There are a lot of questions floating around regarding CBD and all it has to offer. As a chemical compound that’s still relatively new to most of the world, many people are starting to dig deeper into the subject and are uncovering questions along the way. Most recently, consumers have started asking, “Does CBD need THC to work?”
We completely understand why this question is popping up left and right. So, today, we’re going to look at the ins and outs of CBD and its relationship with THC. This way, you have an accurate, full knowledge of this exciting cannabinoid and how it works — with or without THC. Let’s get started.
Before we talk about how CBD and THC work together — and how they function apart — it’s crucial to gain a complete understanding of the cannabinoid itself.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is one of the cannabis plant’s most abundant non-psychoactive compounds. That’s right: CBD cannot get you high whatsoever. Even consuming extremely high amounts of CBD won’t get you high, as it doesn’t have the properties to do so.
But why is this the case? How can some cannabinoids get us high while others can’t?
When we enjoy CBD for pain or other complications, the cannabinoid undergoes quite an extensive journey throughout the body. Once consumed, the plant’s cannabinoids travel in your bloodstream and work alongside something called your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Your body’s ECS is a complex system of cell signalers that work to let the body know when and where it needs support. For example, if the body produces too much of one hormone, the ECS will signal that it must slow down. To remedy the problem, the body’s natural cannabinoids — called endocannabinoids — bind to the system’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors) and help get everything back on track.
Unfortunately, the body can’t continuously regulate itself the way it needs to. Outside factors like excess stress, pain, and anxiety can throw our systems off internally, making it extremely difficult to find balance again on its own. However, that’s where CBD’s role becomes apparent.
As CBD moves throughout the body, it, too, works alongside the ECS. While CBD doesn’t actually bind the CB1 receptors, it helps modulate them and direct what should or shouldn’t be produced/absorbed. Essentially, the CBD acts as a temporary support system to help let your body know how it can help. Since the cannabinoid can’t physically bind with the CB receptors in the brain, it doesn’t have the ability to produce psychoactive effects. Instead, its benefits are purely therapeutic.
THC, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
Short for tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis plant derivatives. Unlike CBD, THC actually has the ability to bind the cannabinoid receptors in the body, both in the brain and central nervous system.
Because it can bind with the CB receptors located in the brain, the compound works to stimulate certain neurotransmitters, releasing feelings of euphoria and pure bliss. The cannabinoid receptors in the brain and this binding ability are where the cannabinoid’s psychoactive effects stem.
It’s essential to keep in mind that THC in tiny doses is federally legal under the US’ 2018 Farm Bill. As long as your hemp-derived CBD product doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC, it is legal and safe for consumption. And, at levels that low, you don’t pick up any noticeable psychoactive effects.
Since THC can intoxicating effects, though, a lot of people want to avoid the cannabinoid altogether. However, recent studies have come out to demonstrate the potent, beneficial relationship that cannabis’ compounds have together. Thus, a lot of people are concerned that CBD requires THC to work correctly. While this simply isn’t true, let’s briefly discuss what these findings actually illustrate.
Research is beginning to demonstrate that cannabis’s properties function best synergistically. Working synergistically means that when all plant cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids stick together, the effects will likely be more full-bodied, powerful, and enjoyable overall. This is why many people find better efficacy from their cannabis products when they enjoy the full-plant value rather than just isolating the CBD cannabinoid itself. This phenomenon has been dubbed “the entourage effect.”
CBD products that are considered “full-spectrum,” then, are CBD products that contain the full-plant value we mentioned above. These products still have heavy CBD levels, but they also contain other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less). Even such minuscule amounts of THC can be enough to give your product the synergistic properties it wants, creating a more beneficial product. But, of course, we don’t all want to have THC in our products.
Because of this, broad-spectrum products are garnering attention, as well. Broad-spectrum extracts contain broad-plant compounds — CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes. There aren’t any levels of THC whatsoever. Even without the presence of THC, consumers can still experience the entourage effect; however, it just won’t be as strong as from a full-spectrum CBD product. Though the synergistic element is still there, and it’s still conducive to your overall experience.
Of course, whatever product you choose is entirely up to you and what kind of CBD journey you want to have. We’ll talk more about how to select the right CBD products for pain later, but for now, it’s important to start thinking about what your priorities are. Do you want a product that’s strong but doesn’t contain THC? Or, are you okay with having a bit of THC in your CBD product? Luckily for you, there’s a product out there that aligns with whatever you choose.
So, does CBD need THC? Nope. CBD can work beautifully on its own, providing therapeutic potential for those who want to use it. Alone, CBD boasts various properties that function within the body effortlessly, granting people of all ages support and comfort.
For some, CBD may work best when enjoyed alone. This result is simply because these cannabinoids function differently for every person, just as any medication or vitamin would. As much as we’d love for cannabinoids to be one-size-fits-all, that’s just not the case! Instead, every person has to find what kind of CBD blend works best for them.
If you’re wanting to get started in the world of CBD but are worried that the cannabinoid can’t work without THC, that’s simply untrue. While, for some consumers, combining CBD and THC may create better, more potent effects, you do not have to do this to enjoy the benefits of these products. In fact, that’s precisely why there are so many different CBD products on the market — it works uniquely for all consumers!
Thankfully, CBD doesn’t need THC to do its job within the body. Even on its own, the therapeutic cannabinoid can work the way it is meant to, supporting you internally in whatever ways you need most.
Alongside full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products that embrace the entourage effect, other CBD products prove firsthand that CBD doesn’t need THC to work. These products are CBD isolates.
Just as their name suggests, CBD isolates are products that completely isolate the CBD cannabinoid. CBD isolates tend to be nearly 100% pure CBD, celebrating the supportive compound and nothing else. These products are the perfect solution for any person who wants to know how just CBD operates within the system and if it’s beneficial for them.
Often, pure CBD products are ideal for beginners within the world of CBD. If you’ve never had CBD before, you simply don’t know how your body will react or how it will feel. Thus, CBD oils with CBD isolate extract can give you a great introduction to what you can expect from the chemical compound. Without any influence from other cannabinoids or terpenes, it’s pure CBD providing you with the effects you feel. From there, you’re easily able to tell whether or not the compound appears to be right for you.
With CBD isolates, it is crucial to keep in mind the lack of synergy. Since the cannabinoid doesn’t have any other compounds to support it, it might not function as strong as you may have hoped. However, don’t let this deter you! For a lot of consumers, CBD isolates simply are not strong enough for their personal complications. If you find that this is the case, you can always try out a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum product instead. Then, you’re able to fully experience the entourage effect versus how CBD functions when isolated.
Though it may be somewhat of a complicated, stringent process, isolating CBD is more than worth it for consumers like you. With a compound as foreign as CBD is to a lot of us, it’s important to experience how its properties work for you. From there, you can always switch it up and try something else. That’s the beauty of CBD!
Now you know that CBD doesn’t need THC to work, it’s time to determine what kind of CBD products most appeal to you. After all, you have a lot to choose from!
CBD is an incredibly versatile substance that comes in numerous forms. Before deciding what form of CBD you want, as we mentioned, you need to determine what type of CBD extract you’re looking to experience. Your local dispensary or health and wellness shop will likely have all three types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and pure CBD isolate. As soon as you figure out which type of CBD you want to try, then finding the proper methodology is the next big step.
In the world of CBD, you can find CBD oil for pain, CBD capsules for pain, CBD cream, and so much more. It just depends on you!
CBD oils are some of the most popular options on the market today. CBD oil for pain is easy to consume, has quick onset times, and creates somewhat long-lasting effects in the body. As long as you’re okay with tasting a little bit of hemp during consumption, just a drop or two of a CBD oil can do wonders for your health and wellness. These products come with varying CBD levels and in different flavors to help disguise the plant ingredients.
Another popular product — available both with THC and without — are CBD capsules for pain. CBD capsules or soft gels are daily capsules filled with CBD extract and an oil base. You just take one (or two depending on your tolerance) and swallow it with a gulp of your go-to beverage. Then, you wait about an hour for digestion, and you’ll discover how the CBD capsule works within the body. It’s really that simple.
Of course, you can also try out CBD gummies, CBD flower, and or even a CBD topical, as well. No matter what you’re interested in or what works best for your body, the perfect CBD product, whether it is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate, is waiting for you.
At the end of the day, CBD is all about finding what works best for you and only you. So, while CBD doesn’t need THC to work, it’s perfectly acceptable to have some THC alongside your CBD to experience the fullest, most potent effects. But, if you don’t want to, that’s okay, too! Pure CBD products work wonderfully when celebrated just on their own. The options are limitless within the CBD community.
The next time you’re curious about trying some CBD for yourself, remember that you don’t have to have THC with it in order for it to work for you. Take the time to discover what kinds of CBD products pique your interest the most, and then do some additional research to ensure that your decision is best for your health. Whether it’s full of THC or pure CBD, it’s time to let these all-natural cannabinoids provide your body with a little extra support.