You’re probably hearing a lot about cannabis products now that they have become legal for adult-use here in Connecticut. Cannabis is a plant that produces compounds called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis. CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis products and while both have been found to have health benefits, their effects on the body and mind can be very different.
CBD and THC have the same chemical formula -- 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The difference lies in the way the atoms are arranged giving CBD and THC different chemical properties. The main difference between CBD and THC is that since CBD is not psychoactive, it does not result in the typical "high" that is associated with adult-use cannabis.
Both CBD and THC work with receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. They can affect things like pain, mood, sleep, and memory. Let’s take a closer look at both compounds to gain a scientific understanding of the different ways they can impact users.
LET’S TALK ABOUT CBD
The main way CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors is by helping increase the number of endocannabinoids in the body. Endocannabinoids are naturally created by lipids, or fats, in the body. After these lipids begin synthesizing endocannabinoids, an enzyme will stop the process, so it doesn’t continue indefinitely. CBD inhibits the function of these enzymes temporarily, so more endocannabinoids will be produced — and, therefore, more cannabinoid receptors will be activated.
By doing so, CBD indirectly boosts the production of endocannabinoids, and those endocannabinoids help fuel the endocannabinoid system to maintain the body’s balance. So, while your endocannabinoid system will work without taking CBD, using it helps give it a boost.
In addition to helping activate the endocannabinoid system, CBD possesses numerous health benefits that can help manage both medical and mental health conditions. CBD is known to reduce inflammation, anxiety, and seizures, as well as relieving pain. Additionally, CBD’s neuroprotective effects can protect brain cells in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other types of dementia.
There are several different ways to consume CBD including inhalation, topical application, ingesting edibles and sublingually using tinctures. You should understand that when people say “vaping CBD oil” they are referring to CBD vape cartridges, which are designed for inhalation. Disposable CBD vape pens are by far the easiest and most inexpensive entry into vaping CBD oil. They are tiny lightweight cigarette-style pens that are pre-filled with CBD oil powered by a built-in coil and battery. Disposable CBD pens are generally good for a few hundred puffs before you will need to dispose of them.
CBD topicals and oral applications are the two most common ways people use cannabidiol. CBD topicals offer a wide range of health benefits, from pain management to improving skin health. You can apply them directly onto the skin to remove localized muscle or joint pain. This way, cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory effects can begin their action quickly on the afflicted area since the skin can absorb cannabidiol to reduce inflammation and relieve pain and anxiety.
CBD oil tinctures are a convenient and effective way to integrate cannabidiol into your daily routine. Simply place a full dropper under your tongue, hold for up to 60 seconds, and swallow in the morning or night. This “under-the-tongue” method allows for direct absorption through mouth capillaries into the bloodstream and activation of the ECS’ cannabinoid receptors, ultimately reducing stress and anxiety.
CBD capsules and soft gels are pills that contain a pre-measured dose of cannabidiol and look like any other soft gel capsule, like a vitamin E capsule. Cannabidiol capsules and soft gels are likely the most convenient and efficient way to deliver full spectrum cannabidiol to your endocannabinoid system. Just take a pill or two with a glass of water either at night or in the morning. After ingesting the capsule, you may wait up to 30 minutes to feel the real effects.
CBD gummies are another easy, convenient, and tasty way of ingesting your daily serving of cannabidiol. Like the capsules and soft gels, you will find the same amount of cannabidiol infused into each gummy piece. And with the delicious flavors, the taste may win you more than the wholesome cannabidiol benefits. Moreover, comparing CBD oil, gummies have less bioavailability.
It may take some trial-and-error to figure out which CBD consumption method is best for you.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT THC
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the major psychoactive component and one of the 113 cannabinoids recognized in cannabis. It is an important therapeutic agent with a wide range of medicinal properties. The psychoactive effects of THC result from the activation of the CB1 receptors in the brain. The brain-receptor activity happens throughout the cortex, midbrain, cerebellum, and spinal cord.
THC, acting through cannabinoid receptors, also activates the brain’s reward system, which includes regions that govern the response to healthy pleasurable behaviors such as sex and eating. THC stimulates neurons in the reward system to release the signaling chemical dopamine at levels higher than typically observed in response to natural rewarding stimuli. Because THC works directly on the receptors, using too much THC can flood the receptor creating a tolerance. This is one of the reasons you may need a THC tolerance break if you use THC frequently or at very high doses.
When shopping for adult-use THC products, it is important to know the difference between Sativa, Indica and Hybrid strains. The common understanding is that Indica strains are physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a stress-reliever before bed, while sativa strains are energizing with uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects. Hybrid strains are thought to have a mix of Indica and Sativa effects. Just like CBD, there are a variety of ways to ingest THC and it is important to do research and be smart about your adult-use cannabis intake to ensure an enjoyable experience.
What are the Different Forms of THC and CBD?
Smoking adult-use cannabis is the most traditional and popular method of ingesting THC. However, due to potential health problems, smoking cannabis is fast becoming less and less popular.
In recent years, vaping has become a preferred way for many to consume adult-use cannabis, with the perception that it is the healthier alternative to smoking. Studies suggest that vaporized cannabis may generate fewer chemicals than smoked cannabis and could thus represent a less harmful, or 'healthier' mode of consumption. Lack of smell, better taste and ease of consumption are all reasons why users have increasingly chosen this method.
Dab rigs are like glass water pipes, except they are designed for the consumption of cannabis extracts (e.g., rosin, shatter, wax, etc.). Dab rigs are usually smaller in size and more mechanically complex than the typical glass water pipe to prevent potency loss. Dab rigs also require the heating of a metal plate using a torch.
For many years, some cannabis fans would choose to eat their adult-use THC rather than smoke it. Edibles are known for being considerably stronger and more psychoactive than smoking or vaping cannabis. This is because cannabis is digested and processed by the liver, converting THC into the more potent 11-Hydroxy-THC.
High-quality, lab-tested tinctures where MCT, coconut, or olive oil is the main cannabinoid-terpenoid carrier make it the best and healthiest way to consume cannabis for most people. Cannabinoid topicals can also be applied externally and internally, and for conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis, direct application to the skin is necessary.
Oils, capsules, and topicals are the most common forms of CBD, while oils, edibles, and flower are the most common forms of THC. The effects and uses of each form will depend on the dosage and individual needs. CBD and THC both have medical benefits. They’re also both considered safe but consider the possibility of side effects and interactions with other drugs you’re taking. It might be a good idea to speak with your general care physician about whether CBD or THC is right for you.
How to Enjoy Your CBD and THC Products
The distinctions between cannabis used for medical purposes and cannabis used for recreational adult use must be understood.
Adult-use cannabis refers to laws that allow anyone 21 years of age or older to buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary or retailer. These laws treat cannabis like alcohol by allowing adults to buy the substance without a doctor’s recommendation.
Adult-use cannabis is often consumed for its enjoyable mind-altering effects. While THC does have important medical uses, most consumers use it for the “high” feeling it gives them.
Fine Fettle locations offer a variety of popular adult-use products including new Sour Apple Fruit Chews at our Martha's Vineyard, MA location. The 5-pack of cannabis infused chews contains 5mg of THC per piece. For more information on this product, in the 'edible' category here:
Medical cannabis is becoming more acceptable in the U.S. as dozens of states legalize the substance’s medical use. Millions of Americans currently use medical cannabis to treat conditions like chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and nausea from chemotherapy.
Despite its growing popularity, medical cannabis is not regulated like pharmaceutical medicines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any of the products at medical cannabis dispensaries.
At Fine Fettle dispensaries you can find popular medicinal products like our Cooling Mint Shea Butter Salve. It combines Shea Butter and Peppermint Oil with essential oils to give a soothing effect. Neroli promotes relaxation and is said to alleviate anxiety and heart palpitations. Combine all of that with Rev Clinics THC distillate and you've got a perfect topical for a variety of therapeutic uses. You can view this product in the 'topical' category found at our Rowley, MA location here:
All Fine Fettle locations carry a wide assortment of consumption accessories including water pipes, rolling papers, grinders, dab tools, vape pens and more. For example, the Eyce Shorty is the unbreakable one hitter you've been looking for. With our proprietary snap-in glass bowl design, the bowl can be easily removed for cleaning or converted to a honey straw by swapping the bowl with our new Titanium Nozzle. The Shorty is compact and of course, backed by our industry leading Lifetime Warranty. To find this product and dozens of others that will help you enjoy an optimal experience, follow this link to the ’gear’ category: https://www.finefettle.com/connecticut/newington-dispensary/adult-use/
We recommend discussing your previous experience with CBD and THC products with our professionals at Fine Fettle so that we can best assist you, and to start with a low dosage and gradually increase as needed. To review all Fine Fettle CBD and THC products and information, please visit finefettle.com and select your nearest location.