Proven by dozens of scientific studies and nearly endless success stories, the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for treating everything from pain and Alzheimer’s Disease to cancerous tumors has prompted legalization of marijuana for medical purposes across more than half of the country. However, there is some concern that regular use of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, can lead to cognitive and psychological problems. Another non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), has been proven as a safeguard against the harmful effects of THC.
How Does CBD Interact with THC?
A study conducted at Indiana University demonstrated that equal amounts of CBD with THC prevented the emergence of all behavioral deficits and supports the use of equal proportions of CBD and THC to reduce risk for psychotic disorders. Injections of THC were administered to a group of mice during adolescence and early adulthood. A second group received pure CBD, while a third group received an equal measure of both THC and CBD. The purely THC group demonstrated problems in working memory and increased anxiety, while those who only received CBD showed no cognitive changes. Amazingly, however, all cognitive abnormalities were also prevented in the group that received the combination of THC and CBD.
The potency of cannabis has increased considerably over the last two decades. According to research, from 1995 to 2014, average THC levels in cannabis used recreationally across the U.S. rose from 4 to over 12 percent. Advanced breeding techniques have resulted in stronger and stronger hybrid strains for a market where high-end bud can sell for more than $2,000 per pound. The analysis also found that over the same two-decade period, the amount of CBD in cannabis decreased from an average of 0.28 percent to less than 0.15 percent. The ever-higher concentrations of THC levels have led to very real concerns.
Benefits of CBD in Conjunction with THC
The good news is that CBD protects against these adverse effects. CBD is non-toxic, non-psychoactive, and abundant. It is found in both flowering marijuana and in hemp, the fast-growing fibrous variety of cannabis used for everything from clothing to paper. CBD is gaining attention as a safe, natural, and effective medicine for modern times. As a neuroprotectant, it combats the negative side effects of high-potency marijuana. However CBD further provides successful treatment for those suffering from neurological disorders like epilepsy. The American Epilepsy Society (AES) recently called CBD a promising and well tolerated natural therapy for treatment-resistant epilepsies in children.
Natural strains of cannabis offer closer ratios of THC to CBD to protect and counteract any of the cognitive or neurological problems THC might cause. While the plan has been breed for stronger potency, growers are now turning their focus toward CBD-rich strains. Keeping the balance between CBD and THC follows the rule of nature.