CBD has been one of the cannabinoid-masterminds behind the medicinal effects of cannabis since the beginning of time, but we only just discovered it less than a hundred years ago. Even so, we didn’t even begin to research heavily into the benefits of CBD until more recently, mostly in the last decade. What we’ve found, though, is that CBD may be useful for a wide range of ailments—just like medical marijuana. This may make it useful for a wide range of people, often even more so than whole plant cannabis.
This is especially true for those who suffer from one of the many conditions CBD may relieve, like anxiety or chronic pain, or for those who enjoy the uplifting effects of cannabis without the psychoactive effects of THC. That’s right, CBD is available to a wider range of people because of its lack of psychoactive properties, which should never be confused for a lack of therapeutic value.
If you are like many regular cannabis users that enjoy the cerebral high you get after a dance with Mary Jane, you may be wondering “No psychoactive effects? What’s the point?” For many, the point is managing conditions without any effect on their cognition or ability to complete daily tasks, like working or driving. However, we are learning now that CBD is an ancient tool that even THC-lovers should have on hand—it may just be the solution to a sticky situation we’ve all experienced once before: getting way too high.
“Too high?” you say. “Nonsense!” But unfortunately, not everyone who takes a spin with the Mother Mary comes out so confident on the other side. Especially considering the potency of weed has increased tenfold in recent years, so those who dabbled with the sticky icky many years ago may be in for a surprise when they try new and improved, highly potent cannabis strains. For many, taking in too much cannabis can quickly lead to an adverse reaction, like paranoia or increased anxiety. At the very least, you may find yourself wishing you had stopped while you were ahead, like five bong rips ago.
If you have ever been in this familiar situation, don’t fret! CBD can help. But how? That’s what you’re here to find out.
Understanding THC’s Reaction in the Body
In order to understand how CBD can help to bring you down from that THC-induced high, you have to understand how you get up there to begin with. THC interacts with the body in a similar manner to CBD and other cannabinoids, via the Endocannabinoid System. THC binds with CB1 receptors, sends a signal to your brain, does a funky little chemical-enhancing dance with your neurons, and then you start to feel high.
On one hand, these chemical reactions can be really pleasant, providing the serotonin and dopamine-enhancing effects that many regular cannabis users seek. However, after a point, the chemical reactions between THC and your brain can start to disrupt other chemical balances, like the ones that affect your mood or cause you to feel anxious or paranoid.
CBD’s Reaction in the Body is Similar
CBD reacts similarly in the body, binding with CB1 receptors in a way that blocks THC from binding but doesn’t activate the receptors. Because CBD doesn’t activate these neuroreceptors, it produces no psychoactive effects. Instead, CBD plays a much larger role, regulating how much THC can be absorbed by the body and also regulates the production of natural endocannabinoids that also bind to the same receptors as THC. By this evidence, we can assume that CBD and THC distributed at the same time will result in smaller amounts of THC being absorbed by the brain, thus less psychoactive effects.
One study from 1974 shows that CBD may help reduce the increased heart rate as a side effect of THC. The study reports that doses of 30mgof CBD and higher effectively lowered heart rate and also showed significant improvement in two other THC-induced side effects, anxiety and paranoia.
Of course, this study also looked at THC and CBD when taken together, but what about using CBD after you’ve accidentally gotten a bit too lifted?
Can CBD Help You Come Down When Your Get Too High?
Though research has not yet verified the connection between CBD and alleviating the adverse reaction of overconsumption of cannabis, studies (like the one above) have shown CBD’s ability to reduce many of the side effects of THC over-indulgence. Studies show that CBD provides powerful anxiolytic effects that may be useful for combating anxiety and paranoia that often comes along with large doses of THC.
CBD works best as a preventative to reduce the amount of THC that can be absorbed during consumption, which is why many people use CBD to get them started on their tolerance break. However, if you experience increased anxiety or paranoia after you overindulge, CBD can help counteract those negative effects to help you sail smoothly through the rest of your high.
When it comes down to it, though, the best way to avoid adverse reactions is to dose responsibly. When using cannabis flower or cannabis vapes, you’ll be able to notice the effects pretty quickly, within 15 minutes. You can easily stack doses until you reach the desired effects, and with a little care, can find out exactly where your dosing threshold is.
If you’re using edibles, it can be a bit more tricky. Research shows that the effects of THC are magnified when you consume edibles due to the way it is metabolized in the liver. For beginners, you may want to start with a low dose edible, like a 10mg CBD gummy. You’ll need to wait for about an hour and a half to assess the full effects before deciding if you should increase or decrease your dose.
Always remember to keep your favorite CBD products on hand to combat any unwanted effects if you accidentally consume too much. CBD in the form of CBD vape oil is fast acting and can quickly combat unwanted paranoia and anxious feelings. Another favorite among cannabis users is CBD tinctures, which take a bit longer to take effect but are a great tool to keep on hand for parties or anywhere there will be heavy cannabis use.