THC vs. CBD: When You Should Reach For Each

THC vs. CBD: When You Should Reach For Each

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We all have our reasons for smoking, eating, or otherwise consuming weed. For some, cannabis offers relief from headaches or digestive distress. Other people get high to bring a mellow energy to their mornings, or to wind down after work.

If you’ve already figured out your favorite marijuana strains for each physical and emotional ailment, well done.

For the rest of us, here’s a quick refresher on the differences between THC and CBD and the best times to reach for each.

THC vs. CBD: What’s the difference?

Unless your cannabis experience is limited to puffing and passing a friend’s joint, you’ve probably heard of THC and CBD. What are they, exactly? THC and CBD are cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found naturally in the marijuana plant.

THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in weed and is responsible for giving off a “high” feeling. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have a psychoactive effect. Rather, it offers powerful medicinal properties that can help treat conditions such as arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even diabetes.

The ratio of THC and CBD in any given strain determines how you’ll feel and what type of relief you’ll get, if any. In other words, THC and CBD are responsible for how you feel post-session. Therefore, it’s really important to keep THC and CBD in mind at the dispensary.

An experienced and friendly budtender will help you choose the best ratio and strain for your intended purposes.

When to choose a strain high in THC

A strain can be high in THC, CBD, or a combination of the two. Strain with a THC level higher than 20 percent are likely to give you the face-warming, body-buzzing high you’re looking for. Beyond making it more enjoyable to watch a movie or listen to your favorite tunes, cannabis high in THC often imparts the following effects:

  •       Euphoria
  •       Relaxation
  •       Altered senses of sight, smell, taste, and hearing
  •       Sleepiness
  •       Increased hunger
  •       Reduced aggression

These properties make weed high in THC ideal for individuals who have trouble falling asleep at night or who have nausea and decreased appetite due to the side effects of chemotherapy. THC has also been shown to be beneficial to patients with multiple sclerosis by improving bladder function while reducing spasms and pain.

When to reach for CBD

If you suffer from anxiety, or simply don’t enjoy the mind-altering effects of cannabis, a high-CBD/low-THC strain can offer health benefits without making you feel stoned. Using weed high in CBD or using CBD products can help:

  •       Reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia
  •       Relieve convulsions and nausea
  •       Reduce depressive symptoms
  •       Promote blood sugar stability
  •       Decrease anxiety
  •       Reduce inflammation and pain

These properties make weed high in CBD best for those who have diabetes, epilepsy, severe anxiety, depression, and fatigue. CBD has also been shown to help clear acne and alleviate the symptoms of PMS.

If you’re new to consuming cannabis or are revisiting it after a bad experience, you can’t go wrong with CBD. It’s great for people prone to anxiety and who don’t want the psychoactive-effect of THC. As you become more experienced, look for strains with a higher ratio of THC until you find the perfect combo.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kate Kasbee is a health and wellness writer based in Chicago. She is the content creator, recipe developer and content strategist for the site Well Vegan and co-authored her first book “Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy and Delicious Vegan Cooking.” Beyond health and wellness, Kate is an experienced travel and real estate writer, serving as a contributor to publications such as “Travel in Style” and “The Los Angeles Times Las Vegas Guide.”