Are you looking for an option between CBD and THC to ease your chronic pain? CBD and THC both come from the same plant. But they work differently in the body.
CBD short for cannabidiol and THC also known as tetrahydrocannabinol are two of the 100 or more cannabinoids found in cannabis plant.
Both CBD and THC work by affecting the endocannabinoid system of the body. Endocannabinoid system refers to a group of receptors that regulate various physiological processes including pain, digestion, mood, and sleep.
Cannabis is well known for its ability to help people with problems like insomnia, PTSD, and chronic pain.This is because the endocannabinoid receptors are involved in so many functions in the body.
So far the most notable difference between CBD and THC is that one makes its user high and the other does not. THC is a psychoactive compound that causes euphoric effects. THC is also associated with many side effects like dry mouth, red eyes, increased hunger. Most CBD users report little to no side effects. Side effects associated with CBD are sleepiness, diarrhea, dry mouth, change in weight.
Research suggests CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, it can help relieve pain induced by inflammatory diseases like arthritis. A 2017 study concluded that CBD may help reduce osteoarthritis related pain and inflammation, and even prevent nerve damage
Other studies suggest CBD can alleviate neuropathic pain and incision-related pain. The effectiveness of CBD in treating several types of pain has made it popular to the people who are suffering from health conditions like fibromyalgia, IBS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, etc.
There is plenty of research supporting the use of cannabis for pain relief, but less attention has been paid to the specific benefits of THC.
A recent study in neurology suggests that THC can help treat chronic nerve pain. A larger study conducted on 177 people who were cancer patients found that THC with CBD reduced pain by 30%. Another double-blind study supported this conclusion when using THC for post surgery pain. In a 2017 study found that when both CBD and THC taken alone was effective in alleviating chemotherapy related pain in mice.
Although CBD and THC are the most studied compounds in cannabis plants, they are not alone. There are dozens of other cannabinoids that work together to provide different synergic effects. For instance, the third most effective compound in cannabis is Cannabichromene. Cannabichromene or CBC also has shown anti inflammatory benefits as cannabidiol.
By ingesting multiple cannabinoids together including CBD and THC one can experience the entourage effect. CBD oil and THC alone have their own benefits but when they are combined it produces a more powerful effect. Moreover, the combination works great for pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia.
The entourage effect is the reason why CBD products fall into two categories: full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Full spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoids and on the other hand, CBD isolate products contain only CBD.
Due to a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, full-spectrum products can be unpredictable in their effects. CBD isolate products are suitable for those who can not stand the effect of THC.
Most of the products in the market are made from industrial hemp plant. Furthermore, they should contain 0.3 percent or less THC in them. There are some other CBD products that are made from marijuana plant and they can contain a higher amount of THC.
As you can see, it is hard to say whether CBD and THC are good for chronic pain. Both of them offer a multitude of benefits for several health conditions. According to studies and anecdotal evidence, they work better when taken together due to the entourage effect.
CBD products may vary widely in effectiveness. Do not give up if you do not see any difference using one.