THC and CBD in Medical Marijuana
There are more than 80 chemical compounds in cannabis known as cannabinoids. These chemicals are responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects. Of these, the two most researched compounds are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which were both discovered in the early 1960s. THC is considered the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, but CBD has recently raised interest due to its potential to treat illnesses like seizures.
THC and Medical Cannabis
As the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC has also been the plant’s most frequently researched chemical. THC is believed to affect the human body in several ways, influencing body temperature, pulse rate, perception of time, anxiety, sedation, analgesia (reduction of the perception of pain), short-term memory, and spatial awareness.
THC is also the chemical that creates the euphoric high typically sought by recreational cannabis users.
CBD and Medical Cannabis
CBD works very differently from THC. Compared to THC, it takes about 100 times more CBD to have any impact on cannabinoid receptors, the sites in the body that interact with cannabinoids. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause either intoxication or euphoria. In some ways, CBD seems to have the opposite effect of THC. For instance, while THC tends to increase anxiety, CBD appears to reduce anxiety.