THC, CBD, or Both? Understanding Cannabinoids and How They Work

If your new to the cannabis culture then you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about THC and CBD – their percentages in different strains, the various medicinal benefits that each provide – but do you know what they are, or which does what?

The simple answer is that they are both cannabinoids – compounds found in the cannabis plant that are responsible for many of its known effects. However, each of these cannabinoids are responsible for very specific effects, so knowing which is responsible for the effect you are in search of is your starting point when choosing cannabis products like edibles, topicals, disposable vaporizers and concentrates.

What is THC?

THC – known scientifically as tetrahydrocannabinol – is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis that is responsible for the “high” experienced by consumers. Some of the medicinal benefits of THC include acting as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-depressant, muscle relaxant, anti-anxiety, or sleep aid among other possible uses.

It produces a body or mental “high” – and sometimes both – and is the cannabinoid that most cannabis consumers are in search of. Strains are often being bred with the intention of increasing their THC content to produce a more intense effect, and concentrates (pure THC) are becoming increasingly popular.

You should know that in larger doses THC may have the opposite of the wanted effect on anxiety, as it can cause paranoia which may increase anxiety. In smaller doses – or combined with CBD – this is less of a concern and many find that a well-balanced strain will help them deal with anxiety and depression better than other treatment options.    

What is CBD?

CBD – known scientifically as cannabidiol – is the main non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that is responsible for many of the same benefits as THC. However, it is better known for being the “miracle treatment” for epilepsy as it is the main compound in a cannabis-based medicine under FDA review after successful treatment in patients with intractable epilepsy.

Aside from treating epileptic seizures this cannabinoid is also known for being able to act as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and muscle relaxant. There is also evidence that it may be beneficial in those looking to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, not only is CBD non-psychoactive (meaning it does not create the same “high” as THC), but it may also be able to counteract the psychoactive effects of the plants other major cannabinoid. It has been used in “antidote” type drinks to help those who may get too high off edibles or concentrates and is being researched as a possible treatment for mental health conditions like schizophrenia where psychosis is one of the main and hardest to treat symptoms.

Which Do You Need?

Whether you need THC or CBD really depends on your preference – and what you are using it for. If you’re looking to medicate – and want to be able to do so naturally while working or going about your day without being impaired – then CBD is likely the right direction to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for that full body and mental buzz then a strain high in THC is going to be the better option.

Then there is the happy medium – where you want to feel the body and head high, but you don’t want it to be so intense that you can’t focus on the things you need to get done. If that’s the case then you’ll likely find that a strain that has a good balance of THC and CBD (a ratio of 15:0.3 – THC:CBD or similar) will provide you with just the light buzz you’re looking for.

There’s more than just THC vs CBD to consider too – if you choose THC you will need to decide whether you’re looking for an indica or a sativa strain (but that’s another blog post).

If you’re looking for edibles or disposable vape pens or refill cartridges with a variety of THC (sativa and indica) or CBD products, then Evergreen Organix has you covered. With a full line of gourmet edibles, vapes and topicals there is something for every type of consumer.


Jillian Nelson