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Why does CBD not get you High and THC does?

Why does CBD not get you High and THC does?

You may have heard of a form of cannabis called CBD, which seems to sound a lot like THC. You may have even heard that CBD doesn’t provide the same “high” that THC provides. Why is this? How is it possible to consume cannabis without getting high? This article seeks to explain the differences between CBD and THC, and how the experience can be so different despite these compounds both being from the same plant.

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. CBD is a slightly different molecule from THC, which stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. Though both of these cannabinoids are formed in the cannabis plant, they do very different things. Both have benefits and are worthy of appreciating in their own right. Though a CBD session feels different from a THC session, that’s not to say nothing’s going on.

CBD performs a different psychoactive function from THC. This means that the rush of euphoria and ‘buzzy’ high normally associated with THC is replaced with a relaxing and mellow experience that does not alter your “headspace,” in the same way- allowing you to perform your daily chores, perform activities, and even entertain guests.

Some people find the effects from THC too strong, even uncomfortable. Some people are seeking an especially therapeutic experience. If you’ve tried THC and didn’t like the occasionally chaotic, flighty feeling, or if you are trying to obtain some of the many medical benefits CBD has to offer, there are options to suit any need.

How exactly does CBD differ from THC? According to (1) “Structurally, however, there is one important difference. Where THC contains a cyclic ring (see Figure 1), CBD contains a hydroxyl group. It is this seemingly small difference in molecular structure that gives the two compounds entirely different pharmacological properties.”This means it works differently in the brain when it is absorbed. How differently? Well according to (2) “CBD is exceedingly bad at activating the CB1 receptor. In fact, evidence suggests that it actually interferes with the activity of the CB1 receptor, especially in the presence of THC.” So when you consume a CBD product the feeling resulting does not resemble a “high.” So even though you’ve absorbed it in much the same way you would THC, it’s doing something different in your brain. It is this effect that has been deemed especially therapeutic to those seeking the more ‘toned-down’ effects from cannabis, such as calmness of mind and spirit.

It seems that even if you consume THC and CBD together, the CBD will inhibit some effects of the THC. According to (2) “CBD, on the other hand, is a CB1 antagonist. It blocks any intoxicating impact caused by the CB1 receptors. Taking CBD with THC may inhibit the effects of THC.” Which means if you’re taking CBD, you likely won’t feel the high that THC provides as the receptor which normally is excited by THC is numbed by CBD. This also explains why it helps with anxiety and relaxation, as it enables the brain to quiet itself, which many of us find difficult in today’s fast paced world.

The relaxing effects of CBD can also be used to treat other problems. According to CBD can be used to treat a variety of ailments These include: smoking cessation, seizures/epilepsy, anxiety treatment, an experiment and subsequent abstract from the US National Library of Medicine (4) also states: “However, laboratory rodents and human studies have shown that this cannabinoid is able to prevent psychotic-like symptoms induced by high doses of Δ(9)- THC. Subsequent studies have demonstrated that CBD has antipsychotic effects as observed using animal models and in healthy volunteers…These results support the idea that CBD may be a future therapeutic option in psychosis, in general and in schizophrenia, in particular.”

So it is becoming relatively clear that CBD can be therapeutic for some, mostly those seeking it for the soothing effects. If you find that you are suffering from anxiety or that when you consume THC the feeling is too intense, a CBD option may provide the benefits that you are seeking. Another study (5) found that patients who consumed 300 mg of CBD prior to an anxiety test had significantly less anxiety than those treated with a placebo on the same test.

While CBD might not provide the same experience as THC, it does still make you feel different. According to (6) “CBD directly interacts with various ion channels to confer a therapeutic effect. CBD, for example, binds to TRPV1 receptors, which also function as ion channels. TRPV1 is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.” There are a vast number of reported benefits, so if you’re considering trying some, make sure to read the information on the package and do not exceed the recommended dose until you know exactly how it affects you. Everybody reacts differently to each product, and some products are of unverifiable origin and could contain other unknown substances.

As there is still a growing body of scientific studies, CBD remains another form of Cannabis much like THC, yet as it interacts with a different part of but without the “high” feeling. According to (7) “THC has an affinity to bind to CB1 receptors: It won’t shut off your breathing or heart like opioids do because it doesn’t affect the brain stem, but it does trigger that euphoric “high” feeling. CBD, meanwhile, has a stronger affinity to CB2 receptors, which is why it can reduce inflammation…”

As there are some key differences between CBD and THC, connoisseurs will note that THC produces a much different, heady, euphoric high, whereas CBD produces a relaxing, mellow state of mind and helps promote a state of wellbeing. CBD also has pain-killing and calming effects while THC can be an uplifting, very psychoactive trip. CBD is the tamer, less wild version of cannabis to treat various ailments without getting you stoned off your feet. If you’re looking for a chill night and you’ve got sore muscles, CBD is the choice for you.


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