The cannabis plant produces more than 113 different compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids like CBD, aka cannabidiol, and THC, aka tetrahydrocannabinol, have become immensely popular in recent years. In fact, the potential health benefits of cannabis are mainly because of these two cannabinoids.
Here is what you need to know about CBD and THC and how they can offer therapeutic benefits in different products.
The human body consists of an endocannabinoid system with receptors that are scattered throughout the body. This system is involved in maintaining balance in the body by regulating various physiological functions.
Our body produces different endocannabinoids that can interact with this system, but luckily, we have found that exogenous cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, can also bind to these receptors. These cannabinoids have the same molecular structure as the ones our body naturally produces, but they are arranged in a slightly different shape, which accounts for the additional effects they produce.
The structural similarity allows them to interact with the cannabinoid receptors of our body, and this interaction affects the release of various chemicals or neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters such as anandamide and serotonin communicate messages between nerve cells in the brain and play a significant role in regulating sleep, stress, immune function, and pain.
Studies indicate that THC effectively binds with the CB1 receptor present in your brain and, as a result, produces a state of euphoria in the consumer. On the other hand, CBD very weakly binds to the CB1 receptor.
Due to this difference in the ability to bind the cannabinoid receptors, these compounds show different medicinal as well as psychoactive properties. THC creates sedation, while consumption of CBD cannot cause any kind of intoxication.
Medicinal Benefits of CBD and THC
CBD is a vital cannabinoid obtained from the cannabis plant that holds many therapeutic properties. Researchers believe that CBD can be helpful in managing the following health concerns:
On the other hand, THC can be helpful with these health concerns:
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite
Apart from the unique health benefits offered by CBD and THC, researchers have recently found that if these cannabinoids—along with other cannabinoids of cannabis plants—are consumed together, they enhance each other's medicinal potential. As a result, the consumer feels a greater sense of well-being due to the combined augmented effect of all the compounds, a phenomenon known as an entourage effect.
If you use full spectrum or broad-spectrum cannabis products, they can offer the goodness from various cannabinoids in the form of a single product. If you are ok with consuming THC for medicinal purposes, full-spectrum cannabis products can be an excellent option to relieve specific health concerns. However, if you don't want to use THC, you can instead use broad-spectrum cannabis products.
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