Why is CBD often referred to as the medical component of cannabis?

medical medicinal strains high cbd

Many seed banks who offer high CBD strains organize them under a medical or medicinal tab. Why is this? And if high THC cannabis strains are so frequently used by medical marijuana patients, why would they put high CBD strains, and only those, in the medical section?

The rise to fame of CBD

For the longest time, the trend was to focus on the most famous cannabinoid in marijuana plants: THC. Cannabis was used purely for pleasure, by folks the more judgmental half of our society likes to label “stoners” and a few other more or less insulting terms. 

With the growing interest in CBD, this non-psychoactive cannabinoid has been setting a trend of its own and gathering a loyal following. All of a sudden, cannabis is no longer just about getting high.

You’ve probably heard of Charlotte’s Web, the mythical strain with insanely high CBD levels, created by the Colorado-based Stanley brothers to help Charlotte Figi’s epileptic seizures. (Which, in case you haven’t, it did.) Without a doubt does CBD deserve all the attention it’s been getting lately, however, THC is no less interesting to look at from a medical standpoint.

Cannabinoids: Better together?

Maybe you’ve pieced together chunks of information from various sources and drawn the conclusion that THC equals getting high and CBD equals health benefits. That is indeed the takeaway from many articles and documentaries.

But cannabis doesn’t need to be all CBD and no THC to be beneficial. The effects of both these two and other cannabinoids aren’t that simple or straight-forward. In other words, a strain with extreme high CBD content and virtually no THC isn’t necessarily the best for everything, or everyone.

Even a less extreme version with equal amounts of both cannabinoids could be an excellent fit. Heck, that could even be a better fit. It all depends on what works for you, and which symptoms you’re aiming to find relief for. (And let’s not even get started on the entourage effect.)

Maybe CBD claimed the medical spot simply because it was vacant

That’s right: Maybe CBD jumped into the seat of the cannabinoid with medicinal value because THC had not yet been able to solidly establish such a connection.

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First CBD had to play catch-up with THC due to its popularity as a mind-altering substance. It seems the opposite is happening with potential medicinal properties: in a relatively short time, CBD was able to claim the spotlight on this front, and now THC is playing catch-up in its aim for a similar status.

THC’s only value being in its capacity to shoot our brains up among the stars is a tenacious idea. Actually, one of the heaviest and most experienced users I know personally recently made this exact point to me: he started talking with much enthusiasm about how CBD is the (one and only) medicinal cannabinoid.

While a number of cannabis amateurs and connoisseurs alike seem to have cannabidiol or CBD firmly pinpointed as the medicinal cannabinoid, reputed online seed banks on the other hand (such as for example ilovegrowingmarijuana) paint a more nuanced picture.

Quoting a small excerpt from ilovegrowingmarijuana:

Strains with a high percentage of CBD are typically best for medical users. CBD, or cannabidiol, increases the healing power while reducing the psychoactivity that comes from THC. CBD can bring a pleasant dreamlike state to your mind and body, reducing anxiety and being deeply therapeutic. It can also make it easier to continue living your daily life while using medical marijuana since you won’t be in a state of feeling high.

SeedSupreme, another trusted online supplier of cannabis seeds, has worded the intro of their medicinal section to perfection:

Since all cannabis strains have medicinal properties some people choose a combination of different strains to suit their needs. CBD rich strains can offer medicinal effects without the high associated with high THC strains, although much of the research points to the need to combine both Cannabinoids to gain the maximum benefit as part of the entourage effect.

Not to knock the knowledge of those who focus on the medical aspect of CBD in any way, but it is definitely not the only cannabinoid with medicinal properties.

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The anti-cancer cannabinoid

CBD has many therapeutic effects of its own, but when zooming in on THC it appears to be the most promising cannabinoid of the two, in relation to cancer in particular. At least two people, who would both qualify as experts in the matter, have established THC as a very promising anti-carcinogen substance.

Dr. Sanchez does research on mice with breast tumors and her findings are that THC has promising healing properties. Simply put, she says the cannabinoid stimulates the cancer cells to auto-destruct in some way.

Rick Simpson, a famous Canadian and maker of cannabis oil, may not have the fancy title to underline his research, which means it doesn’t officially qualify as “medical research”. Still… it would be rather ignorant not to recognize his vast experience in the matter. His conclusions very much underline the findings of Dr. Sanchez. Specifically in relation to cancer it doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that he too preaches the gospel of THC.

Legal battles CBD doesn’t need to fight

So what is going on here? Would the fact that THC is psychedelic and illegal in many areas have something to do with it? 

The blacklisted status of THC just makes it that much harder to get permits for proper research and for the equally valuable collection of anecdotal user experience to be given the weight it deserves. It is now starting to dawn on the conventional medical field that both CBD and THC are worth looking into. 

Working theory

THC has a heavy stigma to lose, before it even stands the chance to be taken seriously by a good chunk of the population. CBD, not having the psychotropic effect in addition to potential medicinal properties, may simply have had less ground to cover in its run for recognition in the medical field. 

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Could this be behind most people associating CBD with scrubs, and THC with reggae music? So far my current working theory. It can, of course, be totally wrong; whether to cheer it on or shoot it down, I’d love to hear your input!

By Felis Cannabis

Hi, Felis Cannabis here. This little corner of the web is my scratch pole. The legalize movement is growing, but not fast enough for me to give up the incognito status just yet. ;-) Let's keep at it! We should have the right to use any plant we choose.