On their own, each major cannabinoid and terpene delivers a wallop of psychological and physiological effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), arguably the most popular cannabinoid, is known for its mind-altering effects. It gets you intoxicated and can eradicate pain. Cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabinoid, is thought to reduce inflammation. (Obviously just the tip of the iceberg for medicinal benefits of these two molecular juggernauts).
Taken together, however, cannabinoids and terpenes can enhance each other’s effects. This is referred to as the entourage, or the ensemble effect. According to Scientific American: “There are a few arguments that entourage effect proponents use to bolster the theory…A number of scientists believe CBD actually mitigates the famously stoning and paranoia-producing effects of THC by blocking some cannabinoid receptors.”
Yet, despite this, the legal cannabis/hemp market is full of products that lack one major cannabinoid or another. Industry producers purposely create high-CBD products with no THC. There are a couple of reasons why.
CBD can be pulled from hemp plants, which are currently legal across the U.S. A hemp farmer doesn’t have to go through the same legislative leaps that legal cannabis growers do. Hemp, and hemp-derived CBD, can be sold, and more importantly, shipped everywhere. While the < 0.3% THC cutoff is the law in the US, in Europe, the limit is 0.2%, although that may soon change. Another legal ramification of THC is the dreaded drug test. For those subject to drug testing, even small amounts may be too much.
Many people crave the vaunted health benefits associated with cannabis but have no interest in its intoxicating effects. For these consumers, a CBD-only product is the best choice. CBD products can also be used to provide relief to children who need medicinal cannabis. It’s also more widely vended, as you’ve likely seen.
If you’re trying to treat a specific condition like anxiety or chronic pain, you might be interested in experimenting with CBD-only products. THC’s heady effects can make it hard to determine how you feel. Ingesting CBD without THC allows you to experience the sensation without confusion.
Image source: RxLeaf