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CBD or THC For Serious Pain Relief?

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

As we work to erase the stigma that's been associated with cannabis use we are learning just how amazing this crazy, alien looking plant truly is.


CBD is what everyone is talking about, it’s popping up in everything from energy drinks, food, vape products, beauty products, bed sheets and so much more…. Today we’re going to look at how vital both compounds are for health and well-being and how THC plays a key role in the pain equation.


Cannabis is made up of over 500 compounds and cannabinoids represent about 85 of them. The most significant cannabinoids that we hear about are CBD, THC and THCa. CBD (or cannabidiol) has become the buzzword that we hear about every day. CBD boasts a myriad of benefits and is non-psychoactive. It works within the body synergistically to promote stress/anxiety relief, relief for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is used to reduce seizures and has been known to promote an overall feeling of wellbeing.


However when it comes to pain, inflammation, injuries, skin conditions, chronic health conditions and autoimmune diseases we are seeing that the most effective compound is THC.


CBD and THC have very similar benefits, but vary greatly in how they interact with our bodies.



What is THC?


THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical compound found in most marijuana plants. When smoked or ingested, THC stimulates brain cells to release dopamine creating a euphoric high. When THC is applied directly to the skin it skips the bloodstream and causes no mind-altering effects. It does however penetrate deep into our muscles, tissues and ligaments to bring relief from pain and inflammation.


What is THCa?


THCa, essentially, is the mother of THC. It is a non-psychoactive acid that once heated to a certain temperature, eventually becomes THC. This process is called 'decarbing' (short for decarboxylating). When used in its purest form, THCa can relieve pain with a smaller dosage than THC or CBD.


What is CBD?


CBD is often the more submissive compound in cannabis strains. With selective breeding, however, there have been developments of strains containing mostly CBD and almost no THC. CBD is non-psychoactive and tends to create an all-over effect.


Pain is a communication between our brain and our body that signifies there is something wrong. Pain can be felt in different ways. We can feel pain through our nervous system, through our muscles, ligaments, tissues and organs, bones and even through our imagination. THC can intercept this communication and prevent pain from being experienced on a physical level. One of the mechanisms in our bodies which regulates pain is our own endocannabinoid system.


Inhaled or ingested, THC carries side-effects like euphoria, sleepiness and increased appetite. These are life-saving benefits to patients with AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. But for some people they don’t want the high or can’t have it in their daily lives. In these cases, THC-rich topicals provide plant based, holistic, effective options without side effects.


THC applied topically has been shown to make a big difference in alleviating or reducing symptoms in the following condition:


Chronic Pain and Arthritis - By applying directly on the joints, muscles and other parts of the body, even people with chronic pain see immediate results.


Menstrual Cramps - Menstrual cramps are essentially muscle aches caused by minor contractions. Applying a THC-rich topical to the site will decrease cramps if not eliminate them altogether.


Skin Conditions - Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne can all be treated and even cured with a THC-heavy cannabis topical. Because these conditions are often a sign of a larger problem, a cannabis topical should be part of a holistic approach to correcting the imbalance.


Migraine Headaches - Recent studies have shown that topical cannabis reduces headache frequency when applied directly to the temple, neck and jawline.


Don’t be turned off by THC’s less desirable side effects and don’t automatically assume CBD isn’t strong enough for your condition. Cannabis gives birth to a diverse array of options depending on needs and preferences. THC may be the very thing missing in your treatment plan. We encourage you to ask questions, do your research and stay open to how cannabis and all its cannabinoids can support your self-care regime and heal.


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