It’s a common myth that THC is required to “activate” CBD, and therefore that pure CBD products are less effective than similar products that contain both CBD and THC. What medical evidence exists indicates that CBD does have effects on its own, without needing the presence of THC.
Why DO people think this, anyway? Why does this “criticism” of CBD products persist?
There are a few reasons why that might be. Bear in mind that there isn’t any scientific evidence for or against either the belief that THC is required to activate CBD, but there are some facts about CBD and THC that may explain it.
Bear in mind this isn’t to say THC has no benefits, which isn’t the case. Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia, and in fact in the United States well into the 20th century. This is instead to suggest that CBD likely doesn’t require THC to be “activated” at all.
What’s known about the difference between these two substances is that cannabidiol (CBD) is not an intoxicant, whereas THC – or tetrahydrocannabinol – definitely is. It might not seem like that matters, but you have to consider that people take both substances for the purposes of pain relief.
There are other substances that are taken for pain relief. Some people are known to “self medicate” with alcohol, another intoxicant.
The medical literature has also shown, with mounting evidence, that over the counter pain relievers are actually just as effective if not more effective at relieving pain than opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. The reason those medications are considered to be so effective is the opiate in the drug mildly intoxicates the user, relaxing them long enough for the acetaminophen – Tylenol – that the opiate is mixed with to take effect.
Likewise, THC gets you high.
Can you tell the difference between being intoxicated and your pain actually being relieved? It’s not necessarily easy to distinguish.
CBD Is Not Fast Acting And Often Requires Building Up To Therapeutic Levels
Another possible source of this myth is that CBD doesn’t act immediately; typically it takes 45 minutes to an hour for the effects to be registered when taken for sleep issues or acute pain or other issues.
Regular users also report that CBD has to be taken as part of a regimen to relieve chronic ailments, such as anxiety or other issues. Much like some other drugs that have to be taken regularly to achieve their intended effect, it appears that therapeutic levels of the substance has to be built up in the bloodstream.
This ties directly into the intoxication of THC. While CBD takes the better part of an hour to kick in, THC’s effects are felt in moments. Again, it’s hard to tell the difference between being high and your pain being relieved, especially if the former begins so much sooner than the latter.
CBD Was Never Isolated Until Recently; THC Has Been Around Forever
Another thing to know is that CBD is more or less new in many regards. While the compound was known about for some time, it wasn’t extracted on its own until a few decades ago, and wasn’t investigated or even hypothesized to have any health benefits until fairly recently.
On the other hand, the palliative and other benefits of marijuana have been known about…literally for thousands of years. It isn’t even known when humans first started using it for its intoxicating effects; it’s known to have predated even classical Greece by centuries if not by several millennia. In other words, it’s definitely known that use of THC can have some positive effects, especially when it comes to pain relief and other purposes, and has been for a very, very, very long time. CBD is a newcomer, and while it shows promise, new ideas and new materials and so on need time to prove themselves to win over the doubters.
but you can opt out at any time.