Over the last several years, as cannabis regulation was being hotly contested on the national stage, full-spectrum CBD became popular as a noncontroversial way to enjoy the relaxation and recreational benefits of cannabis. But now that state regulations are becoming increasingly inclusive, some fans of CBD have found that adding cannabis with a higher THC content into their routine can enhance their experience.
Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids (compounds that naturally occur within the cannabis plant) and bind to the same receptors in the brain. But far from canceling out each other’s effects, THC and CBD work together in helping the body and mind relax and recuperate from mental chatter, tension and other issues that are common in daily life.
But since many strains of cannabis are cultivated for maximum THC content, taking CBD concurrently with smoking or ingesting THC-heavy cannabis can be an effective way to level out a “high.” This can be particularly helpful for people who have ingested more THC than they intended, or have had a bad reaction to a given cannabis strain.
This balancing effect can be put to good use if you’re planning heavy cannabis use in the short-term. If you’re planning to smoke, vape or ingest cannabis over several hours, alternating your intake with a CBD vape pen can keep you feeling positive without tipping you into the “are these really my hands?” zone. And if your bong rip or pot brownie isn’t kicking in, a small dose of CBD might be just what you need to get the party started. (Versus, say, getting blown out on THC and ending up biting your nails in the corner.)
But combining cannabis and CBD isn’t only for party-time—it can also offer many therapeutic benefits. While CBD is best known for promoting relaxation and helping with pain relief, it can also be a powerful force in easing the symptoms that accompany certain types of mental and emotional disorders. People who struggle with these types of issues are often helped by the potent psychoactive properties of THC, but fear that taking too much could exacerbate their issues by causing paranoia, disorientation or memory lapses. Using full-spectrum CBD along with a THC-heavy strain can help these people enjoy the psychoactive benefits of cannabis with no risk to their mental health.
Ultimately, every individual’s body interacts differently with both CBD and THC. Your best bet is to gather as much information as you can about the specific cannabis strains you’re planning to use, then experimenting carefully until you find the combination and dosage that work best for you.