What is CBD, and why is it universally accepted while THC is not? In the age of lightning fast fingertip information, an idea, discovery, or revelation can be proliferated almost as fast as it was conceptualized. The danger comes into the scene when our brains strive to understand these multi-faceted type problems, by simplifying them into a generalized label-based form. The Marijuana Plant is no exception to this rule. As the race ensues to classify and label this new titan of industry, the medical professionals and politicians do their best to try to keep up.
The medical marijuana industry is a perfect example of when the slow turning gears of the government, meet the fast paced information based world of health, science, and technology. Throw a little recreation vs. criminalization in there, and you have a multi-level situation on your hands. The marijuana plant, according to the federal government, is classified as a dangerous Schedule I drug with no medical value. On the other hand, the single molecule THC is recognized as an anti-nausea compound, and appetite booster, with little to no abuse potential, making it in that form only, a Schedule III drug. Since the plant is the only natural form of the molecule, how does that add up to different?
Yet before we even have THC figured out, here comes the new kid on the block, and his name is CBD. The difference between the two is the fact that the marijuana plant itself has over four hundred elements; the CBD compound is the only one that is legal in all fifty states. The reason being is that it has no psychoactive or mind-altering properties, since it does not affect the brains’ cannabinoid receptors. Although on its own it has been found to positively influence a multitude of healing properties such as eradicating tumors, or working as an anti-inflammatory, results being several hundred times better than aspirin. When studies have combined THC with CBD, it has been found to reduce the paranoia, and anxiety associated with THC. The CBD has a neuroprotective ability that is said to adversely combat the negative neurotoxic effects left by THC.
While research on this industry is still in its infancy, it is plain to see how complicated this can get when one tries to convert scientific understanding into legislative law. The isolated molecular compound of THC is labeled safer than the plant containing CBD, yet the element of CBD might be the very thing keeping THC safe in the first place. Here’s the catch, the only way CBD can be extracted is from the plant itself. In turn, saying the plant itself is dangerous, while the individual molecules are less so, as the laws suggests, is lacking in thought maturity. As is much in life, we must adhere to the limitations of our time and wait patiently while more information is gathered, and minds are changed.
Written by: Dylan Lenz