The cannabis plant contains over 480 natural components, and 66 of these have been classified as cannabinoids. It’s a complex plant that has both medicinal and psychoactive elements. So what are cannabinoids? They are unique chemical compounds that interact with receptors found in the body and brain via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), to produce a range of effects. Two of the most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC.
The function of the ECS is to regulate pain, sleep, appetite, memory, mood, and more. It contains two receptors: CB1 receptors, which are primarily found in the brain; and CB2 receptors, which are found in the peripheral nervous system. The CB1 receptors are responsible for euphoric effects and also contribute to appetite stimulation as well as pain reduction. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are most prevalent in immune cells and work to reduce inflammation.
The human body contains naturally occurring cannabinoids like anandamide that interact with the ECS, and cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant interact with the same system to produce their known effects. CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis (after THC), but is CBD in all weed?
What’s the Definition of Cannabis?
Cannabis refers to a group of three plants that have psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis ruderalis. When the flowers from these plants are harvested and dried, you are left with one of the most well-known drugs in the world. Some call it pot, some call it weed, and others call it marijuana.
As weed is being legalized in more areas, the names for it are evolving. Today, an increasing number of people are using the term cannabis to refer to weed. Some claim that it’s a more accurate name. Others say that it’s a more neutral term in comparison to terms like pot or weed, which some people still associate with its illegal use.
Cannabis is typically consumed for its calming and relaxing effects. In some states, it’s even prescribed to help treat a range of medical conditions, including glaucoma, chronic pain, and poor diet.
So keep in mind that weed is essentially cannabis, and is derived from a natural plant.
What are High-CBD Cannabis Strains?
CBD is found in both marijuana and industrial hemp, and hemp-derived CBD is often used for medicinal purposes because it contains less than 1% THC. There have been changes in many states to legalize medical marijuana in an attempt to offer better access to CBD for the treatment of specific medical conditions.
Certain strains of cannabis are said to contain higher traces of CBD than others. Typically, a strain may deliver THC and CBD in the following ratios:
- High THC, low CBD (For example: 10-25% THC and small traces of CBD)
- Balanced THC/CBD (For example: 5-15% CBD and THC)
- High CBD, low THC (For example: 5-25% CBD, and small traces of THC)
High-CBD strains typically deliver clear-headed and functional effects, without the euphoric high that is associated with high-THC strains. They’re usually preferred by consumers who are very sensitive to the side effects of THC (e.g. paranoia, anxiety). High-CBD strains are also said to be a great choice for those who need to medicate throughout the day to control inflammation, anxiety, pain, or other chronic conditions.
But here’s the thing; new research suggests that all marijuana strains are the same. In other words, they all contain the same chemical makeup and cannabinoids. Yes, that’s right, all weed contains the same amount of THC and CBD, along with other cannabinoids – if the latest research is to be believed.
What Does the Research Say?
Walk into any cannabis dispensary in the U.S, and there is likely to be a plethora of strains to choose from, all of them containing varying ratios of CBD and THC designed to give the user a unique buzz that works according to their specific needs. For years, this has been one of the hottest selling points in the cannabis industry.
However, a new study published in Scientific Reports by the University of British Columbia has reported that this concept of different strains working in different ways may be a little misleading. No matter what weed is called, researchers have reported that all variations contain relatively the same amount of CBD and THC.
Elizabeth Mudge, the lead study author and chemistry professor, stated that a high abundance compound in a plant, like CBD or THC, isn’t necessarily responsible for the unique medicinal effects of specific strains. The research suggests that regardless of their origin or name, most strains have the same amount of CBD and THC.
Furthermore, it appears that when producers try to breed highly potent strains of weed, they end up changing the genetic diversity of the plant and not the CBD and THC levels.
This doesn’t mean that different strains don’t give different psychoactive effects. It just demonstrates that varying levels of CBD and THC may not be the reason for this change.
It’s important to keep in mind that this new information is based on one study, and many people, including researchers, still believe that different strains of weed contain varying ratios of CBD and THC.
Is CBD in All Weed?
Essentially, yes, there are traces of CBD in all strains of weed. There are different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp is the non-psychoactive type of cannabis. Marijuana and hemp are derived from the same species of cannabis, but their chemical components, uses, and how they are cultivated differ from one another.
CBD is found in both industrial hemp and marijuana, but hemp-derived CBD is often used for medicating because it contains less than 1% THC. It’s a lot easier to access hemp-derived CBD, and it’s thought to have the same properties as marijuana-derived CBD, which is why it’s a viable alternative for those who live in states that don’t allow them access to medical marijuana, but who can still legally access hemp-derived CBD.
One of the questions that often pops up is whether there is CBD in marijuana. The answer is yes. But typically, marijuana contains high traces of THC and low amounts of CBD, while hemp contains extremely high amounts of CBD and low traces of THC.
Of course, it’s important to keep the new research findings in mind. That is the fact that all strains may essentially contain the same amount of THC and CBD. However, that doesn’t change the fact that all weed contains CBD – whether in small or large amounts.