Here’s the difference between CBD and THC

Whether you’re trying to master the art of joint rolling or just want to try to alleviate a sore back, every cannabis user should know the difference between CBD and THC.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that interact with receptors found throughout the body to achieve certain physiological effects.

Humans, along with all vertebrates like dogs, cats, fish, and birds, produce endocannabinoids — neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and impact pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and a variety of other functions.

Exogenous cannabinoids, meanwhile, aren’tproduced by the body but can be found in marijuana as THC, CBD, and a variety of other compounds.

Why does THC get you high while CBD doesn’t?

This part gets complicated, but what you need to know is that THC tends to interact with the parts of your body that makes you feel “high,” while CBD tends to interact with the parts that reduces inflammation.

Jeffrey Raber, CEO of California-based cannabis chemistry lab The Werc Shop, says that although CBD and THC have the same atoms, they’re rearranged very differently.

“Because of that, it’s a wildly different key going into the lock,” Raber said in a phone interview.

CB1 receptors are most prominent in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found more in the peripheral nervous system.

THC has an affinity to bind to CB1 receptors: It won’t shut off your breathing or heart like opioids do because it doesn’t affect the brain stem, but it does trigger that euphoric “high” feeling.

CBD, meanwhile, has a stronger affinity to CB2 receptors, which is why it can reduce inflammation without being psychoactive.

That’s not to say that THC will exclusively bind to CB1 and CBD will exclusively bind to CB2.

And most CBD products, whether a tincture to help you sleep at night or a shot of oil in your smoothie, won’t get you high if it’s hemp-derived because hemp products cannot legally be sold if they contain a THC content higher than 0.3 percent.

How do they work together?

Anecdotally, cannabis consumers report less feelings of anxiety and paranoia when they consume products with both THC and CBD, as opposed to products that contain just THC. In one study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, participants who were given CBD before they were administered a dose of pure THC experienced less cognitive impairment and paranoia than participants who only received pure THC. Wireddescribes CBD as an “antidote” to weed freak outs.

“In a basic sense, the two together act differently than when they are used by themselves,” Raber explained in an email. He says that one or both of two actions can happen: receptors can be activated differently, and/or CB1 and CB2 receptors can change.

“So you are somehow not getting as much THC activity at CB1,” Raber said. “Which is therefore lowering the potential for causing anxiety and paranoia.”

That still leaves a lot unexplained, but as High Times notes, there’s so much more to be studied about cannabis and the brain. Raber says CBD can interact with over 60 receptors in the body, and its full potential is yet to be understood.

All marijuana technically has both THC and CBD, but decades of curating plants without understanding CBD’s potential means that weed tends to be very high in THC. CBD content has been overlooked in favor of weed that’ll guarantee an extreme high. If you tend to get anxious after smoking weed, try out products that have a more balanced ratio of THC and CBD, or are higher in CBD.

What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Hemp and marijuana are both derived from cannabis plants, but industrial hemp can’t be more than 0.3 percent THC to be legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. That means that hemp-derived CBD, which is rarely psychoactive, is legal all across the country regardless of whether or not marijuana is legal in a certain state.

That’s not to say that all CBD products will be accessible nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration still considers CBD to be a “drug ingredient” and won’t allow CBD in food or health products.

Do ratios matter?

Yes.

The higher the CBD to THC ratio, the less high you’ll get. Because CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC, you’re more likely to get comfortably stoned on a 1:1 ratio than an 18:1. A 1:1 ratio means that there’s the same amount of CBD and THC in the product, whereas an 18:1 ratio means there are 18 parts CBD to one part THC.

What about terpenes?

Also known as terpenoids, terpenes are the oils found in all plants. In cannabis plants, the terpenes can determine the “type” of high you’ll tend to experience, from a more relaxing anxiety-easing sedation with linalool, often found in lavender, to a more alert burst of creativity with limonene, a terpene found in citrus fruits.

The cannabis industry often categorizes weed by calling products either a sativa, which are known for more creative, energetic highs, or indica, which are known for “in da couch” calming highs. Hybridssupposedly combine the two sensations. But the differentiation is relatively meaningless; those are botanical categories, not chemical ones. That means that the terms sativa and indica refer to the plant’s shape and physical traits more than what the plant can do for you.

Terpenes, meanwhile, also play a role in how the plant tastes and smells. Growers have been tinkering with terpenes by breeding cannabis plants, curating plants that will give you a targeted high.

If you’re looking for a specific kind of high, you should look at two things: the CBD and THC ratio, and the terpenes present. When they’re all working together, you’ll probably experience a better high than vaping pure THC.

What is the entourage effect?

Sometimes called the “ensemble effect,” the entourage effect takes THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes into account when getting high. The buzzword basically means that the therapeutic benefits of weed are greater when you consume products made of multiple compounds from the whole plant, instead of just THC.

The phrase was popularized by a 2011 study that looked into how interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes can be used to treat various medical disorders. Think of it like a cocktail: It’s going to be a much more fulfilling experience. If you include all of the extra ingredients instead of just drinking straight liquor.

Full spectrum? Isolate? What?

You’ll probably find these words emblazoned across cannabis product packaging, bragging about how it’s made of “pure” CBD or “full-spectrum” plant.

“Unfortunately we don’t have standardized definitions of these terms,” Raber said. “Isolate most likely refers to single-molecule, just CBD by itself.”

Isolate oils are entirely CBD. It isn’t more potent than full-spectrum oil, although it was previously believed to be; a 2015 study found that full-spectrum CBD oil eases inflammation more consistently than isolate oil does.

It gets blurry when cannabis companies label products “full-spectrum,” or “whole plant,” or “broad spectrum.” Although some companies may label products “full-spectrum” if all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — and terpenes from a plant are included, Raber notes that without an industry-wide standard, all “full-spectrum” really means is that there’s more than one cannabinoid present.

Cannabis company MassRoots describes full-spectrum and isolate as two different kinds of pasta sauce. While full-spectrum oil includes tomatoes, mushrooms, meat, and the works, an isolate oil would just be made of tomatoes. But until the cannabis industry figures out a way to define what “full-spectrum” really means, there’s little regulation guaranteeing that the product you’re about to consume has more than just THC or CBD in it.

How do you get CBD?

If you do live in a state with legal recreational marijuana you can consume CBD products in a variety of ways. It’ll be up to you to decide which works best for you — and at what dosage — so you’ll need to do some experimenting. It’s best to start with a low dose and move up over a few days when you’re starting out.

  • Tinctures are herbal extracts made from infusing plants in alcohol. You can consume these through a dropper used under the tongue. (Just make sure to let the drops absorb and not swish the liquid around in your mouth — that will impact how your body absorbs the CBD.)
  • Oils use a carrier oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil. Like tinctures, you can consume CBD oils by using a dropper under the tongue.
  • Edibles like CBD gummies are appealing because of their taste. CBD gummies are particularly popular, but many contain CBD isolate.
  • Vaping is also popular, but can result in lung irritation if it’s made of cheap carrier liquids. If you’re going to vape CBD, check out the ingredients before buying any products — cannabis vapes shouldn’t use the same ingredients as nicotine vapes.
  • Patches allow users to consume CBD through their skin — with a simple adhesive patch, you can get the benefits of CBD without needing to vape or take edibles.

Now that you know the difference, go forth and blaze it.

Source: Mashable

Senate signs off on smokable medical marijuana

Under the proposal, patients could buy up to 2.5 ounces of medical pot during a 35-day period and would be able to possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis at any given time. Smoking of medical cannabis — which would have to be purchased from state-authorized operators — would be banned in public places. And patients under age 18 would be allowed to smoke the treatment only if they are terminally ill and have a second opinion from a board-certified pediatrician.

The Senate’s 34-4 vote in favor of the measure (SB 182) came two days after the start of the 2019 legislative session, and the House is expected to take up the measure Wednesday.

“We have been working around the clock, with our colleagues in the House and with the governor’s office, to come up with a consensus product. I think we have done that,” Sen. Jeff Brandes, the bill’s sponsor, said in an interview Thursday.

The quick legislative action comes in response to an ultimatum delivered by the Republican governor shortly after he took office in January. DeSantis gave the Legislature until March 15 to address the smoking ban. If they don’t act, DeSantis threatened to drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that found the prohibition violates a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The smoking ban was included in a 2017 law aimed at carrying out the amendment, approved by more than 71 percent of voters in 2016.

Cathy Jordan, a plaintiff in the case, credits a daily regimen of smoking marijuana with keeping her alive decades after doctors predicted she would die from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jordan, who grows her own pot and who is highly regarded by pot advocates nationwide, testified last year that smoking marijuana treats a variety of life-threatening side effects of the disease and that other forms of ingestion don’t have the same positive impact.

“Every year, she comes up and she would visit us,” Brandes said. “Cathy Jordan was a champion.”

Several Republican lawmakers, however, bristled at the idea of legalizing smokable pot, which Sen. Kelli Stargel of Lakeland called a dangerous “gateway drug.”

The proposal requires the state university system’s Board of Governors to designate a university to house a “Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research” and would steer $1.5 million each year to fund the research, which would be based on data submitted by doctors.

But Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, said that doing away with the ban defies common sense because of the well-known negative health effects of smoking.

“I guess we could take any medication and now say why don’t we smoke any medication? There’s lots of medications out there, and I think we ought to open it up to that, unless we think there’s something wrong with that,” he said. “The research needs to be done before we implement it, not afterwards.”

But Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who has been instrumental in passage of the state’s medical marijuana laws, argued the legislation erects “reasonable guiderails” that would be lacking if the governor drops the court appeal.

“It’s time to move this discussion from Tallahassee to doctors’ offices around the state of Florida,” he said.

But Bradley, a former prosecutor, also challenged doctors to take the issue seriously.

“This is a medicine. Treat it as such,” he said. “Make sure when you make your decisions with your patients that you do so in their health, in their best interest, and not turn this into some kind of joke.”

The newly inaugurated DeSantis appeared at a news conference Jan. 17 with Orlando lawyer John Morgan, who largely bankrolled the 2016 constitutional amendment, to deliver an unambiguous ultimatum about eliminating the smoking ban, saying the “sword of Damocles” was hanging over the head of legislative leaders.

 “We have to comply with the Constitution. I am not going to fight these lawsuits when we are on the losing side of them. So if they continue to do a bill that’s constitutional, then we will move on,” DeSantis, a Harvard Law School graduate, told reporters Tuesday.

Senate President Bill Galvano, however, is among those who believe the ban does not violate the constitutional amendment, which does not specifically state that smoking of medical marijuana is allowed.

“I think we were right when we interpreted the amendment the way it was interpreted … but the world we find ourselves in is where the courts disagreed with us. That’s how it works, and we have respect for the courts and respect for the Constitution that we’ve sworn to uphold. So we’ve done what I think is taking some reasonable steps in meeting the requirements of both,” the Bradenton Republican told reporters after Thursday’s floor session.

If the House approves the bill and DeSantis signs it into law as expected, it’s unclear how long it will take for smokable pot to become available to patients.

State health officials would still have to craft rules regulating smokable marijuana. And DeSantis has yet to appoint a Department of Health secretary, who also serves as the state’s surgeon general.

The state’s largest medical marijuana operator, Trulieve, is prepared to offer whole-plant products to patients “as soon as all rules and approvals are in place,” the company said in a news release following passage of the bill.

“Though we do not have an exact date for when these rules will be in place, we understand patients’ urgency in getting immediate access to this form of medicine and are working to be as prepared as possible for when approvals are granted,” the Quincy-based company said in a statement.

Source: Senate signs off on smokable medical marijuana

Cannabis Goes Global While The U.S. Falls Behind

With Mexico moving closer to legalization, the U.S. is increasingly looking out of step with cannabis trends.

This week, Mexico’s Congress is expected to begin deliberating a bill to legalize medical and recreational cannabis use across the country. President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador signaled his willingness to consider legalization during the campaign. Then last week, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that anti-cannabis laws are unconstitutional, forcing lawmakers to decide how to regulate its use.

López Obrador and Mexico aren’t alone in the push to decriminalize cannabis. Uruguay and Canada have already made recreational use legal, while 30 countries (and 33 U.S. states), including Australia, Germany and Israel, have legalized some type of cannabis use. Those numbers are growing. A dozen or more countries have started on the path to full legalization of the plant.

Spain and the Netherlands allow recreational use at designated cafes. Jamaica and the Czech Republic have burgeoning cannabis tourism industries, and have acknowledged them by starting to decriminalize medical use and possession of small amounts. After taking office last year, French President Emmanuel Macron followed through on a campaign promise to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for minor cannabis possession. Colombia and Portugal have strong grassroots legalization movements and growing government support. All these countries are often listed on “most likely to legalize next” lists.

Source: Cannabis Goes Global While The U.S. Falls Behind

Mexico court sets precedent on legal, recreational pot use

Mexico’s Supreme Court issued two more rulings Wednesday ordering that complainants in individual cases be allowed to use marijuana for recreational purposes, establishing a precedent that a blanket prohibition on pot is unconstitutional.

The court found that adults have a fundamental right to personal development which lets them decide their recreational activities without interference from the state.

“That right is not absolute, and the consumption of certain substances may be regulated, but the effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the ruling said.

The high court ordered the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk to authorize the complainants to consume marijuana, though not to commercialize it or use other drugs.

The two decisions followed three similar ones between 2015 and 2017, and under Mexican law five decisions on a related issue set a standard that applies more broadly.

“With the existence of five precedents in the same vein on the subject, the judgment will be mandatory for all courts in the country,” the high tribunal concluded.

The rulings technically do not legalize recreational use, however. They establish that courts must allow it, but it is still up to each individual to press his or her case in the judicial system.

Mexico saw something similar happen in recent years with five Supreme Court rulings establishing a broader precedent allowing same-sex couples to wed, though same-sex marriage has yet to become the law of the land nationwide.

Mexico United Against Crime, a group that opposes prohibitionist drug policies, said Wednesday’s rulings “open the door to regulation of cannabis” and confirm that “Mexico must move toward the regulation of drugs to improve conditions of justice and peace in the country.”

Formal legalization would be up to Congress, and the group urged lawmakers to act.

“The Supreme Court has done its job. … The responsibility for issuing the corresponding regulation falls on congress,” the group’s director general, Lisa Sanchez, said in a statement.

Mexico has long been the source of marijuana smuggled into the United States. The rulings from Mexico‘s Supreme Court come after many U.S. states have legalized pot in recent years for medicinal purposes, recreational use or both.

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A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the earlier rulings came between 2015 and 2017.

 

Source: Mexico court sets precedent on legal, recreational pot use

Wall Street’s Marijuana Madness: ‘It’s Like the Internet in 1997’

 

Entrepreneurs and investors are rushing headlong into the nascent legal marijuana industry, fueling a stock craze reminiscent of the late 1990s dot-com bubble and the recent bitcoin mania.

TORONTO—Shannon Soqui just quit his Wall Street job to go after what he thinks is a bigger business: selling marijuana the way Mary Kay Inc. sells cosmetics.

The 51-year-old banker wants to focus on Qind, his San Francisco startup that organizes home parties to sell cannabis products, to get a piece of what he says could sprout into a $100 billion annual business in the U.S.

“It’s like the internet in 1997 or 1998,” said Mr. Soqui. “Investment opportunities to create new businesses have never been more compelling.”

Entrepreneurs and investors are rushing headlong into the nascent legal marijuana industry, fueling a stock craze reminiscent of the late 1990s dot-com bubble and the recent bitcoin mania. Big companies, wealthy families and amateurs alike are taking stakes in speculative companies, many of which have scant revenue or history.

Source: Wall Street’s Marijuana Madness: ‘It’s Like the Internet in 1997’

The Amount of Older Americans Using Marijuana Is Getting, Um, Higher

Boomers are experimenting with marijuana more than ever before. Here’s what it could mean.

Marijuana is apparently booming among, well, boomers. Specifically, marijuana use is becoming more prevalent among Americans over 50, according to a new study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The study analyzed survey responses from more than 17,000 adults over 50 and found that roughly 9% of American adults ages 50 to 64 used marijuana in the past year. Around 3% of adults over age 65 tried marijuana in that same period.

In practical terms, wider adoption of cannabis products among middle-aged and older adults certainly makes sense. In terms of medical use, marijuana is often cited as diminishing nausea and pain symptoms. And just this June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the nation’s first-ever cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex.

Source: The Amount of Older Americans Using Marijuana Is Getting, Um, Higher

Marijuana Bill Scheduled For Congressional Vote This Week

The U.S. House panel that oversees federal drug enforcement is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to dramatically expand opportunities for research on the medical benefits of marijuana.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve legislation to license more growers of cannabis to be used in scientific research.

Source: Marijuana Bill Scheduled For Congressional Vote This Week

Americans support bill to shield legal cannabis states, legalizing marijuana

Nearly three-quarters of American voters surveyed by Qunnipiac University say they would support legislation that shields states that have legalized medical or recreational from federal prosecution.

Source: Americans support bill to shield legal cannabis states, legalizing marijuana

Legal marijuana’s arrival in downtown Spokane prompts desire to re-evaluate laws

Lucky Leaf opened on First Avenue last month, and a proposed store at the corner of Lincoln and Second Avenue seems primed for downtown Spokane’s second legal pot shop. The businesses say they hope to revitalize the western part of Spokane’s downtown, but neighbors worry about the consequences.

Source: Legal marijuana’s arrival in downtown Spokane prompts desire to re-evaluate laws