For the longest time, CBD (cannabidiol) advocates have been trying to distance CBD oil from THC ( delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). After all, THC is the psychoactive molecule in marijuana that had virtually all cannabis outlawed for over a decade!
Now that people have woken up to the fact that CBD has no psychoactive effects (and a bunch of benefits), hemp products are legal. However, we shouldn’t turn our backs on hemp’s rebel cousin, marijuana.
Let’s quickly discuss the differences between marijuana and hemp. Then we can dive into why a little THC can go a long way in improving your CBD oil benefits.
Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
Both hemp and marijuana are members of the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana tends to grow more THC molecules and has a very low CBD level in its genetic makeup. This difference in molecules is why smoking marijuana out of a bubbler gets you high.
On the contrary, hemp produces a lot of CBD. Under federal law, agriculture hemp must have 0.3% THC or less. There’s not enough THC in agriculture hemp to elicit a mind-altering experience.
However, that doesn’t mean that low levels of THC don’t still have benefits. In fact, THC can improve the benefits of CBD oil. Here’s why!
THC, CBD, and the Entourage Effect
THC and CBD are just two of over 100 molecules that are mostly unique to cannabis. These plant-based compounds are known as phytocannabinoids.
Research suggests each phytocannabinoid has a unique property that the other doesn’t. This deduction makes sense. After all, we know the most about CBD and THC, and these two molecules have completely different interactions with our system!
In fact, they both interact with different receptors in unique ways. All phytocannabinoids interact with one of two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). THC binds onto CB1, which takes up residence in the brain. Those interactions cause the high associated with marijuana.
Meanwhile, CBD modulates CB2. It doesn’t tend to bind to receptors like THC. However, it can influence CB1 receptors to decrease the intensity of a marijuana high.
Since each phytocannabinoid picks up the others’ slack, that means each phytocannabinoid is more potent and bioavailable in the presence of other phytocannabinoids. This scientific act of synergy is known as the entourage effect.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil and THC?
On its own, CBD has many benefits for the body. However, CBD oil can’t reach its fullest potential without a little help from its friends. This notion includes THC. Here are some of the benefits of adding a bit of THC to your CBD routine.
A study by California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco saw scientists inject breast and brain tumors with CBD and THC. Results found that the tumor was completely eradicated.
Researchers hypothesize that these results are due to how CBD and THC interact with cell receptors. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors at the source of the tumor. Meanwhile, CBD influences the membrane of the cell.
As Dr. Wai Liu of the University of London told Medical Daily, “THC works via receptors, whilst CBD may not need them; consequently, using them together results in a ‘priming’ effect in tumour cells, making them more sensitive to the ‘cell killing’ effects of irradiation.”
A study involving THC and CBD treatment for cancer saw those in remission that used these cannabis molecules had an 83% less chance of recurrence in a year, as compared to the placebo group who had a 53% one-year survival rate.
In addition, CBD and THC both provide pain relief to the body. That’s because CB1 and CB2 receptors are placed throughout the body. Whenever inflammation, bacterial infections, or injuries happen, localized cannabinoid receptors let us know.
Your brain receives the message. When this happens, it releases a protein known as substance P. Substance P is our pain perception.
CB1 and CB2 receptors don’t tend to frequent the same areas. CB1 receptors tend to be scattered through the body and brain. That’s why marijuana gives you a relaxed mind and body high.
Whereas CB2 receptors are in vital organs like the spleen, GI tract, and immune system cells. That’s why CBD oil is such a versatile addition to anyone’s wellness. It helps your body maintain healthy and crucial physiological processes.
Can You Get CBD Oil with THC?
Not everybody is a fan of smoking marijuana. Nor do they want to experience a high. That doesn’t mean they can’t still experience the benefits of THC.
You can purchase CBD oil that elicits the entourage effect. All CBD oil made from hemp in America will have 0.3% THC or less. So, you won’t experience any psychoactive side effects.
Some brands remove THC from the formula. These items are called “broad-spectrum” hemp extracts. Broad-spectrum CBD products have phytocannabinoids other than THC that promote the entourage effect.
The highest quality of CBD oil is called “full-spectrum.” These products have all phytocannabinoids intact and shouldn’t cause any mind-altering experiences.
If you live in an area with medical or recreational cannabis programs, you might be able to get CBD oil derived from marijuana or CBD oil bred with high THC levels.
These products might cause psychoactive experiences on top of benefits. So, be sure to ask the budtender or physician about THC levels.
Bottom Line on CBD with THC
If you want a full spectrum of CBD oil benefits, make sure you are getting CBD oil with THC in it. Of course, smoking marijuana or consuming edibles can also promote the entourage effect. However, CBD might also counteract the high. So, that might not be the most viable option for you.
The best option is to get a full spectrum of CBD oil. If you still want the entourage effect without THC, then broad-spectrum products for you.
For those who want to experience the entourage effect, don’t buy pure CBD or CBD isolate. While using CBD isolate might be beneficial for some, not all who use pure CBD will experience the oil’s highest potential.