The Truth About CBD
It’s official. Stoners have won the “the war on drugs.” Medical marijuana is now legal in 33 states. Colorado and Nevada have become the top spots for recreational cannabis. It’s party time…or is it?
No doubt, more people are getting high and less are going to jail. But is anyone getting healthier under the new medical laws?
Today you can visit any dispensary and find hundreds of marijuana products. There are two primary strains — sativa or indica. Both are high in the psychotropic (i.e., mind-altering) compound, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The Israeli organic chemist, Raphael Mechoulam, was the first to extract it in the 1970s. He also discovered its chemical cousin, CBD (cannabidiol).
THC VS CBD
Though THC and CBD are chemical “cousins,” they’re not identical twins. To understand cannabis, you need to know the difference between them and how they work together with other medicinal compounds found in marijuana.
To Mechoulam’s surprise, THC and CBD worked incredibly well at: Relieving pain, epilepsy, tremors, and complications from autism. His team studied the safety of these two compounds and reported zero toxicity or physical addiction, even when administered to children and pregnant women.
Most people who are looking for medicinal cannabis won’t enjoy the “high” that comes with THC-dominant products — especially if they have to use it multiple times a day.
But the devil is in the dose!
Therapeutically, the best marijuana products (“bud” or flower) have only 10 to 15% THC with much smaller amounts of CBD. Experimentation is key for finding the right marijuana for you. Once you find the right dose, it can have positive effects on treating:
- Brain damage
- Joint pain
- Opiate addiction and withdrawals
- Decreasing tremors and seizures from a variety of causes
- Increasing appetite among cancer patients who aren’t eating, to extend the life
But let’s face it. Like any medication, THC can have side effects. Heavy use is associated with memory deficits, nausea, anxiety, and paranoia. It can also lead to an emotional dependency and behavioral problems.
The Best Source of CBD
What about using the chemical cousin of THC — the highly touted CBD molecule, which is often derived from hemp? Can it be used the same way without leading to a person getting stoned? Are there side effects?
Single isolates from nature rarely yield any medicinal value. When CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, it offers very little benefit for the price. However, full-spectrum CBD derived from marijuana is vastly different. This is a marijuana-sourced extract that is processed by a certified lab to provide specific ratios of CBD to THC.
Full-spectrum CBD has far superior therapeutic effects when compared to single-isolate, hemp-based CBD. Not only do the added compounds potentiate (increase the power of) the effects of THC, but they also curb the psychotropic side effects, making it far more therapeutic and useful! The Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics (2001) affirmed this synergistic effect when studying marijuana-derived CBD on pain relief. Chemists wrote:
“Good evidence shows that secondary compounds in cannabis may enhance the beneficial effects of THC. Other cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid compounds in herbal cannabis or its extracts may reduce THC-induced anxiety, cholinergic deficits, and immunosuppression. Cannabis terpenoids and flavonoids may also increase cerebral blood flow, enhance cortical activity, kill respiratory pathogens, and provide anti-inflammatory activity.”
Seizures and tremors are also curbed with full-spectrum CBD. Harvard Health found that:
“The strongest scientific evidence is for its [full-spectrum CBD’s] effectiveness is in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether.”
Marijuana-derived CBD might also be helpful in curbing physical addictions and mood. Studying substance abuse and depression, scientists writing for Neuropsychiatrie (2020) found that adolescents could wean off of THC and anti-depressants without physical signs of withdrawal!
The research concluded that, “the patient stopped abusing illegal drugs including THC without showing withdrawal symptoms. The absence of illegal drug intake was assessed via daily clinical evaluation and confirmed using urine tests showing continuously negative results for a broad range of substances.”
Prevention and inhibition of cancer might also be a superpower effect of full-spectrum CBD. Researchers at the University of Valencia, Spain found that “THC and CBD demonstrated anti-tumor efficacy against glioblastoma, leukemia, and melanoma, as well as cervical, breast, and prostate cancer.”
Looking at previous studies combined with their own research, they concluded that, “THC and CBD inhibit cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, CBD enhances the anti-proliferative effect of THC, which is in agreement with previous studies.”
Choosing a CBD Product
Before you take a random CBD product, consider what health benefits you’re trying to achieve. Full-spectrum CBD will always be slightly psychoactive — i.e., it alters the mind. But remember, CBD is shown to curb the negative side effects of THC and offer an entirely different therapeutic profile.
The best full-spectrum CBD products are those that are higher in CBD than THC. Such products tend to have CBD-to-THC ratios of 1:1, 2:1, 10:1, and even 20:1. The lower the number on the left, the higher the THC, and the more psychotropic the product is. For example, 2:1 would have a stronger psychotropic effect than 10:1.
All of these CBD-to-THC ratios — 1:1, 2:1, 10:1, and even 20:1 — are perfectly suited to enhance sleep, relieve pain, curb addiction, treat seizures, help people wean from opiates, and even win the battle against cancer — as long as you’re also willing to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Basic Healthy Lifestyle Habits!
That starts with drinking spring water regularly, daily exercise, avoiding sugar, and refusing fast food and artificial flavors. And remember, battling cancer, weaning from drugs, and many other uses of marijuana or CBD aren’t limited to cannabis. Plenty of other botanicals are proven to have vast, therapeutic properties as outlined in Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded.
My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.