Cannabis is a very complex plant. Every cannabis plant contains dozens or even hundreds of chemical elements that contribute to that strain’s unique experience.
Types of Compounds Found in Cannabis
These compounds can be broken down into three general types—flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids.
- Flavonoids. These compounds are not necessarily responsible for the flavor of cannabis, despite what you might assume from their name. They act as antioxidants which may make them partially responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.
- Terpenes. These are the compounds that give cannabis its distinctive smell. There are dozens of terpenes that might be found in cannabis, from linalool to limonene. These terpenes are also found in many other plants and have been studied for their physiological impact. For example, linalool is responsible for lavender’s relaxing nature and may be partially responsible for how cannabis affects stress.
- Cannabinoids. The compounds that set cannabis apart from other plants are in this form. These compounds are found in cannabis and little else, and they give the plant its unique mental and physical effects. THC and CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids. THC is the psychoactive compound that gets you high, while CBD is famous for stress and anxiety relief.
Why do all these different compounds matter? Here’s why: It appears that they all work together to make cannabis more than the sum of its parts through the “entourage effect.” Each of the different chemical elements enhances each other and makes the overall experience better.
How the Entourage Effect Helps With Cannabis Use
One example of the entourage effect is the synergy between THC and CBD. While both of these compounds offer benefits on their own, CBD can actually increase the effectiveness of THC. Below, you’ll learn a few of the ways in which CBD can make THC work better.
CBD and Anxiety
One of the most common uses for CBD on its own is reducing anxiety. Many CBD supplements are marketed as a method of relieving stress and finding calm. While this effect is helpful on its own, it can also help cannabis users who like THC.
Some people find that large doses of THC can make them anxious. This isn’t universal, but every person is unique — and various strains will give people different effects. For people who have noticed that they sometimes experience anxiety from cannabis, CBD can help mitigate the effects.
How does CBD counteract THC? In part, it’s because of how cannabinoids work. These compounds affect our bodies because they mimic chemicals we naturally produce, called endocannabinoids. Your endocannabinoid system is a set of receptors in your body that help control everything from your appetite and your sleep schedule to how alert or anxious you are.
In some cases, having too many cannabinoids in your body can overwhelm your endocannabinoid system. That’s why THC sometimes makes people anxious or paranoid, especially if they have not tried cannabis before or take much more than their usual dose.
CBD, however, regulates that activity and keeps THC from becoming too much for your system to handle. Consuming both CBD and THC at the same time can lead to a high that’s more mellow and less anxious.
CBD and PTSD
Medical cannabis is often prescribed as a way to help people with PTSD manage their symptoms. This was one of the first conditions for which medical cannabis could be prescribed because it’s been shown to be effective. While THC plays a vital role in relieving PTSD by reducing the severity of traumatic memories, CBD also helps.
Studies suggest that people with PTSD face lower levels of natural endocannabinoids in their system. While THC can partially fill that role, adding CBD helps people calm down while also replacing those compounds. CBD may also slightly reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, which can help people with PTSD remain grounded while treating their condition.
The entourage effect from using cannabis strains with both THC and CBD can be more effective at treating PTSD than using strains with THC alone. Even if your favorite strain is low in CBD, you can still get some of the benefits by adding CBD oil from a Florida dispensary to your regimen.
CBD and Pain
People who live with painful chronic conditions often choose high-THC strains to help relieve their symptoms, and for a good reason. It appears that THC can help relieve otherwise difficult-to-treat pain without many of the uncomfortable or even dangerous side effects of traditional pain medications.
Studies have shown that combinations of THC and CBD are more effective at treating pain than either compound on their own. It appears that these two compounds work together to affect inflammation and pain receptors throughout the body. The result is that people with cancer and multiple sclerosis, for example, feel more comfortable and functional without the risks of taking opioids.
Some studies even suggest that THC without CBD may not affect pain levels significantly while adding CBD to the blend can make cannabis more effective than opioids for some people. While this effect depends on individual physiology, it’s still valuable knowledge for people who have not found traditional pain control effective.
Take Advantage of the Entourage Effect Today
CBD and THC work well together. Not only does CBD counteract THC’s less pleasant effects, but it also makes THC better for you. The entourage effect can make all the difference when it comes to your cannabis experience. Whether you want to prevent potential side effects or sharpen your memory, choosing a strain with a little more CBD in it might make all the difference — and VidaCann can help.
VidaCann has a variety of different strains available, each with its balance of THC to CBD. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you can visit one of the many in-person VidaCann dispensary locations around Florida to ask a budtender for more information. Otherwise, you can also order your next favorite VidaCann flower through the online shop.