Marijuana usage rates are up; 1 in 7 US adults admitted to smoking it in 2017, so it’s understandable to think everyone and quite literally their mom are giving marijuana a shot. But what’s the reason for this? The first may be the most obvious, and that’s the psychotropic “high” associated with cannabis consumption.
But another trend has increased the demand: the view that marijuana isn’t a drug but has beneficial effects on their health. Within the marijuana plant are chemical compounds called cannabinoids, two of which are the most well-known for their effects on the human body. They are called THC and CBD. Read on to learn more.
So, What is THC?
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known by its acronym THC (the Delta-9 part is sometimes omitted) is a psychoactive chemical compound present in marijuana. THC is very similar in formula to an endemic brain hormone known as anandamide, allowing it to bind to receptors located in the brain. Once THC attaches itself to these receptors, normal physiological function is interrupted.
THC cells stimulate the production of dopamine and reduce normal activity in the hippocampus. This produces minor cardiorespiratory effects and the “high” that many people enjoy after consuming cannabis products, characterized by feelings of relaxation and euphoria, and impacting the ability to normally process memories.
Then what’s CBD?
Cannabidiol is the other important compound produced in plants of the Cannabis genus. Much like THC, CBD attaches itself to the aforementioned endocannabinoid receptor system in the brain and other locations in the body. Cannabinoid consumption, therefore, creates an uptick in dopamine production, much like THC, but does not alter hippocampus activity.
The result is that CBD does not carry the same psychoactive “high” that THC produces. CBD can be added to topical products, taken orally as CBD oil or edibles, vaporized, or through many other methods as well.
Why does the difference matter?
Since stigma still surrounds marijuana use, regardless of legality, many people see anything that comes from the hemp or marijuana plant as ‘immoral’ or dangerous. However, CBD-rich or CBD-exclusive products need to be seen in a separate light from THC.
Since CBD does not induce intoxication, many people can try these products without concern for being “stoned” or coming across as a drug user. More CBD research and products have the chance to help make high-quality CBD more available to more people, and the world a better place as a result.
For more information, visit Sun State Hemp.