Can CBD temper the high caused by THC? You’ve probably heard about it, but is it actually true? Of course, there are plenty of people who appreciate the effects of THC, but not everyone does; not all the time, anyway. People increasingly use weed for medical reason, for instance, and not all of these people appreciate the psychoactive effects of THC. And how does CBD work in case you get too much THC in your system? Can you tone down the impact of a too intense high with CBD weed, CBD Oil, or a bag of tasty CBD Gummies? High time for some research and a bit of CBD mythbusting!
CBD, The Most Important Cannabinoid After THC?
Growers around the world are getting hyped about CBD Weed. They order special CBD cannabis seeds to harvest as much of this useful compound as possible, for medical or recreational use. But what exactly is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. By now, it has become a famous abbreviation, since more and more people discover CBD for the useful, exceptional cannabis compound it is. In contrast to THC (tetra-hydrocannabinol), CBD will not get you high. The main reason for its growing popularity is its many potential health applications. CBD supplements such as CBD Oil, Tablets, or CBD Coffee and Gummies are popular choices for natural support of:
- A strong immune system;
- Pain reduction;
- Improved sleep;
- Countering infections and inflammation;
- Protecting (nerve) cells;
- Rapid muscle recovery after exercise
The list of potential CBD applications is getting longer by the week. But what about the interactions between CBD and THC in the body? Can CBD really counter the high produced by THC? That would be great news for anyone who accidentally took a few hits too many. And can you just add some CBD weed to your THC cannabis for some added nuance in your high? All the signs are here to suggest that it works. To find out why, we first need to draw a quick comparison between these two famous cannabinoids.
The Similarities And Differences Between CBD And THC
Obviously, the main difference between THC and CBD is the fact that THC can get you high while CBD cannot. On the molecular level, the two compounds are pretty hard to tell apart. That’s not surprising, as marijuana plants create both compounds from the same ‘mother of all cannabinoids’: CBG. Still, just one minute chemical difference is the cause of THC’s uniquely psychoactive effects. CBD has no properties that alter perception or cognition: it is entirely non-psychoactive.
Both CBD and THC can have effects on the body and the brain, however. They do so by interacting with two types of receptors. These are the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). They are situated in the central nervous system and throughout the rest of the body. CB1 and CB2 receptors govern all kinds of processes associated with your immune system, your emotions, metabolism, and other critical functions. Both cannabinoids engage with these receptors in different ways. The effect of THC is caused by activation of CB1 receptors located in the brain. This activation alters sensory perception of stimuli, influences memory and mood, and increases heart rate, for instance.
CBD (cannabidiol), causes altogether different effects. Although this cannabinoid also influences CB1 receptors, it functions as an antagonist, meaning that CBD dampens the effect that THC causes. So does that make CBD useful for countering the effects of THC? Initial research results certainly seem to point in that direction.
Less Stoned With CBD?
If you are a cannabis fan or a grower, chances are you have gotten slightly too high or stoned at some point. The effects of cannabis can be tricky to anticipate; especially when edibles are involved. So how great would it be if a bit of CBD could modify the severity of that high? If it’s anything to go by, we keep hearing promising anecdotes from experienced connoisseurs.
“I hadn’t smoked for quite a while, so I was slightly worried that the high might be too overwhelming. Luckily, the opposite proved to be true.”
One of our colleagues decided it was time for some proof of the pudding. This is his personal report on his CBD/THC experience:
“In the run-up to my ‘experiment’, I hadn’t used any cannabis for over a month. That served to intensify the effects and make them more noticeable. I rolled a cocktail of Blue Monkey CBD weed and Super Silver Haze to test the combined effects.
It was a tropically hot day in Amsterdam, so I went for a swim with some friends. I hadn’t smoked for quite a while, so I was slightly worried that the high might be too overwhelming. To my surprise, the opposite proved to be true.
The first thing I noticed was a profound high sensation in my head, but it felt comfortable and not too intense, despite some earlier negative experiences with haze and Netherhash strains. Later on, while I was in the water, I felt a strong body high as I was swimming around. All things considered, it seemed the CBD did just what I hoped it would do.
What Stood Out
The first thing that struck me was my greater-than-expected tolerance to THC; probably because of the CBD weed. We went through a whole gram of Super Silver Haze without any trouble. That would probably have been too heavy and intense without the CBD. That pretty much confirms my first assumption.
The second thing that stood out was the very ‘hazy’ sensation I went through despite the CBD, along with a strong body high. The typical haze effects never got uncomfortable though, no matter how strong they got. A real best of both worlds experience, so to speak.
I don’t think it’s hard to do the math here. I think I’ll keep some CBD Oil, Gummies, or Chocolate handy whenever I feel like trying some strong haze or other weed, or if I decide to smoke after a long bout of abstinence.
I would also advise any inexperienced smokers to keep a bag of CBD Gummies or other CBD products nearby, just in case they get too high. And since CBD has a lot of potential health benefits anyway, I’d recommend giving it a try anyway.”
How CBD Can Control A THC High
Clinical trials have shed some scientific light on the exact effects of CBD and THC on CB1 receptors. These insights may have brought us closer to development of cannabis-based medication. We already knew that CBD is capable of partially blocking CB1 receptor activation by THC. This led researchers to believe that CBD was a relatively weak antagonist. However, this theory proved insufficient to account for the specific effects of CBD at the cellular level.
A 2015 study clarified the matter to considerable extent. It turns out that CBD can bind to a specific site on the CB1 receptor, which differs from the favourite contact point of THC. After connecting to this location, CBD can alter the shape of the receptor to a point where THC finds it difficult, though not impossible, to connect to the same receptor. This lessens THC’s ability to activate CB1 receptors. These days, CBD is known as an allosteric modulator, which is a substance capable of altering another substance’s effects by binding to specific sites.
Another study, published in Front Psychology magazine, investigated whether CBD can reduce the effects of THC from a different perspective. The research was aimed at finding out whether CBD can counter the negative side-effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory loss. The analysis demonstrated that CBD has neuroprotective capacities that shield nerve cells from damage. Apparently, cannabidiol can control the effects of THC in more than one way.
CBD, THC, And The Entourage Effect
Research into the many valuable compounds found in cannabis plants is still underway. All too often, this quest is complicated precisely because of weed’s huge range useful ingredients, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and more. Whenever you isolate one substance from all the others to study its effects, you disrupt the natural context in which they occur. When used simultaneously, the various ingredients in cannabis mutually affect each other’s effects. This mechanism is known as the entourage effect. If, for instance, you take only CBD, the cannabinoid will produce different effects compared to CBD taken along with all other cannabinoids, including THC.
However, using cannabis for medicinal reasons also makes it hard to determine which cannabinoid does what in the overall effect. All cannabis strains have different proportions of THC, CBG, CBD, and many other compounds besides. That also makes it tricky to pinpoint exactly how much CBD counters the effect of THC. With research in this area still underway, we need more studies to get conclusive results.
The Perfect Cannabinoid Ratio
All cannabis strains carry some amount of CBD; just as every type of weed contains at least some THC, no matter how little certain hemp crops may hold. The question remains, however, which CBD:THC ration produces the exact effect a consumer is looking for. To give you an idea of the differences in highs (or lack thereof) between strains, we compare three imaginary strains; each with a different CBD to THC ratio.
CBD/THC Ratio 1:0 – No High, Plenty Of Effects
Our first example is a ‘true’ CBD strain. The proportions are similar to those of our own Blue Monkey CBD strain, at a CBD/THC ratio of about 40:1. Here, the effects of CBD definitely hold the upper hand. This strain will not get you high, but you will still notice an uplifting effect in terms of your mood. A pure CBD weed strain like Blue Monkey is the perfect match for anyone looking to gain maximum benefits from cannabidiol’s advantages, without any psychoactive effects.
CBD/THC Ratio 1:5 – A Nuanced High
This second example is a strain with fairly high CBD content that is still dominated by THC in its cannabinoid profile. Strains such as these are in the league of our Choco Cheesecake strain. Which has considerable THC levels and yet contains between 1.5 and 2% CBD. This hybrid indica cannabis strain produces a substantial high, but it also offers additional relaxing and other effects due to the relatively high CBD presence in its buds.
CBD/THC Ratio 1:10 – THC All The Way
At the far end of the spectrum we find strains carrying much more THC than CBD. So much so, in fact, that the effect of CBD is hardly noticeable. In strains like these, THC is bound to determine the high. Highly potent strains like our Super Silver Haze cannabis seeds leave no grower in doubt: this harvest will bring intense highs – a long-lasting headbuzz full of creative energy, in this particular case.
Getting To Work: Growing CBD Cannabis Seeds
No matter what the preferred ratio may be, using CBD in combination with THC always holds certain advantages. These could be related to medical marijuana use, but they may just as well help control the effects of a too intense high. You’ll just need to experiment a little to find out which ratios work best for you. One way to do just that is by growing CBD marijuana seeds, and then combining the result with a THC strain to experience their added effects. Mixing high CBD strains with strong THC strains grants maximum control over those optimal ratios.
Growers can also look for optimal balance between CBD and THC in that one perfect strain. Our Amsterdam Genetics seeds catalogue always states average THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid percentages for every strain we sell. Make sure to take these into account while ordering CBD or THC seeds online.
Keep Some CBD Treats Handy, Just In Case
Of course, you can also influence a THC high by taking a CBD supplement. The dedicated connoisseur will always make sure to have some tasty CBD ‘quenchers’ nearby. Our CBD nutrition gives you plenty of easy options to do just that.
Simply order some CBD Gummies or brew yourself a nice cup of CBD Coffee for a healthy, THC buffering snack. That way, you’ll keep your body balanced with an extra helping of CBD, while you always have a quick fix ready for whenever the effect of THC becomes a little too hot to handle.
You see: even though cannabinoids have many secrets left to uncover, CBD cannabis strains are clearly worth your while. Whether for medical or recreational use, CBD has something to offer for any grower, connoisseur, and gourmet cannabis lover!
Disclaimer: Local laws and legislation on cannabis cultivation and germination of seeds vary between countries and states. Amsterdam Genetics products and information are exclusively intended for use in areas where such use is fully legal. Check your local rules; do not act in conflict with the law!