A new study shows, along with a myriad of other findings, how Cannabidiol (CBD) can influence the potent effects of d9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The research supports this idea of observations relating to severe mental health disorders. Last September, the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology published findings that researchers concluded that CBD could lessen the psychoactive effects of THC when consumed together.
The research showed that consuming 65mg of THC was less inebriating when combined with CBD in a 2:1 ratio than when taken alone, implying that CBD places a ceiling on a few of the effects of marijuana.
This information is highly relevant to medical marijuana patients, who may need to medicate around the lock, and for anyone who does not want the high for whatever reason.
The study was conducted in Spain and is a collaborative effort between analysts José Bouso, Ph.D. from the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service, and Alberto Sainz-Cort, MSc from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and GH Medical, among several other distinguished authors.
The researchers wanted to explore whether CBD had anti-intoxicating effects. Cannabidiol is often referred to as non-psychoactive, but it is due to its impact on mood and ability to ease nervousness.
To be considered eligible to participate, all subjects had to be over 21 and be experienced cannabis consumers, partaking at least three times a week. Subjects also had to be free of psychiatric or chronic disease, understand the research protocol, and agree to abstain from marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs for at least 12 hours before the study.
These conditions were aimed to control any factors that might influence the results.
For a research study to be compelling, the design is crucial. Most studies are conducted in a lab setting with rigid controls to yield verifiable, reproducible, and, most importantly, reliable results. Ecological studies are found to be more appropriate and just as practical—the research subjects participating in a more natural environment to increase any positive determinants of their surroundings.
A natural environment helps eliminate any negative influences of a tightly controlled lab setting, such as a less forthcoming subject. Participants in a naturalistic study may have a more authentic experience and response, as the natural environment mimics a real-life experience.
Since this was a crossover study, each participant’s results were not compared to anyone else, reducing any confounding variables.
The researchers designed the study so that each subject was given a precise amount of marijuana concentrate through a Volcano vaporizer developed by Storz & Bickel in a total of four individual sessions.
Subjects were given CBD, THC, THC+CBD, or a placebo and were assessed every 10 minutes for the psychoactive effects of the marijuana.
The participants and researchers did not know which substance was being administered, also known as a double-blind study.
Participants completed questionnaires measuring negative mood or perception symptoms, relaxation, and appetite at specific periods every 80 minutes.
Each meeting was separated by seven days as a “wash-out period” for any remaining contents in the body to minimize any carry-over into the next session. The dosages consumed during the trials were: CBD 130mg, THC 65mg, CBD130mg+THC 65mg mixed (2:1 ratio CBD: THC), and a hemp sample less than 0.5mg total cannabinoids.
The researchers noted that prior studies used THC in the range of 8mg, so the THC amount (65mg) better represented real-life, adult-use consumption. It allows the results to be more generalized or applicable to a broader population, not just the subjects.
Analysts researched the self-reported data by the 18 subjects and found statistically significant differences involving the simulated conditions in many of the items and scales used.
Generally speaking, participants scored higher when under the influence of THC than the placebo for effects such as drowsiness, dreaminess, and altered perception of time.
The THC study scores were more outstanding than placebo scales for psycho-like conditions such as paranoia, cognitive disorganization, and mania.
Although analysts confirmed that evidence backing up the subjective effects of CBD alone is still unclear, they attest that variables such as marijuana use frequency, route of administration, and dosage are all key factors.
One of the most intriguing findings in the study is how THC and CBD might play in the relationship with schizophrenia.
It is presumed that heavy marijuana use starting in adolescents is associated with an earlier onset of genetically predisposed schizophrenia.
In his book “Cannabis Pharmacy,” Michael Backes writes that the benefit may outweigh the risk when using marijuana to treat conditions such as migraine in teenagers or inflammatory bowel disease, especially when mixed with a strong dose of CBD to help stabilize the effects of THC.
Backes claims that CBD shows promise as an antipsychotic both on its own and in combination with standard antipsychotic medications. Although good clinical evidence is lacking, there is progressing proof that CBD can be used in that fashion. A study published over the summer showed how CBD could help ease chronic pain and combat opioid use in mice.
Overall, the conclusion is that CBD can lessen the inebriating effects of THC and induce symptoms such as paranoia. The research also suggests CBD might have a role in helping reduce the risk of predisposed schizophrenia.
This study, alongside other significant research, suggests that cannabidiol and THC mediate the inebriating effects of marijuana and might influence other areas of a THC high. Medical patients, clinicians, and adult consumers should take this information and feel empowered to experiment to optimize therapy next time they want to spark up joints.
More and more studies may help change politicians’ opinions on cannabis reform. More studies on cannabis were published in 2021 than ever before.