By Ellen Smith.
I am constantly reading about people from all states, with legal medical cannabis programs or not, seeking information on how to obtain high CBD for their medical issues. Along with this, I have noticed many stating they do not want any THC in their cannabis. It appears there seems to be a significant negative attitude about using THC for relief. So, then why do I need to include THC for relief?
There are chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plants. They interact with receptors in the brain and body, creating various effects. It is believed there are potentially over a hundred cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THC is the most widely known, due to its abundance and psychoactive qualities. For many years, “Marijuana” has been socially used because of this primary active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most widely known cannabinoid. But as cannabis is becoming accepted for medical use too, many have become concerned that they will get high or stoned if their product has any of this THC in it. Thus, many have turned towards the CBD supplies, now on the market. But, I have not had success with this choice. Why not?
Let’s understand, what is this Cannabidiol, also known as CBD? This term became a household word after it became clear that epileptic seizures could be reduced or even stopped by utilizing cannabis high in CBD content. This was discovered when the parents of five year old, Charlotte Figi, suffering from severe seizures, discovered that the Stanley Brothers had been developing exactly the plant they had been hoping for, one that presented the Cannabidiol (CBD),one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. This was what they wanted to try with their daughter because it was completely non psychoactive, unlike, tetrahydrocannabinol, THC and no drugs were successful. The results were amazing, reducing her seizures and opening up a new, safe solution for not only seizures, but help with helping spasms, calming anxiety, and soothing those in chronic pain.
However, many patients with chronic conditions have found, like me that they need to use medical cannabis extracted from either a higher CBD variety or from one with more THC. If you find a high-CBD strain, it does not mean it will be THC-free. Many strains advertised as “high-CBD” still contain some psychoactive cannabinoids. But, this should not scare you. I am sixty-seven years old and have turned to the use of cannabis since 2007, for two incurable painful conditions. Like so many patients, I had no desire to experience the psychoactive effects of the THC so at one point in my treatment; I utilized a high CBD strain containing only trace amounts of THC. When I tried to using just CBD without THC, concerned like so many, the pain relief just didn’t happen. So, for years, I have used just regular product with THC in it. Recently, due to all the beneficial effects I have read about having more CBD in your system, such as it that can help with cancer, lupus, motor disorders, nicotine addiction, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic and neuropathic pain, obsessive compulsive disorders, osteoporosis, and various pediatric conditions, I decided to grow plants higher in CBD to add to the oil I take at night. I have been able to benefit with pain relief from making an oil with a combination of strains that also include this higher CBD count, combined with the higher THC plants. I want you to know that I do not get high or stoned, as some assume. I receive pain relief. For those of us living with pain, we get relief from this type of plant that includes THC. But remember, with any medication, you can take too much and get a negative reaction, so be careful to take the dose right for you! But please, don’t be concerned if you are like me and need that THC to get the relief with your pain. Each body requires something different so may you too, find your correct match for safe relief.
Ellen Smith and her husband Stu live in Rhode Island and are co-directors for Cannabis Advocacy for the US Pain Foundation and contribute to the National Pain Report.