“If you accidentally consume too much THC and feel anxious or paranoid, counteract it by taking some CBD.” That’s what my budtender told me to do once, and ever since, I’ve wondered to what extent that’s true.
The relationship between THC and CBD
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is an excellent anxiety-fighting compound. It occurs in trace amounts in most varieties of cannabis, but recent years have seen a surge of high-CBD strains and products. CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC – when isolated from its THC counterpart, it does not produce the obvious euphoria.
CBD and its anti-anxiety mechanisms
It makes you wonder: how do CBD’s profound anti-anxiety effects actually work?
In this study published in Front Psychology, the question of CBDs countereffect on psychoactive THC was questioned. It is questioned in the context of countering the “permanent” and “adverse” effects of THC such as paranoia, anxiety and memory impairment. This is particularly pertinent in the case of medicinal cannabis users who may want the medicinal benefits of cannabis but who may experience negative side effects from THC. In any case, the analysis shows that CBD may be neuroprotective and therefore, to a certain degree, counteract negative side effects of THC.
As a result, anecdotal stories and recreational users remain some of the best sources of information regarding how CBD mediates the effects of THC.
CBD to counter THC in medicine
Different cannabis strains are advertised as having different qualities: “couch-lock”, “energetic”, “powerhouses” and “relaxing”. This is, in large part, due to the concentration of different cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
This is necessary because otherwise researchers would not know how much of each cannabinoid is administered. At the same time, this kind of study takes cannabinoids out of context and therefore removes the entourage effect, which may be the whole mechanism by which CBD mediates THC effects.
Recreational cannabis users and CBD
It has become increasingly commonplace for recreational users to resort to CBD in the event of a ‘white-out’ (an unpleasant but harmless cannabis ‘overdose’). Recreational users report that this works, which would create an unusual situation where CBD could be used by recreational cannabis users.