DEA still considers CBD as a Schedule I controlled substance, but it recognizes that in trace amounts, such as in hemp stalks or seeds, CBD is legal.
The legal use of hemp-derived CBD varies from state to state, so always check your state’s laws before you buy a hemp-derived CBD product.
Cannabis strains with a high CBD to THC ratio are only legal in states that have regulated cannabis markets.
Medicinal Effects of CBD
There are many conditions that can be helped by the use of CBD. The research is still ongoing to gain a better understanding of the range and efficacy of CBD’s benefits. However, it’s most commonly used to treat these symptoms or conditions:
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- PTSD and anxiety
- Pain and inflammation
- Opioid withdrawal
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Evidence shows that CBD helps manage different conditions, including a rare form of pediatric epilepsy.
Dravet Syndrome, resistant to traditional treatment methods, can be helped with the use of CBD. People who have this have a lot of seizures, sometimes hundreds a day, and this condition gets worse as people age. It is life-threatening. Current treatment methods include the wearing of an eyepatch, special diets, and brain surgery – they all have mixed rates of success.
One success story is about a young girl named Charlotte who received an ingestible oil originating from Charlotte’s Web. This is a CBD strain developed to give the child all the benefits of the drug yet without the high feeling.
In two years, Charlotte only had three seizures a month compared with her usual monthly seizure count of 1,200. There have been many other success stories since then, prompting parents to speak out about this life-saving treatment.
CBD has no known side effects or lethal doses. Yet it still remains a touchy subject in regards to using cannabis-derived compounds to treat pediatric conditions.
THC is known for its mind-altering euphoria, but it also has a lot of medical benefits. Overlap exists in what can be treated with CBD and THC, but THC is best at relieving nausea, insomnia, appetite loss, and more. Many people strike a balance between CBD and THC for the best results.
High-CBD strains you can try
CBD, the second-most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, also has strains that can deliver CBD and THC in these ratios:
- High THC/low CBD (i.e.,10 to 30 percent THC, trace amounts CBD)
- Balanced CBD/THC (i.e., 5 to 15 percent THC and 5 to 15 percent CBD)
- High CBD/low THC (i.e., 5 to 20 percent CBD/THC under 5 percent)
High-CBD strains give you clear-headed, functional effects yet not the euphoric high that comes with high-THC strains. That’s why so many consumers prefer them, especially those people who are sensitive to the many side effects of THC, such as dizziness, anxiety, and paranoia.
High-CBD strains are also best for people who need to self-medicate throughout their day in order to control pain, anxiety, inflammation, and other chronic conditions.
Balanced CBD/THC strains give a bit more euphoria than CBD-dominant strains, but they probably won’t result in paranoia, anxiety, and other negative side effects. These strains are best for pain relief – well-suited for THC-sensitive consumers who just want to mellow out.
You can consume CBD strains just like you can THC strains: you can smoke it, vape CBD-rich flowers, eat CBD-infused edibles, swallow CBD oil capsules, rub on a CBD lotion, or take a CBD tincture. Hemp products have CBD in them, but it’s a less efficient source and doesn’t have the chemical diversity of CBD with cannabis.
Remember, CBD levels can vary from crop to crop or plant to plant. Check with your local dispensary about its strains’ CBD levels. Only buy lab-tested products that show the CBD/THC levels clearly so you can be prepared for the experience.