There’s a piece of common advice among cannabis consumers; “if you consume a tad too much THC, you can counteract it with some CBD.” This advice has been popular in cannabis consuming groups for a long time, but how true is it actually?
The short answer is yes, you can actually counteract the THC high with a dose of CBD. However, like with any other drugs, the efficacy of this will depend on a number of factors. These include; biology and genetics, the THC/CBD dose ratio, the type of CBD product that you use, and the intensity of anxiety.
CBD has been found to have some medicinal qualities that ease anxiety, regardless of whether it was induced by THC or other factors.
The relationship between THC and CBD
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD is a proven anti-anxiety drug. The compound occurs in trace elements in the cannabis plant. However, recent breeding techniques have heralded high CBD strains. Unlike THC, which gives a high, CBD on its own is not psychotic and will never give you a euphoric feeling.
THC and CBD might be different compounds, but they have been seen to work in concert to deliver many benefits to cannabis consumers. For instance, when used along THC, it enhances the painkilling properties of THC while reducing the paranoia that THC causes.
Martin Lee, the author of the book “Smoke Signals”, says that CBD interacts with THC in exciting ways. “It reduces the sleepiness, the highs, and the munchies as it augments other effects. CBD cancels out the euphoria of THC. It’s like the yin when the THC is yang.”
The yin-yang balance can easily be experienced by people who opt for strains that have a balance between CBD and THC. Strains such as Pennywise come into mind. It has a one-one ratio of both CBD and THC, and it provides mild effects compared to strains that have high THC content.
One Leafly-reviewer aptly described the feeling of consuming the Pennywise strain: “It was a calm affair, with no racing it. It was a mellow feeling.”
Last week, I popped a dab filled with THC to treat nausea. I got so heavy-headed that I felt like I could slide into bed even if it was barely 10 am. With so much work waiting for me to sober up, I had no option but to take some CBD in order to clear my mind. Within 20 minutes, it worked as had it been magic. I could easily take up more cognitively demanding tasks as anxiety dissipated.
This led me to investigate how the anti-anxiety properties in CBD work.
CBD and its anti-anxiety mechanisms
CBD is like a dimmer switch, says Project CBD, an organization that disseminates CBD information. The organization says that CBD calms the excess signaling in the brain’s endocannabinoid system. So, what does the brain’s endocannabinoid system mean?
Well, it’s a network made of receptors and other compounds. The said compounds bind to the receptors. Cannabinoids and other compounds bind into these receptors to produce the effects of euphoria or anxiety. It’s important to note that the endocannabinoid system is not only fed by cannabinoids, but also by endocannabinoids that are produced by the body.
Most diseases and conditions occur when the endocannabinoid system is overactive or underactive. A brain with PTSD, for instance, produces insufficient levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that has a similar structure as THC. When a cannabinoid is introduced into a receptor that has been underwhelmed, it rectifies the deficiency, leading to a therapeutic feeling.
CBD has been proven to modulate the receptor signaling of THC, and this explains why it’s being used in cannabis therapeutics. In simple terms, CBD modulates excess cannabinoid activity in our brains, reducing anxiety. This is how CBD is able to mitigate the side effects of THC overindulgence, including paranoia and anxiety.
Which CBD product is right for you?
If you live in a state that allows the use of cannabis, you can get a variety of CBD products from legal dispensaries.
There are many kinds, forms and strains of CBD to choose from. Getting the one that will work for you will boil down to your preferences and your genetics. The following ideas can help you to narrow down your search.
Only lab-tested products guarantee their cannabis content. You can’t tell the THC/CBD content of the product if it’s not tested in a lab.
Smoking or vaporizing CBD is the fastest way of getting relief from THC. It’s important to note that some strains have THC, so even if you dab these, there will be no effect. The best idea is to pay attention to the CBD and THC ratios in the products that you’re using.
Ingestible oils contain a high level of CBD. They are ideal for treating anxiety. Note that ingested oils and capsules take more time to kick in when compared to vaporized CBD.
CBD has been found to be safe substance to use and does not give you the euphoria associated with THC. However, if you decide to self-medicate using CBD, notify your physician, or work closely with experts in cannabis therapeutics. This is extremely important if you’re using CBD alongside other medications.