Check out part 1 of our series here.
So you’re getting into Cannabis. Friends have told you about the experience, or maybe you’ve already tried it a few times, perhaps you’re even a pro. Now you want to know more beyond just the sub-species and strains. Throwing phrases like “this is an indica-sativa hybrid from the west coast of Canada” just isn’t enough for you any longer. What you’re looking for is to seriously talk pot. Underneath all the slang and colloquialisms found in cannabis culture there is a science. Cannabis works the way it does for a reason, as you might already expect. So if you’re looking to point the finger at a couple of culprits, you may want to familiarize yourself with THC and CBD.
Now don’t panic. If you haven’t heard these terms before, that’s fully understandable. Many smokers will happily continue to puff the years away without ever needing to understand that THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol (now you understand at the very least why it goes by THC), or that CBD stands for cannabidiol. So now you may be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with my Cannabis”. Simply put, THC and CBD represent the two compounds that belong to the class of molecules called cannabinoids. They can be found in marijuana along with upwards of 60 other compounds. What sets these two apart is the concentration in which they are found.
In your average bud, THC and CBD are found in the highest concentration when compared to the long list of cannabinoids, other characteristics set them apart from one another. THC is the stuff that gets you high. It gives weed its psychoactive properties. Looking for a higher high? Increased THC percentages are the way to go. In contrast to THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. It acts on different receptors in your brain and isn’t the reason that ice cream tastes incredible. Both THC and CBD offer a number of medical benefits and upstart medical suppliers have started listing the THC and CBD percentages of each of their available strains, making it easier for you to achieve consistent results through prolonged use.
Moving forward as Marijuana becomes increasingly regulated and standardized THC and CBD are likely to become as important to the average cannabis user as the sugar and caffeine content of the avid soda drinker. They are a way to measure and understand the effects of a product, and although you aren’t likely to get a labeled THC or CBD percentage from your dealer, now you can at least surprise them with a little knowledge on the subject.