By Helena Miles — Marijuana is a very powerful and complex plant. It consists of more than 100 different chemicals. These chemicals are called cannabinoids and when they are inhaled or digested they interact with the various receptors in our brain.
Every cannabinoid is different and has its own medical benefits. However, there are two “most famous” compounds which have captivated the public’s attention for years: THC and CBD.
Regardless of the fact that CBD has been extensively promoted in mainstream medicine, both of these compounds have various health benefits. As more and more patients are looking for “organic medication”, marijuana and its cannabinoids are becoming the preferred choice.
In general, both cannabinoids are present in almost all strains, but their ratios can vary. So, while one strain, rich in THC, is good for one medical condition, a strain with high CBD levels can treat something else.
Let’s explore each of these powerful cannabinoids in this detailed infographic by Greencamp.
THC in Recreational and Medicinal Use
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or commonly known as THC, is the main psychoactive compound of marijuana, meaning — it’s the one that makes users high by inducing euphoria.
This is what most recreational users are looking for in marijuana and hence often choose strains with higher THC levels.
But what is lesser known is that THC also has a wide variety of therapeutic benefits.
It has been proved that this chemical compound increases appetite, which is why it’s also used in treating eating disorders such as anorexia.
THC is a very popular painkiller, which is something that even clinical studies proved. There are a number of strains that are proven to relieve neuropathic and chronic pain, spasms, and inflammation.
More than that, cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy (as well as HIV/AIDS patients) are often advised to use marijuana rich in THC to relieve side effects of aggressive therapies.
All the Benefits of CBD As a Medicine
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prominent cannabinoid in marijuana but is not psychoactive like THC. It does not make users feel high, but instead, it produces slight body buzz-inducing relaxation in all ways.
CBD has become very popular recently for its medical application. In fact, it has become a common unconventional treatment for anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological disorders. Furthermore, CBD is also known for being effective in killing bacteria and relieving insomnia symptoms.
CBD is often the main ingredient in many cannabis oil extracts and has gained this popularity in the past several years.
However, despite its wide range of medical purposes both THC and CBD are still illegal in most countries around the world.
THC and CBD Have a Lot in Common
Although it may seem at first that the two cannabinoids are completely opposite, CBD and THC do have a lot in common. In fact, marijuana strains are very often made so that the two cannabinoids complement each other.
The preclinical research has shown that CBD reduces the psychoactive effect of THC. That’s why medical (and recreational) strains are made with a different ratio of THC to CBD.
Helena Miles is the content manager at Greencamp and has been writing and researching about health benefits of marijuana for several years. In her spare time, she is taking dance classes and reading as much as possible.