There are more than 100 different cannabinoids found in any Dry Herb strain, so why is it when you’re buying flower people only talk about the THC and the CBD?
What is it about these compounds that make the good bud so good, and for that matter, what are they to begin with? Here is a breakdown for you right now so you can always get the most out of your herb.
There are several areas of the brain that respond to these cannabinoids. Areas like the hippocampus and the frontal cortex. These are called the cannabinoid receptors. THC, CBD and other cannabinoids attach themselves to the receptors where they alter the brain’s chemistry, delivering its effects.
All of these cannabinoid receptors in your body make up the larger endocannabinoid system which is a neurotransmitter network that helps deliver the effects. Through this, these cannabinoids affect memory, mood, appetite, motor control and immune system, so if you’re hoping to get a particular effect while baked, you should probably pay close attention.
When you hear people talking about the specifics of marijuana you often hear them talking about THC. THC, which is short for, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the principal psychoactive cannabinoid within any strain of marijuana and binds well with the Cannabinoid receptors.
The effects of marijuana begin as just relaxation and a sense of euphoria, but if they THC is too strong, you may eventually begin to feel paranoia and anxiety.
Anandamide is a THC-similar compound found naturally within the brain. There hasn’t been a lot of research done into this compound but what scientists have discovered is that it could be responsible for forgetting things.
Why do you want to forget things you might ask? Well the compound is literally in charge of getting rid of all of the mental clutter you collect during the day like strangers faces. THC actually has the ability to bind with Anandamide and enhance it, which is why you get all foggy during a good high and why marijuana is so good with mental conditions like PTSD.
Marijuana is also believed to be the Cannabinoid that is most responsible for helping people to sleep.
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is essentially the polar opposite of THC and has anti-anxiety and anti-psychoactive effects. CBD doesn’t bind with the receptors as well as THC does and inadvertently suppresses them, in the process lessening some of the THC’s more harmful effects.
Essentially, it’s all relaxation, no intoxication. It might not be what you aim for when buying your bud, but CBD is incredibly important because it contains most of the medicinal effects that have allowed it to be made legal.
These beneficial effects include anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and anti-depressants.
CBD is proven across several studies to help relieve pain and assist with the symptoms of cancer and epilepsy. The addition of CBD, and its healing effects, are one of the biggest reasons why the medical marijuana movement has been so strong.
As a natural pain reliever and a strong anti-inflammatory, a majority of scientists agree that these agents could be a treatment for chronic or debilitating pain.
These Two Together
THC and CBD are basically designed to balance each other out. Sure, when you buy weed what you really want is THC for a good and intense high, but what you might not realise is that if you don’t get a healthy amount of CBD along with it, then all you’re going to get are some of the more negative effects.
These effects you’ve probably heard of. Paranoia. Anxiety. In extreme cases, hallucinations. It’s the CBD that keeps all of these at bay.
These two work best when there’s roughly 25% of whatever the THC content is in CBD, so you’re still getting high, but you won’t feel any extra amount of anxiety or fear. So, hypothetically, in a strain that is 20% THC, it would be good to get 5% CBD as well.
Of course, for someone older who’s only interested in marijuana for the medicinal content, the more CBD compared to the THC would be best.
Sativa and Indica
Two other things you see very often when buying your strain of weed is whether or not those strains are Indica, Sativa, or maybe a hybrid of both. The question is what do these terms mean and what relationship do they have to both THC and CBD.
To make it simple, Indica strains are great for relaxing, couch-sinking highs while Sativa strains provide a lot more energy and give a very heady high.
Hybrids are strains containing samples of both and give a very mixed high, but can often shift towards Indica or Sativa dominant.
Traditionally, you’ll find Indica strains have a much higher amount of CBD in its ratio, which is one of the reasons why Indica is capable of providing such relaxing effects and will also greatly reduce pain. Sativa strains have a higher amount of THC when compared to their CBD content.
The psychoactive effects taking hold is what people feel when they describe the heady, happy feelings and usually provides a lot of energy and will also increase your appetite some.
CBC is usually the third most common cannabinoid found within the herb plant and, similar to CBD, has many medical properties. These include an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and some anti-depressant qualities. Because of CBC’s overall quantity within the herb, you may see sometimes that there’s more CBC than CBD in a particular strain.
CBN is a cannabinoid that doesn’t naturally exist within the plant at first but instead is the product of improper storage. When the herb is exposed to too much heat and light for too long, the THC will begin to break down and change molecularly, producing CBN instead. Though not nearly as psychoactive, CBN is known to have antibacterial properties and helps stimulate an appetite.
Also know as the bliss molecule, Anandamide has antidepressant qualities, way more so than CBC, and has been heavily studied by pharmacologists for its effects. Despite only taking up less than 1% of the herb overall, causes a dramatic increase in both energy and mood and reverses stress.