Does CBD Really Counteract the Psychoactive Effects of THC?

CBD and THC - the two most well known cannabinoids. CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, known for its health benefits. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid, commonly associated with the stoner.

does CBD counteract THC

If you’re a weed smoker, these two cannabinoids are vastly different. Smokers usually go for THC when it comes to recreational consumption, as this is the cannabinoid that provides the ‘high’ and the euphoric effects. Whereas those who are purely looking for a medical benefit may choose CBD, but keep in mind that THC does have many medical benefits too. 

Characteristics of these cannabinoids are being researched and studied on a daily basis. Recently it has come to light that CBD shows the ability to counteract the ‘high’ that is associated with and provided by THC. This may not be necessary for most tokers, as it then defeats the point of consuming THC in the first place. However, it can come in handy in those instances when you’ve smoked a little too much!

Interesting Results 

It is becoming more evident now that CBD blocks the psychoactive effects of THC. 

Research conducted on rats showed that those exposed to higher THC levels produced greater levels of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK), with evidence of anxiety and a sensitivity to fear-based learning. The opposite was true for those rats which were exposed to higher amounts of CBD as opposed to THC. These rats showed relatively normal reactions. 

But why is this so? Well, a 2015 study established that CBD acts as a negative allosteric modulator – which means that the cannabinoid binds to the CB1 receptor, just as THC does, but in a different site. So when CBD attaches itself, it is changing the shape of the CB1 receptor in such a way that it makes it more difficult for THC to bind and play its role in activating the receptor. 

It would appear that CBD does have the ability to counteract the effects of THC. However, the results do seem to be fairly inconsistent. The interaction between these cannabinoids is not limited to just the two of them and a singular binding point – there are more mechanisms in play. Which is why it has been noted that CBD can actually exacerbate THCs effects. It would also appear that CBD taken after the consumption of THC provides a counteraction; while CBD taken before the consumption of THC can actually heighten the effects. 

Deeper research needs to be conducted into this relationship, but it does show promising results regardless. It may be worth carrying around some CBD in the future for those occasions where you have a little too much of a good thing. 

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