Are you suffering from chronic pain and looking for a safer alternative to prescription opioids? If so, it is possible that you have heard of Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Both cannabinoids, along with about 111 others, derive from the Cannabis sativa plant. However, they have different side effects, while still offering some relief to pain. But, which is the best for long-term pain management?
Overview Of THC And CBD
THC and CBD are similar, but there are some differences between them. Both are found in the same plants. When most people think of one or the other, they’re going to immediately think about cannabis. It is true that both derive from the cannabis plant.
Just remember that CBD is more abundant in hemp. This is why hemp is most often utilized to create CBD oils. Both are capable of treating pain. You’ll learn more about that in the guide below.
Similarities: Natural Analgesics
CBD and THC are classified as natural analgesics. An analgesic is a drug or substance that has properties capable of easing pain. CBD and THC acts in the same manner as prescription analgesics, such as morphine and hydrocodone.
However, they do not pose long-term side effects, which cannot be said about prescription opioids. In addition to this, many medical experts believe that these natural analgesics have fewer addictive properties than prescription opioids.
Since they are natural analgesics, they both would work effectively in controlling chronic pain. With that said, there are still other factors that must be considered when it comes to utilizing THC and CBD for pain management.
Knowing the differences in CBD and THC will help you determine which one will help control your pain the best. Even though these cannabinoids derive from the same plant does not mean they share all the same traits. One of the most notable differences in these substances is their side effects.
While THC has psychoactive properties, CBD does not. These psychoactive properties have shown to produce what most users refer to as a “high”.
THC binds to the receptors – CB1 – in the brain that are responsible for the release of dopamine, resulting in a euphoria. While CBD also binds to the same receptors, it does not produce the same effects.
Since THC produces a powerful euphoria and CBD does not, some medical experts believe that it may be addictive. It is also believed that long-term users will experience withdrawal symptoms, when they stop utilizing THC. CBD, on the other hand, has therapeutic effects and no psychoactive effects, so it is not considered addictive.
Since everyone’s body reacts to CBD and THC in a different way, you should not expect to have the same experience as other users. The best way to determine which of these natural analgesics works the best to control pain is to put them both to the test.
For example, you should try THC for at least two weeks, followed by two weeks of utilizing CBD, and then make a comparison.
It is important to note that just because your friend or family member prefers THC to CBD does not mean that you will feel the same after trying both substances. In fact, you may prefer CBD because it was more effective in controlling your pain. So, do not base your decision on others’ experiences.
In the United States, cannabis is legal according to federal laws. However, some states have taken steps to keep cannabis illegal. While some states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, others have not. So, the legalities of these substances will depend on the state you live. Fortunately, some state politicians and advocates continue to push for full legalization of cannabis.
Which Cannabinoid Do Medical Experts Prefer?
If you ask your primary care physician which cannabinoid they prefer, they will probably say CBD. The main reason why the medical community leans toward CBD for pain management is because it contains little to no THC.
THC produces psychoactive effects that are described by many users as a “high” or euphoria.
CBD, on the other hand, does not produce these effects, which is why it is the preferred cannabinoid for pain management. If you want to be on the safe side, you should speak with your doctor before making your decision.
THC May Work Better For Nighttime Pain
If you ask pain sufferers about their pain, most of them will say their pain is more noticeable at night. It is still unclear why pain is more prominent at night. However, some pain sufferers have discovered that increasing their pain medicine doses slightly helps to improve their pain at night.
Now, if you ask pain sufferers who utilize CBD and THC to control their pain which works best at night, most will say THC.
Since THC binds with the receptors in the brain responsible for producing dopamine, it can induce sleep. Dopamine is a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus and produced in the pineal gland, which is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm, the human internal clock.
The Legalities Of CBD And THC
Before getting in too far, you need to understand that the legalities of CBD and THC are very different. You need to learn about these legalities before making your investment. Otherwise, you might get yourself into legal trouble.
The truth is that both could be illegal. It really depends on where you live. In Canada, it is not possible to buy both for recreational purposes. In the United States, the laws are blurry.
THC is illegal in many areas and it is illegal federally. CBD is legal federally, but it is actually illegal in some states. Accessing CBD is generally easier. In many areas, the patient will need a medical marijuana card to acquire the THC without legal repercussions.
If it is legal your area, you’ll be able to buy CBD online and right over the counter without any problems. In general, CBD is more accessible to most people. Getting THC is much harder in almost every American state.
Be sure to learn a lot more about the laws in your particular area before making your decision. Otherwise, you’ll run into a lot of issues.
How Both Can Potentially Help
Suffering from chronic pain is terrible and you’ll definitely want to remedy the problem as quickly as possible. Those prescription pills may help, but they’ll also cause significant side effects. Shouldn’t you attempt to find a better solution? There is a chance that THC and CBD will be able to help you.
Evidence proves that both substances are capable of helping alleviate and manage pain. Both chemicals are capable of interacting with the ECS or endocannabinoid system. The system is controlled by chemicals that are naturally produced.
Those chemicals are referred to as endocannabinoids. Certain components contained within the cannabis plant is actually capable of behaving like endocannabinoids.
One type is the phytocannabinoids. They’re actually capable of helping the body deal with a crisis and healing itself after the crisis has ended.
When the body’s endocannabinoids are not capable of solving the problem on they’re own, these phytocannabinoids can prove to be immensely helpful. In other words, CBD and THC can both be very helpful for the treatment of inflammation and pain.
Just remember that both are unique. CBD provided an abundance of medicinal properties, yet it will not induce a high. The THC is responsible for causing the high and it possesses medicinal properties of its own.
Which One Is Right For You?
Eventually, you’ll need to decide whether you want THC or CBD. The truth of the matter is that there are several things to take into consideration. THC could very well be illegal in your state. If this is the case, you’ll want to stay away from it.
Or, you might be able to obtain a medical marijuana card. CBD is legal federally, but it is still illegal in some states. However, CBD is more accessible than THC and it is generally legal in most places.
Also, you need to figure out what experience you want. THC is known for producing the high that is linked to cannabis. Some people will prefer that. Others will be interested in getting relief without feeling like they’re in a stupor.
If you fit into the latter category, you’ll definitely want to choose CBD. Either way, it is true that you can get pain relief using either THC or CBD. Just make sure that you put in a little bit of research and choose the right one for you.
The truth of the matter is that THC and CBD can both be great for pain management. Just remember that there are many differences between them. In order to find the right one for your unique needs, you should definitely consider those differences.
Otherwise, you’re probably going to get adverse results. If you do not want to experience a high, you’re better off with CBD. If you don’t mind and prefer to dull the pain with a euphoric feeling, the THC will be your best choice.