CBD Effects: What You Need to Know

If you follow the fast-paced developments of the cannabis world, you’ve likely heard a bit about CBD. It stands for “cannabidiol,” and along with THC (or “tetrahydrocannabinol”), it’s one of the most important active compounds—“cannabinoids”—in marijuana.

The loosening of cannabis prohibition has sparked a wave of research, and we’re steadily gaining a more scientific understanding of what many of us intuitively understand: cannabis is a powerful and medically useful plant.

While a full and complete understanding is still years away, CBD’s medical potential has already been demonstrated and is likely to grow. While you don’t need to understand how CBD works to enjoy its benefits, it’s useful to know just a bit about CBD effects and the science behind this fascinating and effective plant-based medicine.

CBD Effects: Cannabis Without the High

Unlike THC, CBD is completely non-psychoactive, and in fact, it behaves as a buffer to reduce or balance THC’s psychoactivity, a useful sort of “safety valve” for those who may have imbibed too much.

Beyond this important trait, CBD exhibits a variety of very beneficial effects, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic—pain-relieving—and anti-anxiety properties. It’s effective at treating some notoriously difficult to manage conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, and because it’s non-psychoactive, it’s especially suited for treating children or other populations who shouldn’t be exposed to psychoactivity.

How to Select High-CBD Strains and Products

Because the cannabis plant contains such a large number of cannabinoids (over 100 at last count), the best way to think about the amounts of CBD—or any cannabinoid—in a particular variety or strain of cannabis is to express it as a ratio compared with other cannabinoids, particularly THC.

For instance, a cannabis product—say, a tincture—may have two times the CBD as THC, often expressed as “2:1 CBD to THC.” A low ratio like this will likely be quite psychoactive, and possibly not what you’re seeking as an anti-inflammatory, for instance.

A ratio more on the order of “18:1 CBD to THC,” on the other hand, will exhibit little psychoactivity and strong therapeutic effect.

Sometimes these numbers are expressed as percentages; if you’re in doubt about what a particular label means, we urge you to speak with a knowledgeable budtender who can help guide the selection process.

New Ways to Enjoy the Benefits of Cannabis

Because CBD is non-psychoactive, it’s well-suited to products designed for an active lifestyle. Beverages and edibles, for instance, don’t require you to pull over to use specialized equipment.

As the cannabis-consuming public expresses greater interest in and knowledge about this exciting “second cannabinoid” to THC, we’re working hard to make more high-CBD cannabis strains and products available. Be sure to check back with us regularly, as new items reach our shelves on a weekly basis. And most of all, we’d love to hear what benefits you’re experiencing from CBD, and learn about what sort of products you’d like to see more of.

What Are the 5 Best Cannabinoids (And, Why)?

Cannabis has nearly 500 natural components including flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are unique to cannabis (and the endocannabinoid system). Cannabinoids are of particular interest to scientists because many can work independently or synergistically (called the “entourage effect”) to produce therapeutic effects. However, most cannabinoids are not well understood.

The most studied cannabinoids are THC and CBD, which are also the most prominent cannabinoids in the plant. Just one cannabinoid — THC — produces both therapeutic and psychotropic effects (meaning it can “heal” you and get you “high”).

Although research will continue to shed light on the therapeutic value of cannabinoids, from a clinical perspective, the following five are some of the most interesting:

THC (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol): THC, of course, is known for producing the high associated with cannabis, but is also therapeutically versatile. Clinical studies confirm THC plays a powerful role in help managing pain (particularly neuropathic pain) as well as symptoms commonly accompanying cancer and HIV/AIDS. Accumulating evidence suggests in low doses, THC is a neuroprotectant and has demonstrated promise as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Studies also suggest that THC plays a key role in promoting extinction of traumatic memories making it particularly useful in the treatment of PTSD.

Cannabidiol (CBD): In the eyes of many, the second most prominent cannabinoid in cannabis — CBD — has emerged as a “wonder compound.” Not only does CBD provide a broad spectrum of therapeutic versatility, unlike THC, it doesn’t produce significant psychotropic effects (aka “a high”).

Accumulating research suggests CBD may be a powerful anti-anxiety agent and potentially a fast-acting mood-boosting antidepressant. Moreover, it appears to interact synergistically with THC by amplifying therapeutic effects, while counteracting potential adverse effects. Studies also suggest CBD is an anti-inflammatory and anti-psychotic drug.

But, wait — there’s more! Not to sound like a pitchman for an ginsu knives infomercial, but CBD is proving to be an amazing compound! In fact, it’s in the drug development process to approved as a treatment for epilepsy and Dravet syndrome (under the brand Epidiolex), and a mounting body of studies suggest it’s effective at treating a wide spectrum of anxiety-related disorders, chronic pain, psychosis, and even diabetes.

Perplexingly, many breeders have crossed plants to increase THC levels at the expense of CBD. This is unfortunate, because the two act like a Yin and Yang. Fortunately, consumers have are getting more savvy and starting realize CBD is a remarkable cannabinoid that they want in their cannabis. And, now we’re seeing high-CBD strains like AC/DC, Harlequin and Cannatonic increase in popularity.

Cannabichromene (CBC): Everyone has heard of THC, while more and more people are discovering CBD. However, CBC, is lesser known, with some people suggesting it may be the next “big thing.” Like CBD, it is non-psychoactive, and evidence suggests it produces some powerful therapeutic effects including neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-depressant features. Research suggests that while effective on its own, it works it's real magic in concert with other cannabinoids like THC, CBD and CBG.

Cannabinol (CBN): CBN, recognized for its sedative properties, is emerging as the cannabinoid that to treat insomnia and sleep issues. With early research suggesting it may promote bone growth, it may also prove effective as a treatment for osteoporosis or to aid recovery from broken bones.

However, you won’t find too many strains that are high in CBN at your dispensary, because CBN increases as the flower is exposed to light. So if you’ve got some flower hanging around that hasn’t been stored very well, it may very well have high CBN content.

Cannabigerol (CBG): CBG is another minor cannabinoid that is generating a lot of interest, although research is still in its infancy. CBG seems to share some similarities with CBD in that it may temper some of the potentially adverse effects of THC (like paranoia) and it seems to work synergistically other cannabinoids. Also, as a GABA inhibitor, it could reduce stress and anxiety. Interestingly, industrial hemp strains are richer in CBG than medicinal strains. However, breeders are starting to create strains with higher CBG content.

Research on some of the other cannabinoids like THCa, THCv, CBDa, and CBDv, are demonstrating promise as potential therapeutic agents. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Cannabis is a complex plant with over 100 identified cannabinoids, most of which we’ve not studied rigorously. As research in the cannabis field continues to blossom, it will be exciting to learn how all these other cannabinoids work and how they could be beneficial.


[mc4wp_form id="20346"]

Study: Cannabinoids Can Help Treat Diabetic Neuropathic Pain

A new study published in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, has found that cannabinoids can help treat neuropathic pain caused by diabetes.

“Diabetic neuropathy (DN) is a common complication of diabetes that leads to allodynia, impaired nerve conduction, and progressive sensory loss”, state’s the study’s abstract. “The aim of this study was to observe the effect of a high-affinity cannabinoid receptors agonist, WIN 55,212-2 [meant to mimic the effects of cannabis], on thermal hyperalgesia, nerve conduction velocity and sciatic nerve histopathology in diabetic rats.”

Using diabetic rats injected with the synthetic cannabinoid, the researcher’s data shows “that cannabinoids have potent antinociceptive effects through direct actions in the spinal dorsal horn of nociceptive pathway. This suggests that intrathecally administered cannabinoids may offer hopeful strategies for the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

According to a study released last year, individuals with a history of cannabis use are less likely to have diabetes. The study, published in the journal Epidemiology, found cannabis consumers to be 30% less likely to have diabetes compared to those who have never consumed the plant.


[mc4wp_form id="20346"]