What To Choose Between THC And CBD To Treat Chronic Pain

Deciding between tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol to alleviate chronic pain is not easy. Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol are present in cannabis sativa, so you might think that both are similar. However, the fact is that THC and CBD are distinct components, with different effects. Here, we will look at in what way these cannabinoids work to ease chronic pain – individually and in combination.

Basics Of Cannabidiol And Tetrahydrocannabinol

THC and CBD are sourced from cannabis sativa genus plants, namely marijuana and industrial hemp. More than 100 phytocannabinoids are present in cannabis, but these two are the plant’s most active compounds.

Both interact with cannabinoid receptors that regulate a wide range of physiological processes, which include pain. Cannabis helps individuals to manage issues such as insomnia and pain because cannabinoid receptors play a part in numerous body functions.

Marijuana-based THC has a psychoactive effect, meaning one who consumes it excessively will not be able to differentiate real and imagined things. Hemp-derived THC may or may not have that mind-altering effect, depending on how much of it you consume. If you take an excessive amount of hemp THC, you would lose touch with reality.

Conversely, cannabidiol does not have the aforementioned effect. Albeit you consume too much of a full-spectrum CBD product, the psychoactive high you might feel is likely because of the THC in it. As per scientific research, CBD has the capability to counteract tetrahydrocannabinol’s mind-altering effects.

Benefits Of Cannabidiol For Inflammation And Chronic Pain

Cannabidiol is an efficacious anti-inflammatory substance. There is solid evidence that cannabidiol can ease pain emerging from inflammatory issues like arthritis. A study from 2017 found that cannabidiol can alleviate inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis, plus it can stop nerve damage.

There are also studies that support the consumption of cannabidiol for relief from the pain associated with incision, plus neuropathic pain. The efficacy of cannabidiol at easing different forms of pain makes it a popular solution for individuals having conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Benefits Of Tetrahydrocannabinol For Inflammation And Chronic Pain

Much research supports cannabis consumption for relief from pain in conditions such as chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s disease, but less focus has been on tetrahydrocannabinol’s specific advantages. Another recent study, published in the ‘Neurology’ journal, found it effective for chronic neuropathic pain. A study of cancer patients discovered that although THC is ineffective for pain, those who consumed it with CBD could ease their pain by more than 30%. A different study supports the aforesaid finding regarding consuming tetrahydrocannabinol to treat pain resulting from surgery.

Meanwhile, another study from 2017 found cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, when consumed individually, effective for pain associated with chemotherapy in mice. It also found that when used in combination, dosages of both substances that are otherwise inefficacious could ease the pain. This suggests that THC can boost cannabidiol’s pain-easing properties through the following effect.

Entourage Effect

There are many phytocannabinoids in cannabis other than THC and CBD, plus terpenes. These terpenes and phytocannabinoids work in combination to bring distinct effects. For instance, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabichromene and cannabidiol are alike.

Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol can ease both inflammation and chronic pain’s symptoms by working individually and together with other phytocannabinoids. The term ‘entourage effect’ alludes to the effect of every cannabis sativa compound working together. CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol have potent effects, but these are often more powerful when you consume together – particularly for pain. A review of 18 recent studies about phytocannabinoids for pain from multiple sclerosis found the THC CBD combination more efficacious than CBD alone.

CBD isolate items and full-spectrum cannabidiol products are available in the market. The latter items contain every cannabinoid and terpene extracted from hemp. Conversely, the former products contain 99.9% cannabidiol, plus no amount of other phytocannabinoids and terpenes.

Some find consuming a full-spectrum cannabidiol product more effective for pain owing to the aforesaid effect it brings. However, because it has various phytocannabinoids and terpenes, the product can have rather unpredictable effects. People who wish to avoid consuming tetrahydrocannabinol tend to prefer CBD isolate goods.

Legally Allowed Limit of Tetrahydrocannabinol In CBD Items

CBD goods in the market are made from industrial hemp. Under federal law, industrial hemp is hemp if it has 0.3% THC content; or else, it is classified as marijuana. The sale and consumption of only hemp-derived CBD items are legal. CBD goods containing marijuana-based hemp are also available, but these are often limited to dispensaries owing to the legality.

Criteria Hemp CBD Product Marijuana-Based THC Product
Psychoactive No Yes
THC Content Less More
Legal Yes (In all American states) Yes (In fewer states)

Final Thoughts

So which one among tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol is a more effective solution for your chronic pain? Well, there is no straightforward answer to it. However, consuming these together is shown to be effective for the health condition. So a good option is to consume a ‘full-spectrum’ type CBD product to ensure that you are not fully missing out on THC’s beneficial properties.