Factoid #10 – THC vs CBD
With over 150 different cannabinoids to date (and counting), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most abundant and dynamic cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Although related and derive from the cannabis plant, they have quite distinct behaviors and properties.
FACT #1 – THC predominantly comes from marijuana and is a byproduct of THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, the precursor to THC) It is ONLY prevalent after is has been hyper-heated to at least 220 degrees. This means that THC is ONLY psychoactive when, and ONLY when it goes through ‘decarboxylation’ (heating). Marijuana by itself is just another herb until smoked or vaped at high temperature. I once overheard someone say that their dog had eaten some marijuana from someone’s stash and had to be rushed to a vet in fear of ‘over-dosing’ on THC. Pure hogwash. The vet was more than happy to take their hard earned money.
FACT #2 – CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and has absolutely NO psychoactive properties whatsoever. Even after decarboxylation, cannabidiol cannot deliver any ‘high’. Even though there can be some trace presence of THCA in some hemp strains, the levels are no higher than opioids being present in poppy seeds. It’s negligible at best. Cannabidiol is the highest concentration of CBD to ever supply the endocannabinoid system in humans. The ECS is responsible for stabilizing, balancing and maintaining homeostasis in the body. Our body craves and needs it to stay healthy…even to maintain weight.
One of the most interesting aspects of CBD and THC (THCA) is that they are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to reaction even though they are closely related. CBD in the body will actually cancel out the effects of THC by suppressing the CB1 receptors in the brain. An interesting conundrum in the cannabis plant kingdom.
Hemp plants produce abundant supplies of cannabidiol (CBD), while marijuana plants are responsible for the higher levels of THCA (Tetrahydrocannabolic Acid) leading to THC when smoked.
Yet, the hemp plant and all hemp products remain on the CSA Schedule One List as THE highest level of controlled substance, ever. This classification assumes that it’s a higher risk narcotic threat than cocaine, oxycodone, meth, opium, all opioids, tramadol, codeine, anabolic steroids, Oxycontin, morphine and all barbituates and amphetamines combined…just to name a few. Even though hemp and its products have no side-effects and have never been known to kill anyone in its entire existence, the US federal government continues to believe that it is a more lethal substance than even alcohol and tobacco that claim thousands of lives annually.
Whats even more confusing is that the United States hypocritically imports over half a billion dollars worth of hemp products from Canada and other countries every year. How exactly is it that we can consume other country’s numerous hemp products but not legally grow our own here in the US? How is it that an imported hemp product can be more legal than what could be grown here in America? Canadian hemp growers have to love us while chuckling over our government’s ignorance to common logic.