THC vs. CBD: Which is Better for Your Symptoms?
With medical marijuana dispensaries finally opening across West Virginia, many patients are now looking for information about the best cannabis products to treat their symptoms and conditions. Not only is the selection of cannabis forms going to expand over the next few months to include more flower and vape strains, topicals, capsules and tinctures, but there will also be greater variation in THC and CBD concentrations.
Getting your medical marijuana card in West Virginia is easy, but knowing what to buy at the dispensary may be a little more of a challenge. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of THC vs CBD, how to implement them into treatment plans, and what it looks like when you use them together!
Medical Marijuana Terminology: THC and CBD
Cannabis Ingredients: Cannabinoids
With around 100 known cannabinoids and nearly 300 non-cannabinoid compounds, the cannabis plant contains many compounds that comprise how the plant tastes, smells, and works.
These compounds can work together to produce their overall effects, which is a phenomenon called the entourage effect, and sometimes they even contrast each other, allowing one dominant combination of cannabinoids to overpower another.
Central to these compounds are two cannabinoids that are likely the most pronounced in how they produce noticeable effects in the body, THC and CBD.
THC & CBD
THC is probably the most well-known cannabinoid, and it’s famous for its psychoactive effects, and its medical benefits with inflammation, appetite, sleep, cancers, and pain.
THC occurs naturally within cannabis sativa and cannabis hemp plants, however it's only found in high concentrations in cannabis sativa plants.
CBD is closely related to THC but does not cause the euphoria that THC does, and it offers therapeutic benefits such as reduced anxiety, seizures, pain and tremors, as well as improved mood, blood pressure, and appetite.
Should I Use THC or CBD?
THC, CBD, or Both?
THC and CBD share similarities in therapeutic benefits, but they differ heavily in terms of psychoactive potency.
While you can take large doses of CBD with little to no impairment, taking too much THC will certainly produce psychoactive results that may inhibit daily activities to some degree.
Taking CBD alongside THC can provide many benefits as well, and may even help offset the edginess that larger doses of THC can bring.
CBD may also work to improve the efficacy of THC, and in many cases the question isn’t whether you should take one over the other, but how much of both compounds you should be taking.
Choosing Cannabis Products Based on Symptoms
There are many products made with a 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1 ratio of CBD:THC, and there are many cannabis flower strains that contain high amounts of THC with smaller levels of CBD.
Choosing between CBD, THC, or a combination of both will be highly relative to your condition and your goals in treating the symptoms of that condition. Some patients will require more THC, while others will require more CBD, and some patients will need concentrations of both.
How CBD & THC Work
How THC Works
THC and CBD also share similarities in how they work in the body, though they do have noticeable differences.
Both THC & CBD go to work in the body’s endocannabinoid system, interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
THC binds to these receptors and begins to activate different compounds in your body that will operate across a variety of functions such as pain response, inflammation, cognition, mood, and appetite, among many others.
How CBD Works
CBD also goes to work in the endocannabinoid system, although instead of binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC, it works as an inhibitor to THC and helps shape the receptors for favorable transmission.
Because CBD stimulates these receptors as opposed to binding to them, it can work as a standalone compound, or it can work alongside THC to make the binding process easier, helping to mitigate some of the psychoactive effects of THC along the way.
Here in the endocannabinoid system, CBD will work to help the body produce endogenous cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that will work on various functions like mood, appetite, muscle tremors, and many others.
Products High in THC or High in CBD
High THC, Low CBD Products
There are many products available that are high in THC and low in CBD.
Cannabis flower is frequently grown to have very high concentrations of THC with a lower CBD content. In fact, it’s likely that most cannabis flower strains you will find in dispensaries have only minimal amounts of CBD, while advertising very high THC levels.
Concentrates are also typically high in THC, with very minimal to no CBD content. Concentrates provide extremely high levels of THC, and are produced for patients with a high tolerance to THC, or who need very large doses for their condition, and are not recommended for newer patients or those with a low tolerance to cannabis.
High CBD, Low THC Products
Alongside high THC products, there is also a large variety of high CBD products made with low or no THC content.
Cannabis topicals and tinctures are the two most common products that frequently boast lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD, and in many cases they can be found as standalone CBD products with no THC at all.
However, while many CBD products are available legally, purchasing your CBD-based products from dispensaries offers safety in knowing that the products are highly tested and safe to use by patients with chronic and terminal illnesses.
There are certain cannabis flower strains grown for high CBD content, though these are more difficult to find in dispensaries and you may have to look around to find the right flower.
All in all, you will have a variety of products to choose from containing either CBD, THC, or both as a medical marijuana patient, and more products will become available as new WV cannabis dispensaries come online.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in West Virginia
West Virginia is only recently entering the medical marijuana world, but dispensaries are working hard to stock a variety of medical marijuana products. Finding the right balance of THC and CBD can make your treatment plan as effective as possible, and having a medical marijuana card is the only way to access your treatment legally.
Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at cannabis dispensaries in West Virginia!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in the Mountain State.
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wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.
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If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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