Contrary to popular opinion, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have many in common. Both of these cannabinoids, which are found in the highest amounts in cannabis plants, are useful in treating anxiety. They’ve even got identical chemical makeup (the atoms are arranged differently). The fundamental difference between THC and CBD can be summed up in one word: intoxication.
CBD is generally non-psychoactive or non-psychoactive as a non-intoxicating chemical. Why? Even if you don’t get high from CBD tincture, the soothing effect on your body is psychoactive. Psychedelics are drugs that have a direct impact on how the brain works. On the other hand, THC can cause intoxication even at low levels.
This is due to the way THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body (ECS). The human endocannabinoid system comprises cannabinoid receptors distributed all over the body. Two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are among the most thoroughly investigated in the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and immune system. In all three of these systems, they can be discovered.
Binding to the CB1 receptor, THC generates the conventional weed high, whereas CBD has been proven to interact with CB1 receptors oppositely, acting as an antagonist. When used together, CBD appears to increase the medicinal and pleasurable effects of THC by reducing the negative side effects of THC, such as anxiety and a rapid heartbeat.
What role does how food is consumed play?
The way CBD is consumed has a big impact on how long it takes to work. Inhalation is considered an efficient delivery route for CBD since the body quickly absorbs it. When CBD is smoked or vaped, cannabinoids enter the lungs and circulate throughout the body via the bloodstream.
Oral or topical CBD delivery is preferred by certain cannabis patients and consumers, whereas inhalation is the most effective way for others. There may be some scientific data to back up this sentiment for the record.
“CBD is more bioavailable through the lungs than through the gut,” explains Dr Adie Rae, a neuroscientist and Weedmaps scientific advisor. Only 5% of the CBD you ingest gets into your bloodstream, compared to 50% of the CBD you inhale. While CBD’s bioavailability varies depending on how it’s smoked, a study published in Chemistry & Biodiversity in 2017 revealed that “smoking... provides a quick and efficient form of drug administration.”
The effects of this product are practically instantly noticeable after inhalation, which is a plus. Edibles have a two-hour lag time before their effects kick in.