Since discovering CBD flower just over a year ago, I have used it to give up tobacco, smoke less weed, and reduce THC-induced anxiety.
But many of my stoner friends are still reluctant to give CBD flower a fair chance because they think it will lessen or diminish the high caused by THC.
However, speaking from experience, while the high is certainly different, I wouldn’t say it’s reduced or less enjoyable. In fact, I find the high to be more uplifting, manageable, and longer lasting.
Allow me to explain…
A different high
Not worse, but different. That’s how I describe my high when I mix CBD flower with regular THC-rich weed.
I’m definitely just as high, I just find the negative effects of THC are reduced. Effects like anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, racing thoughts, and loss of short-term memory.
The desirable effects of THC – things like euphoria, increased curiosity, and heightened senses – are all still there. And I can actually enjoy them because my heart isn’t beating through my chest and I’m not second-guessing every move I make.
Even when I use as little as 20% CBD flower to 80% THC flower in my joints, bowls or vape, I find the CBD does balances out the THC, so to speak.
Less anxiety, memory impairment, and cognitive deficits
There’s even research that backs up these claims. Like this one from The British Journal of Psychiatry, which found that smoking cannabis high in CBD resulted in no memory impairment at all.
There’s also this study, which showed that when CBD and THC are consumed together, less schizophrenia-like symptoms are present compared to consuming THC on its own.
And more recently, this study from King’s College of London, found CBD to have potent antipsychotic properties that could help negate the negative effects of THC.
How do THC and CBD interact?
Getting ‘high’ happens when THC activates the CB1 receptor in our brains and body. This molecular pathway leads to euphoria, increased heart rate, red eyes, increased appetite, and most other effects you associate with getting ‘high’ or ‘stoned’.
CBD, on the other hand, has the ability to deter THC from activating the CB1 receptor.
This paper from 2015 found that CBD actually changes the shape of the CB1 receptor, making it more difficult for THC to bind to it and thus reducing activation.
While this might suggest that CBD does, in fact, reduce the high from THC, the study was done on cells, not animal or human subjects.
When it comes to animal and clinical human studies, the findings are far from clear – while, in some cases, CBD did reduce the effects of THC as expected, in others, it increased them.
When we look at all available clinical data, we find that there is very little evidence that CBD reduces the subjective high caused by THC.
While the cell studies suggest CBD reduces THC’s ability to bind to the CB1 receptor, in practice, this does not seem to be the case.
Perhaps then, CBD is able to ‘tone down’ the negative side effects of THC when by interacting with CB1 receptor. Another theory is that it does it by binding to serotonin receptors.
CBD for treating the side effects of THC
So CBD doesn’t lessen the high of THC but it does reduce negative side effects, including memory impairment, anxiety, and psychotic-like symptoms.
A company in America, CannaSafety, has even filed a patent for using CBD to treat THC overdose and now sells a CBD product for that purpose.
What does reduce the high of THC?
So we know that CBD doesn’t reduce the THC high, but is there anything that does?
Well, the two most effective treatments touted are the terpenes beta-caryophyllene (BCP), otherwise known as copaiba oil, and the limonene, also known as orange oil. Both are thought to be CB2 agonists and have anecdotally been found to reduce the THC high.
I think CBD is incredibly valuable for anyone who likes to consume THC. It reduces the undesirable effects but leaves the desirable ones intact.
Overall, my experiences over the last year combining THC with CBD has led me to a healthier relationship with cannabis. In fact, I love getting high on THC more than ever now that I am free to actually enjoy the psychoactive effects without feeling anxious or forgetful.
Let me know in the comments about your experiences combining CBD and THC.