CBD vs THC for Pain
CBD vs THC, it’s an endless debate and one that is likely to go on for a long time to come. But here’s the question, THC or CBD for pain?
Now, let’s start with the obvious here, if you ask us, the answer is CBD, simply because CBD products are legal, and, at this point, THC products are not. Regardless of the CBD vs THC question that you ask us, the answer will always be CBD for that reason.
However, in the name of science and nothing but science, let’s take a look at the effects of these two very different cannabinoids, and what effects they have on pain.
THC for Pain
Now, again, THC products are, for the most part, illegal in the majority of jurisdictions. Some US states and a few countries have legalised cannabis for recreational use, and a few more have legalised it for medicinal purposes, but if you do not live in one of these places, we do not advocate the use of THC heavy cannabis products, we instead recommend their CBD brothers.
However, again in the name of science, let’s study THC. The substances in THC most likely to have pain relieving properties are terpenes, the likes of Limonene, Caryophyllene, and Myrcene (the latter being the most common terpene found in THC, the one that creates that herbal aroma) have all been shown to have potential pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
THC works with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, that are connected to the endocannabinoid system, which helps to control various bodily functions including pain.
To that end, there is certainly the potential for THC to have pain-reliving qualities, and many swear by it, but the jury is still out for most.
The rise in the legalisation of medical marijuana, however, certainly suggests that health organisations and governments are starting to open their eyes to the possibility.
CBD for Pain
CBD oil for pain is growing in popularity, in fact, a variety CBD products are being advocated by many different people and organisations as having pain relieving qualities.
CBD, similarly to THC, works with the body’s endocannabinoid system, but it reacts with different cannabinoid receptors, this is why CBD does not have psychoactive properties, meaning it doesn’t get you high.
It is worth stopping on that point for a while, because the fact CBD does not cause a high makes many consumers more comfortable using the product.
CBD also contains terpenes, or at least it can. CBD isolate is a CBD product that is pure CBD, it has had everything else filtered out of it, many believe that this allows the CBD to work more efficiently with pain receptors, and therefore have more of an impact on pain.
This school of thought is becoming less popular, however, as belief in full spectrum CBD is starting to rise. Full spectrum CBD is cannabidiol with extra bits left in, like marmalade with bits, if you like.
Terpenes, and trace amounts of THC are present in full spectrum CBD products, and many believe the combination is more effective, with the trace THC amounts doing their job, the terpenes having pain-relieving properties, and the CBD, as above, working with pain receptors.
The only scientifically proven benefit of CBD is to reduce the symptoms of epilepsy, such as seizures, and Epidiolex, an epilepsy medicine, is the first drug containing CBD that has been approved by the FDA.
In terms of the other potential benefits, research is being carried out, and results have been positive so far, so it would not be surprising to see more CBD drugs approved by pharmaceutical regulators in the future, but there’s no guarantee yet.
From a scientific standpoint, both THC and CBD have the potential to provide pain relief. However, in the big CBD vs THC debate, it is likely that if either of the two cannabinoids become commonly used for pain in an official capacity with regulatory approval, CBD is probably going to get there first.