Dr Diana Gall (MD), GP at Doctor4U tells us the difference between cannabidiol and THC
Although both cannabidiol and THC come from the same plant, there are differences. Their chemical structure is the same with 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms, however, the atoms are arranged differently and they affect the body differently. THC produces a high whereas cannabidiol does not. The psychoactive effects of THC are different for each person but generally, it will produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, amusement, or anxiety. Both cannabidiol and THC have benefits, however, cannabidiol can provide the same benefits without the high which is more desirable when it is being used for medicinal purposes.
To what extent can CBD help improve individuals’ quality of life and well-being?
CBD is thought to have lots of health benefits, it has all of the qualities of the marijuana plant without the psychoactive effect from THC which gets you high. Of course, it’s important to remember that CBD affects everyone differently, not everyone will experience the benefits but some may find it’s a cure or a reliever for their ill-health. While CBD is still being researched and studied there is some strong evidence in support of the substance with many people reporting significant improvements in their health when taking CBD.
In particular, those who have long-term conditions have found that CBD is one way of managing their condition. CBD is used for medicinal purposes when every other medication or method of treatment for that particular condition has been exhausted and has not helped. Epilepsy is one condition that has been trialled with the use of CBD which has proved successful in reducing the number of seizures in patients with certain types of epilepsy. Severe epilepsy is not only life-threatening, but it can significantly impact a person’s everyday life. Some patients may experience multiple seizures a day which is exhausting, debilitating and can mean that the patient can’t lead a normal life. By reducing the number of seizures or completely stopping them, the patient may be able to hold down a job, drive and have a better quality of life. In some epileptic patients, CBD has been the solution to this. CBD has been found to manage the condition when other methods have failed.
For many, CBD has also been a way of improving mental well-being. This substance can help reduce anxiety and depression by acting on the brain’s receptors for serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are a cause of depression and it’s thought that CBD may affect how the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin. Many people use it as a stress reliever particularly if they suffer from anxiety. CBD has fewer side effects than a lot of antidepressants and maybe a safer and more effective treatment.
It’s anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects are also beneficial when it comes to sex. There have been reports of CBD enhancing sexual experiences, this may be because of its ability to help with performance anxiety and stress that many people feel before or during sexual intercourse. Although there’s not enough evidence for this yet, reports of CBD being used to improve sex have been positive with many feeling relaxed and having a more pleasurable experience. It may also reduce pain for those who have painful conditions that hinder their ability to have sex or those who experience pain during sex. Although it’s always important to get this checked out by a doctor first to establish the cause of the pain.
CBD is known to be a great pain reliever. CBD may affect the endocannabinoid system in the body which regulates a number of processes including sleep, appetite and pain. It’s thought that CBD impacts endocannabinoid receptor activity to reduce pain and inflammation. Chronic pain severely impacts all aspects of a person’s life and CBD has reduced pain for many and without side effects. However, it’s important to know that not all types of pain can be relieved by CBD as it responds differently to each person.