Much is claimed of CBD and on various occasions it has been affirmed that amongst its characteristics it has the potential to counteract the effects of THC. We wanted to dig deeper into the subject, speaking to doctor Mariano Garcia de Palau, registered physician, member of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis and Medical Director of Kalapa Clinic.
What does science think?
We asked him what the truth is of these claims, and the implication this has in the medical use of cannabis.
Not all authors really think that CBD moderates THC. For example the Canadians say, no, not really…. We think yes, depending on the dose, but yes, clinical experience shows this, Some 1000 patients have passed through here (the Kalapa Clinic) and not one of them gets high. If we were performing the treatments with just THC, there would be a lot of people getting high.
Is it for this reason that in the therapeutic field, a combination of both cannabinoids, CBD/THC is sought?
"Manuel Guzmán (Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Complutense University of Madrid) thinks that if we have CBD, Always CBD! On the one hand because this way we can counteract the effects that of THC that we are not interested in; in fact we consider the psychoactive effect, the high of THC, as a secondary effect that we would rather did not appear.
On the other hand we add the effects of CBD marijuana seeds, which are very interesting to complete the effects of THC. We are going to imitate nature: the indigenous, balanced plants, which have a 1: 1 THC / CBD ratio, are the most balanced plants for therapeutic use".
Does it also work in drug tests?
Surely, many recreational consumers have asked themselves if this characteristic of CBD could be useful in the face of a possible drugs test, on the roadside or at work.
Let´s make this clear. It’s not like that! the doctor explains: “There is nothing you can do to pass the analysis! What is detected by the drug test is the metabolite of THC, but we don’t know which one, they don’t say. We have done tests with the Basque police drug test. If you have consumed THC, you test positive. A small consumption of THC every three days, a joint a day, every three days, and you will continuously test positive. If there are 15 - 20mg of THC present, It’s always positive! Until this is understood that you can test positive without being under the effects of cannabis we can’t solve this issue. There is no way to counteract the THC which has already been ingested or that has been administered, not with CBD, or with anything else.
This problem particularly affects patients that are using legal CBD oils and after a month with the cure, they test positive in a urine test. “we suspected that with such low quantities, it wouldn´t test positive, even less so that a legal product would test pòsitive. In theory there is no legal cannabis product with CBD, except CBD itself. Nor would it be legal if the institutions/authorities understood that CBD is psychoactive, because THC is illegal because it is psychoactive.
The same goes for those who have decided to consume commercial varieties with low levels of THC, cannabis light, as they call it in Italy and Switzerland, where it is a fashion phenomenon!
Psychoactivity: a confusion of terms
The CBD boom is down to a misunderstanding of terms. CBD is a psychoactive molecule, the same as THC.
The big confusion is between psychoactivity and consciousness altering. How many pharmaceuticals are psychoactive, but don’t alter consciousness. CBD is a psychoactive cannabinoid, were it otherwise it would be difficult for it to work on the central nervous system and therefore would not be effective cure for illnesses such as epilepsy.
CBD has become fashionable/popular because is the part of the plant that many people call the “therapeutic” part, as if the other part was the demon side, we should never forget that THC and its ISOMEROS which are incredibly important in the treatment of may things. Together, THC and CBD are psychoactive, but one is mind-altering and the other not. Lets debunk the myth!
If there is not doubt about one thing, looking at the international cannabis scene, it’s that the CBD wave keep surging, and each day there is more talk about it.
We don't yet know everything about cannabis, due to its demonisation, illegal and prohibited, scientific studies have been limited. It is only in the last decades that science has taken a real interest in it, thanks to the political openings in many countries in this subject. The studies into cannabis reach each time further and researchers are sure that there is still much to discover, including maybe the discovery of cannabinoids more interesting that CBD.