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CBD vs. THC: Properties, Benefits, and Side Effects

CBD vs. THC: Properties, Benefits, and Side Effects

As a wave of legalization rolls across the United States, more people are becoming interested in cannabis-based products. Heading to your San Diego dispensary can be a confusing experience, especially when surrounded by terms such as THC and CBD. The compounds found in cannabis have different effects on the body, and understanding how they react can help you know which kind of product will fit your lifestyle.

Cannabinoid Confusion

Marijuana plants contain compounds called cannabinoids, the two most common of which are CBD and THC. The human body has cannabinoid receptors throughout. Consuming cannabis will attach to and trigger those receptors, resulting in a number of positive (and sometimes negative) effects. THC is primarily associated with “getting high” as it induces psychoactive reactions, while CBD is considered more benign but still provides medicinal results.

CBD and other cannabis substitutes have become common in drug stores, gas stations, and even grocery markets, though the sources of these products are generally not well known. Whether you’re looking to try CBD or THC for recreation or medicinal purposes, you’re still better off relying on a registered San Diego dispensary to provide your merchandise. You are more likely to get tainted products from disreputable sellers than from a licensed apothecary.

Effects of CBD and THC

While CBD and THC both interact with your body’s chemistry differently, they both have similar benefits. Understanding how they affect your well-being is integral to choosing the right product for what you want to experience. Because CBD does not induce a psychoactive reaction, some of its major medical applications include:

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  • Anti-depressive and Neuropathic aid: cannabinoids act like selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI), a type of medication used to treat depression.
  • Antiepileptic Treatment: Binding to the protein GPR55, the compounds help to reduce seizures in epileptic patients.
  • Inhibit pain response and inflammation: Cannabinoids react with pain receptors, altering how they send signals to the brain.
  • Anxiety Reduction: Cannabis medications help regulate serotonin levels to relieve stress.
  • Schizophrenia Treatment: Doctors have found success using cannabinoids in conjunction with traditional antipsychotics to reduce hallucinations.

Alongside these more significant uses, THC and CBD have more traditionally been applied to a host of more common ailments. Ingesting cannabis aids with digestive issues, including nausea and loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy and other medications and treatments. Sufferers dealing with chronic pain have also found cannabis to help alleviate the discomfort of their conditions.

Taking the High Road

The effects of CBD and THC are quite similar, save for the fact that there are no psychoactive effects when using the former. It’s those mind-altering interactions that make cannabis so popular as a recreational product. There are medical benefits to “getting high” as well, but make sure you check the percentages of THC and CBD while shopping around. Take time to talk with a San Diego dispensary vendor to avoid having too much of a good thing! People who use marijuana recreationally usually feel these kinds of effects:

  • Slowed perception of time
  • Giddy/euphoric feelings
  • Hunger/increased appetite
  • Increased sociability
  • Alteration of sense perception

For these reasons, many cannabis products are controlled substances. It is illegal to drive impaired under any circumstances, so avoid using products that include THC when operating a vehicle in any circumstance.

The Dope on Downsides

The World Health Organization recognizes the safe use of cannabis products as an effective medical treatment for a variety of complications. Even so, just as any medication can have negative interactions with your body, cannabis products can have some side effects as well. Consult with your doctor if you’re interested in trying CBD or THC in your treatment plan to help determine if it will have any interactions with your current medications as well.

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While these side effects tend to be generally harmless, it’s important to note that younger users are bound to feel the effects more severely. As such, underage patients with still-developing brains and nervous systems may wish to wait before incorporating these compounds into their treatment plans. These side-effects include:

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  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • General disconnected feeling of “being high.”
  • Slow response and reaction times
  • Inhibited coordination and cognition
  • Short and long-term memory issues
  • Increased heart rate

Unlike other drugs and medications, patients and recreational users cannot overdose on cannabis. Still, taking too much THC may put emotions and anxieties into overdrive, so check with your local San Diego dispensary staff for advice on product potency.

Knowing Your Experience

Both THC and CBD are excellent compounds for helping people feel better, both medically and recreationally. While there are some side effects associated with using these products, most patients and consumers find the benefits far outweigh any downsides.

Before heading to your local San Diego dispensary, think about what kind of feelings you’re looking to get out of the experience. Whether you’re seeking clear-headed relief or some psychoactive relaxation, cannabis products can help you in ways you’ve never thought possible!