For people of a certain age and background in the United Kingdom, the mere mention of cannabis is enough to scare them. It will launch them into a tirade against street-corner delinquency and a shabbily-thought-out justification of the War on Drugs.
Decades of negative media coverage in the UK and worldwide along with prohibition have resulted in stigmatization. Along with this a proliferation of mistakenly-held beliefs about cannabis(CBD and THC) and its effects on the human mind and body.
To say that the demonization of a plant with such a fantastic range of possible uses and health benefits is unfortunate is an understatement. Research into cannabis and the range of compounds that the plant contains is throwing up ever-more interesting findings. There is now good evidence to suggest the cannabis-based products can alleviate the symptoms of a growing number of chronic diseases and conditions.
Fortunately, governments around the world and at home here in the UK are starting to see sense. In the later part of the last decade, many countries began to bring in new legislation legalizing the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis and cannabis-based products.
Currently, CBD oil in the UK is readily available. Finding CBD on any High Street across the nation and from a growing number of businesses online is straightforward. Take CBD Oil UK Guide as an example, it lists where to purchase CBD products across the United Kingdom in every major city and online.
This has opened the door for cannabis and hemp cultivation. The result of which can now be seen in the raft of new products containing cannabis and hemp derivatives that can be seen on our shelves and online.
The two most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. We have put together this short guide to help understand the differences between them when you are shopping for oils and other products.
THC: What is it?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, is the principal psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. The cannabinoid is the main agent that causes the ‘high’ feeling that results from recreational cannabis use. THC is not present in anywhere near as high concentrations in hemp as it is in cannabis.
THC works by mimicking the effects of anandamide and 2-AG, two cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human body’s endocannabinoid system. These cannabinoids are responsible for regulating numerous bodily functions, including sleep, pain perception and eating habits.
Among the known effects of THC are: relaxation, changes in sense perception, hunger, tiredness and a reduction in aggression.
CBD: What is it?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid that exists in both the cannabis and hemp plants. While very similar in chemical composition to THC, it does not have any known psychoactive effects.
What CBD lacks in psychoactive effects, it makes up in other ways. CBD is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and an analgesic. It is also known for its ability to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Coupled with CBD’s lack of impact on a person’s cognitive abilities, these therapeutic properties mean that CBD is coming to be understood as a safe and effective treatment for a growing number of chronic conditions.
THC versus CBD
Both THC and CBD have some notable therapeutic effects. As mentioned before, CBD can help reduce inflammation and lessen symptoms of pain associated with some chronic diseases and conditions. THC, on the other hand, is known to be effective at relieving cramps and muscle tightness.
Although THC may be a good treatment for some conditions that result in muscle tightness, the reason why CBD is much more commonly used for therapeutic purposes is that THC can cause some undesirable mental health issues in some people. Chronic use of THC has strong links to the onset of psychosis and schizophrenia in people who are genetically predisposed to these conditions.
In general, CBD is known to have vastly more therapeutic uses than THC. Together with the fact that it has no discernible psychoactive effects, CBD has been shown to be successful in the treatment of a wide range of chronic diseases and conditions. These include epilepsy, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, arthritis and diabetes.
Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it effective for topical use in the treatment of acne and psoriasis. Not only this but a growing body of evidence hinting that CBD could be beneficial for sufferers of schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and ADHD.
With so many different cannabis and hemp-based products on the market today in the United Kingdom, understanding the difference between their active ingredients and what they do can be a tricky business. Navigating this world requires at least some superficial knowledge of the different compounds contained within cannabis and hemp plants and the effects that they have on the human body and mind.
This article has hopefully shed some light on the different uses and effects of THC and CBD to help you decide which cannabis-based products might be suitable for your particular needs.