Cannabis consumers have long prized potency (a high THC content) as one of the main factors that makes a particular strain more desirable. Though traditional demand for THC has caused an oversaturation of high-potency products, many consumers are starting to prefer less intense products that are lower in THC and higher in the non-intoxicating compound called cannabidiol (CBD).
The author of a Harvard-led systematic review of 28 studies examining the efficacy of exo-cannabinoids (cannabinoids formed outside of the body, i.e. from the plant or synthetically made) to treat pain and other medical issues concluded, “the use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence.”
In 2015, researchers conducted a comprehensive review to get at the heart of CBD and its intervention of addictive behaviors. These researchers gathered 14 studies, nine (9) of which involved animals, while the remaining five (5) involved humans, to find that CBD may indeed have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. Further, studies heavily suggest that CBD may also be beneficial in the treatment of marijuana and tobacco addiction. One reason that CBD may be effective as treatment for addictive disorders is its ability to ease the anxiety that leads people to crave drugs like heroin.
Even though most manufacturers claim that CBD does not have any side effects, research says otherwise. Sure, most people can tolerate the impact of CBD just fine, but a small portion of the population have been noted to experience not-so-adverse side effects. According to Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the most common results are tiredness, change in weight, diarrhea, fatigue.
Cannabinoids are divided into three groups. The first are naturally occurring 21-carbon terpenophenolic compounds found to date solely in plants of the Cannabis genus, currently termed phytocannabinoids (Pate 1994). The best known analgesic of these is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (henceforth, THC)(Figure 1), first isolated and synthesized in 1964 (Gaoni and Mechoulam 1964). In plant preparations and whole extracts, its activity is complemented by other “minor” phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) (Figure 1), cannabis terpenoids and flavonoids, as will be discussed subsequently.