Medical Benefits Of THC And CBD | Flurish Group
There are over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but two of them are the most popular: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Although both have the same chemical compositions, THC is mainly recognized for its psychoactive effects, while CBD is more popular as a medicinal substance. However, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence showing that both THC and CBD may be beneficial for a range of medical conditions.
Additionally, these cannabinoids work best when consumed together, which is called the entourage effect. Read on to learn more about the benefits of both THC and CBD and what exactly is entourage effect.
What Exactly Is THC And CBD?
THC, short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound found in the female marijuana flower. Among over 100 other cannabinoids found in cannabis, THC is famous for providing such powerful and psychoactive effects.
As for the cannabidiol (CBD), it’s the non-psychoactive compound, mainly responsible for calming effects of cannabis. When consuming CBD, you won’t experience any kind of “high”, but you will be amazed to discover the range of medical benefits it offers.
The Endocannabinoid System
If you’re wondering how THC and CBD interact with both your brain and body, the answer is simple: the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
What is ECS in the first place?
It’s the system that naturally produces cannabinoids in our body, which are equipped with two receptors: CB1, found in both our brain and body, and CB2, spread throughout our immune system.
THC binds to CB1 receptors and it affects our body and brain; CBD, on the other hand, binds to CB2 receptors triggering certain reactions in the immune system and the body in general.
So yeah, this is how exactly marijuana works with your endocannabinoid system.
Medical Benefits of THC
Although CBD is more popular as a medicine, THC offers a wide range of health benefits, too.
One of the most impressive things about this psychoactive compound is that it may be a potential cure for cancer. Of course, we still need more studies and on this cannabinoid, but the initial research in this subject matter shows great promise for future discoveries.
Here’s the list of most common benefits of THC according to recent findings.
Relieves Chronic Pain
One of the most popular benefits of THC is its ability to relieve pain. In fact, using cannabis as a pain reliever is a far safer option than pharmaceutical medications, which come with many severe side effects. Studies show that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is able to block pain signals in the brain, and thus, ease the neuropathic pain.
Glaucoma is a serious disease that may lead to complete blindness, especially if not treated. Fortunately, it has been found that THC reduces intraocular pressure, so it may be a potential help for those suffering from glaucoma. Although we still need more in-depth studies in that matter, many reports suggest that medical marijuana may actually alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma.
Has Antiemetic Qualities
Many studies suggest that THC may be effective as an antiemetic treatment. Many patients after chemotherapy use cannabis to fight lack of appetite and nausea by consuming strains rich in THC.
Speaking of chemotherapy, many medical marijuana patients use THC-rich strains for their ability to stimulate appetite. It creates a great urge to eat, which is invaluable for alleviating the after-effects of chemo.
THC promotes better sleep, which makes it a great choice for treating a plethora of sleep disorders, including insomnia. Many people who suffer from sleep deprivation struggle with other conditions, such as pain or anxiety. Since THC relieves pain and anxiety, too, it may be used as a complex medication to treat a couple of illnesses at once.
Medical Benefits of CBD
CBD has been popular for its medical benefits for a long time now, but we still need more in-depth studies to be conducted in order to uncover its true potential. Nevertheless, many preclinical studies prove that CBD may be extremely beneficial for treating many diseases.
Here’s what you need to know about therapeutic effects of Cannabidiol:
It’s a Safe Pain Reliever
Studies have shown that CBD can be helpful in treating stiffness or chronic pain without imposing virtually any side effects on patients. Moreover, many scientists believe that CBD is an ideal choice for people suffering from chronic pain associated not only with general soreness and aches but also with more serious conditions, such as scoliosis or arthritis.
It may Inhibit Cancer Growth
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study showing that CBD may block cancer cells from spreading, leading to killing cancer cells and promoting the growth of healthy, new ones.
Relieves Nausea And Stimulates Appetite
Most chemotherapy patients suffer from nausea and vomiting. CBD shows antiemetic properties, and it may significantly alleviate the unpleasant effects of chemotherapy while relieving nausea and boosting appetite. This is paramount for the proper recovery.
Treats Anxiety-driven Disorders
When it comes to treating anxiety-driven disorders, such as PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic anxiety or panic disorder, CBD may be extremely helpful. It is known for its calming effects, which is why CBD-rich cannabis strains are the best choice for those who suffer from these conditions.
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions plaguing the US population. The disease can lead to big changes in behavior, mood, and thoughts. In the worst case scenario, depression may trigger suicidal thoughts and lead a person to death.
Depression has long been linked to neurological disorders. Studies show that CBD may act as an antidepressant in our brain and it may help increase levels of natural endocannabinoids in our brain. These, in turn, help improve the functions of the central nervous system, which is why CBD holds such a great promise for future research.
More importantly, contrary to over-the-counter and prescription drugs, Cannabidiol comes with few to none side effects, and it actually fights the reason behind the disease instead of just masking its symptoms.
Treats Neurodegenerative Diseases
Preclinical studies confirm that cannabidiol may protect people against symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and even against the illness itself. According to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, CBD shows potential for preventing the development of this condition.
Help For Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease
CBD gain popularity thanks to its well-known impact on some forms of epilepsy. Studies show that cannabidiol has great potential in treating seizures and other symptoms of the condition. Moreover, many treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy may be successfully treated with CBD.
As for the Parkinson’s disease, CBD shows potential in treating side effects of the condition, including Parkinson’s-related psychosis. Researchers believe that CBD may significantly improve quality of life for people suffering from the PD.
Another chronic disease that may complicate one’s life over time with side effects such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Linked to inflammation, diabetes can get worse as the condition moves on. Studies show that CBD can slow the progression of the condition, including the inflammation and its side effects. Scientists believe that cannabidiol boosts the immune system while decreasing the level of inflammation.
Medical Benefits Of Using Both THC And CBD
Scientists claim that these cannabinoids have a synergistic effect and work best if consumed together. Their effects are more powerful when THC and CBD are used all at once, and this is called the entourage effect.
What is the entourage effect?
Simply put, the entourage effects is when THC and CBD, used together, improve each other’s effects and therapeutic properties. This is why it’s recommended to use these cannabinoids together, as it’s the best way to get the most of medical marijuana as a part of therapy. Although for a long period of time many people claimed that only CBD has medical value and it should be consumed alone, studies have shown that using CBD together with THC regulates the effects of both cannabinoids. Thus, CBD may be able to protect the brain against the side effects of THC, such as paranoia or anxiety. At the same time, THC strengthens the effects of CBD. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to find the ideal combination of CBD and THC in a particular strain in order to benefit the most from their entourage effect.
As you can see, both THC and CBD come with a wide range of medical benefits to the human body and brain. Thanks to their active pharmacological ingredients, cannabinoids can mimic our natural endocannabinoids, influencing our immune system and balancing our biological functions. When this balance is disrupted, our body needs to restore the balance after such stressful state. Therefore, increasing the number of endocannabinoids comes with the range of benefits for our health. While restoring the balance of our health, THC, and CBD help to control pain, inflammation and other symptoms of a health crisis. However, the question remains why CBD is used more often for medical reasons than it’s psychoactive brother, THC? The reason is that THC is classified as a Schedule 1 Drug, which makes it impossible in most parts of the world to use legally as a medicine. Hopefully, with the great change in people's perception of cannabis, we can expect that THC will restore its glory soon enough.