Who would have thought that today’s hot investment is marijuana stocks? The plant that’s been both loved and demonized for centuries (documented use in 500 B.C.!) is now legal in many states and prescribed by doctors to alleviate numerous health conditions.
The plant genus known as cannabis contains both hemp and marijuana. The stalks, seeds, and flowers of these plants contains compounds, or cannabinoids, which, dependent on their use, yield very different effects. Two of the most abundant cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana are (CBD) (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana contains a higher amount of THC, while hemp has greater amounts of CBD. Both THC and CBD have valuable medical applications, but THC elicits a “high” while CBD does not.
The endocannabinoid system regulates many functions of the body, including those governing pain, appetite, memory, mood, and sleep. Use of THC and CBD both interact with and affect the endocannabinoid system.
THC – more than a “high”
THC is known for its psychoactive properties, altering brain function to affect mood, perception, cognition, and may even disrupt balance and coordination. It also causes the release of large amounts of dopamine, eliciting feelings of pleasure and euphoria, the “high” valued by most users.
Even though it is psychotropic, THC has many positive medical effects, especially in the following areas:
- Sleep aid
- Appetite stimulant
- Pain relief
- Anti-anxiety (although high amounts of THC may promote anxiety)
- Muscle spasms
- Lessening withdrawal symptoms
Positive effects of CBD
Because CBD is not psychoactive, it can be used during the day, when users desire to remain alert. Using either a high-CBD strain of marijuana or pure CBD oil, CBD is useful for treating:
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
CBD-rich vs. CBD-dominant vs. CBD oil?
CBD-rich strains of marijuana generally contain equal amounts of THC and CBD, while those labeled CBD-dominant have small amounts of THC. CBD-dominant strains can be useful in lessening some undesirable effects of THC, like paranoia. Pure CBD contains zero amounts of THC and is readily available without a prescription.