Do you know the difference between CBD and THC?

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Cannabis Oil

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

Medicinal cannabis refers to pharmaceutical products that contain the cannabis plant, or chemicals contained within it, to treat medical conditions. When it comes to the compounds within cannabis that have pharmaceutical properties, the two which are most commonly discussed are CBD and THC. In this article, we’ll discuss what these are and how they work.

What are CBD and THC?

There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. These substances act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a communication process in the brain that can influence your mood, memory, sleep, and appetite.

The two main cannabinoids which have been studied for potential medical benefits are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these cannabinoids have different pharmacological effects, and different strains of cannabis can contain varying levels of these active ingredients. Many people are familiar with the notion that smoking marijuana, which is illegal in Australia, can produce a ‘high’ – this comes from the THC cannabinoid.  

Do medicinal cannabis products in Australia contain CBD and THC?

Because CBD and THC are the most-studied cannabinoids, medicinal cannabis products available in Australia generally contain mostly THC or CBD in their formulations.

The amount of THC or CBD could depend on the condition to be treated or the type of medicinal cannabis product being administered. For example, medicinal cannabis can come in forms such as a pill, nasal spray, oil, or other forms.

Can CBD and THC have any side-effects?

Just like any prescription medication, medicinal cannabis products can come with side-effects. Some of these side-effects can include: difficulty concentrating, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of balance and nausea. In general, the side effects of high-CBD products are less than for products high in THC.

Additionally, in most states in Australia driving is not permitted for patients taking medicinal cannabis products that contain THC in their composition. Unlike alcohol, it’s not yet known what level of THC causes impairment in most people. If you are taking THC medical cannabis, it’s important to understand the driving rules in your state. For example, in Victoria it is illegal to drive with any THC in your system.

That said, while CBD is not known to cause the same impairment as high-THC products, it could still potentially cause impairment if it interacts with other medications.

Where can I learn more about medicinal cannabis products containing CBD and THC?

The process of gaining access to medicinal cannabis products can only be done through a GP, and eligibility is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you’d like to learn more about whether these products could be suitable for you, it’s best to talk to a GP. They may advise products based on the nature of your symptoms, as well as on recommendations from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 


Sources:

  1. https://www.health.vic.gov.au/drugs-and-poisons/information-for-health-professionals
  2. https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Cannabis
  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/medicinal-cannabis
  4. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis

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