We know that THC has psychoactive effects which influence the brain, but what of the cannabinoid’s non-psychoactive cousin? Fresh research has helped to enhance our understanding of how CBD works with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The study has improved scientists’ knowledge of how CBD may work as a treatment for epilepsy, and to determine why a cannabinoid like THC is psychoactive, but CBD isn’t.
CBD is the main reason marijuana has been earning a better reputation in the mainstream media, with focus now on marijuana’s medical potential now it can be administered in a way that doesn’t get users high. Dispensaries sell CBD products with and without THC. Many in the industry advocate ‘whole plant medicine’ wherever possible; reminding us that CBD actually inhibits THC when the two are together, limiting psychoactive effects. Since THC has a few medical uses of its own, patients would be much better served with a CBD-THC medication over pure THC.
These revelations are why more studies on marijuana are crucial – they help deliver patients the best marijuana care.
The new study, which comes out of Halifax, Canada, concentrates on how CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), deeming it to be a negative allosteric modulator. Both THC and CBD interact with CB1, but because they bind differently, there’s a chance both can be connected to the receptor simultaneously. In that event, the neuron signal is reduced – this probably accounts for why CBD suppresses the psychoactive nature of CBD. The research also found that CBD and THC synergistically combine to produce their own unique effect.
This pretty much confirmed what scientists imagined CBD did when interacting with CB1, since they knew about CBD’s ability to inhibit THC. However, little of CBD’s medical power is channelled through the CB1 receptors, instead working with the body’s CB2 receptors. When taken isolated, CBD is an anti-depressant, and has anxiolytic and sedative properties, but with no psychoactive high. In short, CBD is a substance to be used for various types of pain relief, relaxation and anti-anxiety.
The more we learn about the intricate actions of marijuana and its compounds, such as how it operates with receptors in the brain, the more scientists and doctors can focus on finding the best ways to advance the plant’s medical status. In the long run, as doctors become well-versed in marijuana medication, we’ll reach a stage where specific strains will be recommended to patients for their ailments.