Cannabis Then VS Now
*This is a blog about marijuana – not hemp!!* *But CBD is involved!*
When the United States government prohibited alcohol in the early 1900s, the drinking culture shifted from a focus on beer to a focus on hard liquor. This is exactly what has happened during the prohibition of cannabis, and we are feeling the effects! People always want what’s prohibited – it’s human nature!
“Using a total of 38,681 samples of cannabis, a study in 2017 looked at the difference between pot smoked in 1995 vs pot smoked in 2014. They discovered that the THC concentration went from about 4% of the flower to approximately 12% , while simultaneously reducing the CBD content, “ the CBD content has fallen on average from approximately 0.28% in 2001 to <0.15% in 2014, resulting in a change in the ratio of THC to CBD from 14 times in 1995 to approximately 80 times in 2014. ”
-Mahmoud A. ElSohly, Ph.D., Zlatko Mehmedic, Susan Foster, Chandrani Gon, M.Sc.Botany, Suman Chandra, Ph.D., and James C. Church, Ph.D.
Why is this happening? Farmers are breeding the marijuana plants to have insanely high concentrations of THC and are breeding out the CBD completely. In 2019, one finds cannabis that has 0% CBD concentrations, while the concentrations of THC are over 30% (that is more than 750% of the original concentration of THC). This is a huge issue because these 2 phytocannabinoids are meant, by nature, to balance each other out. THC produces the euphoria and can make us a bit paranoid, while CBD produces the focus and helps us de-stress. Together, they keep the mind balanced and healthy.
So if your dad is talking about how the weed today is too strong? Or maybe you’re a dad and you remember how the pot of the past didn’t pack such a punch? You’re right!! It’s not the same stuff! And too much of a good thing can turn it into a bad thing. Too much THC can cause drowsiness, paranoia, and even, depression for some. But there is no reason to worry because CBD helps manage the psychoactive properties of THC by sobering us up. CBD enhances or memories, our focus, lowers stress levels and creates serotonin, which helps us to be satisfied with our lives. Both THC and CBD are wonderful chemicals for our bodies and create abundant arrays of healthy benefits, but they were really meant for each other, so let’s not try to have a two-some with THC.
Why do we need CBD?
Cannabis, of both hemp and marijuana varieties, possesses the intelligence of nature, and nature designed the plant to work synergistically. CBD and THC enhance each other’s medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The different plant compounds act on and modulate different pathways in the body. Further, when they work together, not only are they able to modulate more pathways and receptors of the body, but they are able to modulate each other to a greater extent as well.
Nothing against THC, but it would be a quite a misstep to uninvite CBD from the party. CBD opposes THC at the CB1 receptors, which can significantly reduce the intensity of THC’s psychoactive effects. This is how CBD is able to take the paranoia out of the THC high. At the same time, adopting CBD into your smoking habit is extremely beneficial if you are looking to increase the real medical benefits of these plants. CBD supports our memories, our cognitive functions, regulates our immune systems, protects our GI tracts, reduces our stress levels, reduces our pain (while healing what’s causing the pain), and much more! When CBD is combined with THC this increases the antifungal, antibiotic, and cytotoxicity effects of both cannabinoids!
How are the medical benefits of CBD different from THC?
When we think of CBD, we should think of reducing inflammation. This cannabinoid works with the CB2 receptors, which control the inflammation of the entire body. What is this relevant to? In modern life, there’s pollution, inflammatory food, sleep deprivation, high anxiety, excessive exposure to stress-inducing media, not to mention all of the deadlines in your daily life. To combat this, the body uses its natural supply of endocannabinoids to regulate inflammation of the stress response systems, hormones, gut functions, and general body fatigue. This can lead to endocannabinoids becoming depleted, and as a result, the body is less able to combat the next round of inflammation. Subsequently, this results in too much stress and too little endocannabinoids. The phytocannabinoid CBD works to stop the enzyme that degrades our natural endocannabinoid 2-AG (which activates those CB2/Immune System receptors) so that the endocannabinoid system is re-supplied and the body can de-stress and de-inflame organically. This is how the plant medicine, CBD, can prevent disease by maintaining homeostasis in the body.
On the other hand, THC is useful for those experiencing nausea, vomiting, or dealing with chronic issues. So if one has Parkinson’s Disease, pain from MS, vertigo, or cancer? They might look into consuming more THC. If one is looking for sleep regulation, inflammatory issues, mood regulation, or disease prevention? They might look into consuming more CBD. Either way, these cannabinoids were meant to be consumed together – balance is what the endocannabinoid system is all about.
If THC is making you paranoid, anxious, or depressed? Ingest some CBD before the THC, or throughout the day.
If you have a friend or family member that wants the medicinal benefits of THC, but is worried about the psychoactive effects? Give them CBD. Or perhaps a tincture with THCA (this way there won’t be any psychoactive effects).
If you want more medicinal benefits while consuming THC? Get some CBD!
CBD and THC were meant to be consumed together. This helps the body retain a healthy balance in the mind. Let’s not let prohibition define the consumption of plant medicine.
An Article By Evie Louise
Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.