Cannabinoids made by plants, primarily the cannabis plant
THC: This is the one. Endlessly written about, whose presence in human history has ranged from god-like to devil-sent. Whose persecution for possession has led individuals to lifelong suffering and even death. And this all through millennia of human history.
THC mimics Anandamide and 2-AG by acting as a partial agonist at CB1 and CB2 Receptor sites. An agonist is a chemical that binds to a receptor and activates the receptor to produce a biological response. But, THC does not stimulate the receptors all the way. And because it is a partial agonist and not a full agonist, it can at times actually block function and act as an anti-agonist. Antagonism to the receptors, both, is more likely when the ECS is down-regulated, that is, not functioning correctly.
Too high a dose of THC can actually down regulate the ECS and loose efficacy. At a weekly habit of smoking more than 1/8 oz, research has shown that the Receptors become over stimulated and the cells have the good sense of pulling them inward, closing them off. Full benefit from the Cannabinoids is then not gained.
Endocannabinoids are hydrophobic molecules. They cannot travel unaided for long distances in the aqueous medium surrounding the cells from where they are released, and therefore act locally on nearby target cells. They have much more restricted spheres of influence than do hormones, which can affect cells throughout the body.
Over the last two decade or so substantial research has gone into the medical benefits and usage of CBD. Over the last decade the amount of suffering this Cannabinoid is responsible for alleviating, without a doubt, is truly astonishing. We’ve all heard personal testimonies and stories and probably each know someone who has been deeply helped through this Cannabinoid. The amount of research on CBD has also exponentially increased over the last decade.
It is often repeated that CBD is NOT psychoactive. This is not true. CBD does affect the psyche, mildly, generally not impairing perceptions or creating that “stoned” high feeling. It does not affect motor coordination as THC does. It will not get you to that stoned place. But it can change a mood and bring about a psychological shift that can be felt.
Unlike THC, CBD does not attach directly to any of the receptors, but instead indirectly activates Endocannabinoid signaling by suppressing the enzyme fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH). Say it now, “FAAH.”
FAAH breaks down Anandamide, so the more FAAH you have, the less Anandamide there is in the body. Turns out, CBD suppresses the production of FAAH, therefore allowing more Anandamide to be present and strengthening Endocannabinoid tone. The theory being that if you have a condition associated with low levels of Anandamide, taking CBD would return it to optimum levels, which in turn could improve the symptoms.
At this time in its history of research it is still not fully understood exactly how it works on the cellular level. That is, which mechanism is having the clinical effects. But its affects are widespread as are all the Cannabinoids. Very high doses have shown no problems. And it is also effective at very low doses, as low as 1 microgram.
So saying all these things is really repeating what the research is showing and anecdotal stories. Always, Less is Better. Start low. Go slow.
CBD can modulate the effect of THC. That is, CBD can affect how the THC molecule attaches to a receptor. It says, this is enough stimulation. So the THC effect is turned down. It is an antidote for consuming extremely high levels of THC and getting to that “freaking out” zone.
It seems that lower doses can be more stimulating while higher doses tend to be sedating.
CBD and THC work well together. If use just CBD alone, it will take more mg of CBD than a mixture THC and CBD at a combined lesser amount.
CBD is not sedating, it is very stimulating molecule at low and moderate doses. It is true certain cannabis plants that have CBD in them will be sedating, but it’s not because of the CBD. It is more likely due to the presence of Terpenes. Some researchers think that it is Myrcene causing the sedating, narcotic-type properties. Others think it is B-caryophylene.