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CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, hemp and hops, has been getting a lot of attention from the media recently. In fact, a quick Forbes.com search shows that more than 85 articles related to CBD were published in the last month, and more than 20 in the last week alone.
People talk about CBD’s medical benefits – as it helps treat all kinds of ailments from anxiety to inflammation, about it being incoporated into everything from lubes to coffee, about its surging global popularity…
On the other hand, THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes people feel “high” or “stoned,” is often overlooked (and sometimes even looked down on) when discussing marijuana’s medical potential.
However, a new study by Jacob Miguel Vigil, Psychology Associate Professor at University of New Mexico, and Sarah See Stith, Economics Assistant Professor at University of New Mexico, published on the Scientific Reports journal on Tuesday, revealed that THC exhibited the “strongest correlation with therapeutic relief, compared to the more socially acceptable chemical found in cannabis, CBD (cannabinol).”
Cannabinoid content, and especially THC content, came out as the main factor for optimizing symptom relief, when tested for a wide variety of health conditions. Dr. Vigil explained the results derived from the observation of real-time data from Releaf App, which he qualified as “the largest database of its kind in our country.” Using the app, patients reported the results and effects of their actual cannabis use and the researchers compiled and processed this info.
THC For Autism
While many researchers in cannabis focus on CBD, a handful have been looking into the medical benefits of its less popular cousin, THC – loved by stoners but often disregarded by scientists. THC has awaken particular interest due to its potential to help treat autism.
Erica Daniels is the founder of Autism Advisors and Hope Grows For Autism. She was also featured as a “canna-mom” on Viceland’s Weediquette episode, “Mothers for Marijuana Treatment.” She exmplained that in some people with Autism, CBD, on its own, can aggravate symptoms. Meanwhile, THC “tends to calm Autistic patients during significant episodes of anxiety or meltdowns,” she said.
After using THC-dominant products on her kid for years, Erica reported that cannabis products containing THC improved her son’s overall mood “by lessening his anxiety and stress dramatically compared to CBD-only products.”
Interestingly, the study conducted by the University of New Mexico seemed to confirm this, as it found cannabis proved to be more effective for severe symptoms that are treated by benzodiazepines or antidepressants, than it is for severe symptoms typically treated with opioids.
In other words, the researchers discovered cannabis is more effective for the treatment of mental symptoms like agitation, irritability, anxiety, depression, excessive appetite, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, gastrointestinal pain, stress and tremors, than it is in the treatment of physical ailments.
Filling The Voids
According to Mr. Vigil, the study released Tuesday will help fill “the most significant absence in the previous medical literature, understanding the ‘efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” He referenced curious readers to a recently released report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana.
“Despite the conventional wisdom, both in the popular press and much of the scientific community that only CBD has medical benefits while THC merely makes one high, our results suggest that THC may be more important than CBD in generating therapeutic benefits,” he said. In the study conducted by the University of New Mexico and Releaf App, CBD appeared to have almost no effect on the relief of most of the symptoms they studied. Conversely, THC seemed to generate “measurable improvements in symptom relief.”
Bringing up these results, Mr.Vigil called for the “immediate de-scheduling of all types of cannabis, in addition to hemp, so that cannabis with THC can be more widely accessible for pharmaceutical use by the general public.”
By means of conclusion, Franco Brockelman, CEO of Releaf App noted, “This study helps validate the medical importance of THC along with CBD, and the need for more conclusive research to be done, which we look forward to contributing to.”