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Does CBD lessen the effects of THC? Recent studies question a common belief



Cannabis research can be a fickle beast. Decades of prohibition created a lot of red tape for researchers, so scientific knowledge of the plant is still in its infancy. Because cannabis hasn’t been studied extensively, research on it can yo-yo back and forth, and something proven one day can be disproven or reversed later on down the road, leaving cannabis consumers scratching their heads. 

A recent example comes with two studies published in the past few months, which both claim that CBD does not reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, reversing a commonly held idea of one of CBD’s benefits. 

To figure out what cannabis consumers can take away from this new info, let’s look at the history of research on this topic and what the new studies say.

What does past research on CBD and THC say?

Going back decades, a common belief has been that CBD can reduce the negative effects of THC—if you’re too high or don’t want to get too high, take a little CBD or consume a THC product that also has a little CBD to mellow out the high. Many studies have claimed this, and we’ve even reported on it here at Leafly.

The idea is that CBD molecules block receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, so that THC can’t fully activate those receptors, which lessens the feeling of being high. 

Many older studies have made claims of CBD’s ability to dampen THC: As early as 1982, a study said that CBD can diminish paranoia and anxiety brought on by THC; and a study in 2010 said CBD and THC have opposite effects, and that CBD can reduce paranoia in THC.

Notably, a review from 2013 looked at nearly 1,300 studies from the previous few decades and concluded that, “The few studies that exist on the effects of CBD show that this cannabinoid can counteract some of the negative effects of THC.” However, the authors did emphasize that, “Their results have not always been consistent.” The study also said there were surprisingly few studies to date on the interactions between THC and the potentially protective effects of CBD.


What is the endocannabinoid system and what is its role?

What do the recent studies on CBD and THC say?

Two studies published in the past few months disagree with the idea that CBD tempers THC. In a UK study from Nov. of last year, 46 participants vaped oil with various ratios of CBD to THC to determine CBD’s effects on THC. They tested products with CBD:THC ratios of 0:1, 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1, with 0mg, 10mg, 20mg, and 30mg of CBD, and found no difference in effects.

According to the study authors, “We found no evidence of CBD reducing the acute adverse effects of THC on cognition and mental health. Similarly, there was no evidence that it altered the subjective or pleasurable effects of THC.” 

Another study from the UK earlier this month backs up this data. It looked at the effects of cannabis on teens vs. adults, and how THC and CBD affect both. Forty-eight participants, 24 teens and 24 adults, vaporized a product with 3:1 CBD to THC (24mg to 8mg) and a product with only THC, and found no difference in the subjective feel of effects in individuals. 

The authors ultimately concluded that “Our results add further weight to the claim that doses of vaporized CBD, which are near to naturally occurring levels, do not mitigate the acute harms of THC.” As a side note, the study also found no differences in effects between teens and adults.


CBD vs. THC: Why is CBD non-intoxicating?

How should consumers take this new info?

It is often assumed that products containing CBD are less potent or can reduce negative THC effects, but the findings from both studies suggest that CBD may not be a determining factor in the strength of a product. Consumers who buy products with CBD thinking they are getting “weed lite” or less potent products may be incorrect in their thinking. 

But because cannabis research is still so young, it’s hard to know if these studies are the final word on the matter or just another bump in the road. There are still some caveats.

In the review from last Nov., the authors do note a previous study that shows CBD to lessen some of THC’s effects, but the participants in it were given exceptionally large doses of 600mg of CBD to 5mg of THC—a ratio of 120:1 CBD to THC! The authors concluded such a large amount of CBD is impractical to put in a commercial vape cartridge. So CBD may temper THC’s effects, but it may be that astronomical amounts of it are needed.

At the end of the day, it may be difficult to separate and clearly delineate these two compounds and their effects because of the entourage effect—or how all the compounds in the cannabis plant work together synergistically to create the feeling of being high, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and more. The sum is greater than the whole of the parts, so it might be hard to study the individual compounds separately. 

Cannabis research is getting better as more states legalize, but there may not be a definitive answer to the interaction of CBD and THC yet. There is a growing body of research that sways toward the idea that CBD does not temper THC’s effects, so buyers should keep that in mind the next time they’re at the dispensary. 

As always, we tell our readers that every person has a different body chemistry and will experience weed differently. You could get incredibly high or paranoid off of a hit or two from a joint, while your friend will barely feel a thing; a certain strain may make you fall asleep, while the same one will make your friend go out for a walk. It’s important to understand how your own body responds to weed. 

CBD has shown tremendous potential in treating seizures and epilepsy conditions in children, however, CBD’s medicinal benefits beyond that, or its ability to tame THC’s intoxicating effects, are inconclusive to date. 

Pat Goggins's Bio Image

Pat Goggins

Pat Goggins is a senior editor who handles Leafly’s informational content and specializes in cannabis cultivation after working for a commercial grower in Oregon. When not fixing typos, you’ll probably find him on a boat or in the mountains.

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How Cannabis Can Improve Mental Health in Individuals with Autism




Currently, medical cannabis is still federally illegal here in the US and not fully approved for safe and legal access in many countries around the globe. Even if you live somewhere where cannabis is legal for medical purposes, it may not be approved for treating ASDs–and even if it is approved, doctors may hesitate to recommend it due to a lack of knowledge by the recommending physician. Recently, a pharmaceutical company has created a cannabis based isolate, meaning one cannabinoid, in this case CBD called Epidiolex which is available by prescription in all 50 states. Some ASD patients still feel that some THC is needed to truly experience the benefits of whole plant medicine in the treatment of ASD. This is called the Entourage Effect.

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All about Cannabis

Ten Reasons to Ignore the FDA and Try CBD – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana




There are at least ten reasons to ignore the FDA and try CBD.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a study this week suggesting that long-term use of CBD leads to liver toxicity and reproductive issues in males and females.

They used animal studies to support their conclusions.

But what about studies done on human beings showing CBD’s benefits? Here are ten reasons to ignore the biased FDA and try non-toxic CBD.

Ten Reasons to Ignore the FDA and Try CBD

10. CBD Can Solve the Opioid Crisis

COVID-19: Vancouver's Downtown Eastside - a potential powder keg for coronavirus cases

A study published in 2019 found CBD reduced cravings and anxiety related to heroin withdrawals. This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 42 people.

Want to solve the opioid crisis? Instead of handing out weak opioids that addicts turn around and sell for fentanyl, hand out CBD.

Make CBD so plentiful that it too will drop to 25 cents for an 8mg capsule.

9. CBD Blocks Covid

We’ve covered this before. While it’s not conclusive, it’s certainly promising. No wonder the FDA wants the public to link “CBD” with “toxicity.” The powers that be profited immensely from covid hysteria.

The last thing they want is a non-toxic, all-natural cure—another reason to ignore the FDA and try CBD.

8. CBD Reduces Anxiety 

Ignore FDA Try CBD

The mental health cottage industry generates billions every year. Pharma doles out a cocktail of anti-anxiety meds that doctors prescribe like candy, all with side effects that are sometimes worse than anxiety.

But once again, we can ignore the FDA and try CBD knowing full well that the science is on our side. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial demonstrated how CBD reduces social anxiety disorder, the most common form of anxiety. 

Of course, like the heroin withdrawal example, the participants took up to 400mg of CBD daily. To make these doses affordable, governments everywhere must open their cannabis markets and allow for unrestricted trade.

No more licenses or special regulations. Cannabis is a vegetable that belongs at your local farmers’ market.

Ten Reasons to Ignore the FDA and Try CBD

7. CBD Protects the Immune System

Ignore FDA Try CBD

Using data from animal studies, the FDA concludes that CBD harms the immune system and makes it less effective in fighting cancer.

No other studies find this.

Most studies find that CBD stimulates the uptake of hormones that support the immune system. Specifically, CBD increases the activity of TRPV2 receptors which makes communications between cells more effective.

(Sidebar: isn’t it interesting that Ivermectin was called “horse dewormer” by the corporate press despite some of its success in combating covid in human beings? But to prove CBD is toxic, the FDA has to throw out every study on people and relies on data solely from animals).

6. CBD is an Anti-inflammatory

Being anti-inflammatory is one of the significant benefits of CBD. It’s also one of its most well-known effects. Inflammation, of course, is an immune system response. So once again, the FDA’s claims are questionable.

Chronic inflammation can weaken the immune system, hence why CBD is sought after by many with autoimmune issues.

5. CBD Reduces Oxidative Stress

Ignore FDA Try CBD

Reducing oxidative stress is related to CBD’s role in reducing inflammation. But it’s worth noting since the FDA study suggested the opposite.

Of course, this 2020 review of the literature found that “multidirectional biological effects have been demonstrated in various preclinical models, including the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol.”

And to be fair to the FDA, this review also found that “CBD may interfere with the hepatic metabolism of some drugs by inactivating cytochrome P450 3A and P450 2C.”

In other words: if you’re taking drugs metabolized by the liver, check with a doctor before mixing in CBD.

Ten Reasons to Ignore the FDA and Try CBD

4. CBD Reduces Pain 

people choose cannabis for chronic pain

Ignore the FDA and try CBD. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, that’s your best bet. Even if the FDA’s study is 100% accurate and that long-term CBD use is toxic – that might be a worthwhile trade-off.

Everybody knows alcohol wreaks havoc on the liver. But that doesn’t stop people from binge drinking.

Likewise, if it’s true that CBD will wreck your liver in the long term, is that not an appropriate trade-off for those experiencing chronic pain?

The studies show a THC-CBD combo work best.

So who is the FDA to tell suffering Americans that they shouldn’t try this natural herb because, maybe, potentially, just possibly, according to animal studies, it might cause liver toxicity in the long run? 

Whether the pain is chronic or acute, I’ll take my chances.

3. CBD Reduces Seizures

Ignore FDA Try CBD

If you have a child with epilepsy, will you fret over some long-term possibility that the liver may get damaged? Or are you looking for an immediate solution?

CBD’s ability to reduce and even eliminate seizures in children warrants its legalization and mainstream acceptance. Full stop.

Of course, the FDA has already approved a CBD-derived drug. Epidiolex is a patented CBD-derived pharmaceutical designed to treat epilepsy.

In other words, the cannabis plant alone isn’t enough. We need capital-intensive pharmaceutical companies to extract the cannabinoids and package them into a manufactured drug the FDA can approve.

Only then will these liver toxicity concerns disappear. 

2. CBD Aids Sleep

According to the CDC, more than a third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep. CBD helps with that. So once again, we can ignore the FDA and try CBD. 

Even if the FDA’s claims are all true (a low probability, but let’s throw them a bone), liver toxicity in old age will be the least of your concerns. 

If you’ve spent the last few decades suffering from chronic insomnia, the same long-term effects as alcohol consumption shouldn’t phase you.

Sleep is crucial to maintaining good health.

Ten Reasons to Ignore the FDA and Try CBD

1. The FDA is Biased & Useless

Ignore FDA Try CBD
Who regulates the regulators?

The number one reason Americans can (and should) ignore the FDA and try CBD is because the FDA is biased.

And with over half of their funding coming from the pharmaceutical companies they’re supposed to be regulating – the FDA is useless, too.

The FDA has long supported cannabis’ classification as a Schedule 1 drug. Meaning it has no therapeutic or medicinal value.

How far does your head have to be up your ass to believe such nonsense?

What about FDA enforcement? Surely, the section of the bureaucracy not funded by big pharma protects Americans from fraudulent claims made by drug manufacturers.

No, the FDA has not addressed the lies, fraud and propaganda about the covid vaccines.

But suggest that cannabis helps with cancer? Or, as per scientific inquiry, that it has the potential to block a covid infections?

The FDA will have nothing but time and attention for you. The FDA has one purpose and one purpose only: gatekeeping.

Protect the pharma cartel and ensure Americans don’t get too independently healthy. Health comes from a patented pill, not your diet or natural plant compounds.

Like its northern neighbor Canada, U.S. health regulators are increasingly funded by the people they’re supposed to regulate.

In what world does that make sense? The FDA is not a private accreditation company. Cannabis companies can’t ignore them. 

But Americans can ignore the FDA and try CBD. And it’s high time they do. It’s time to rein in the excess bureaucracies choking the once-free and prosperous union.

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Alain Prost

F1 Racing And Marijuana – The Fresh Toast




F1 Racing is a thrilling, by the second event with superstars like Lewis Hamilton, Michèle Mouton, Alain Prost and more. The global audience for Formula One in 2021 stood at 445 million viewers. From Oklahoma City to Monaco, fans rise early and are glued to the screens to watch the races.  But what about drivers and marijuana.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List identifies marijuana and cannabinoids as substances that are prohibited in-competition. Unless an athlete has an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption , the use of substances when they are prohibited in sport may lead to an anti-doping rule violation and sanction. This puts it in the same line as alcohol, which seems very fair.

RELATED: 5 Ways Cannabis Can Help With Common Summertime Ailments

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile(FIA) was founded in 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. It is the governing body for many auto racing events, including Formula One.  According to their regulations, F1 drivers are not permitted to use marijuana either during races or in between them. The main problem with their rules comes in with the random tests. FIA conducts random tests of its racers to establish that they are sober (marijuana and alcohol) to follow anti-doping regulations. FIA delegates once stated that they were sure F1 racers abstain from any form of drugs because of the awareness of the risks it would pose to drive a car under the influence.

It is essential to note that FIA follows the restricted substance list provided by WADA. Alcohol (ethanol) is prohibited In-Competition only. With CBD’s removal from the prohibited list, racers can use CBD compounds between races. Since CBD is solely responsible for helping with stress and other bodily issues, it would be a safer and legal way for them to deal with stress.

There is also the option of CBD oils, balms, capsules, and more. By using these pure CBD products, F1 racers can work on their stress and body aches without violating WADA’s restrictions on anti-doping.

Like firefighters, cops, the military and school teachers, F1 racers encounter stresses in their day-to-day lives. Their jobs are not only risky, but they have them packed with adrenaline that could take a toll on anyone’s life. The FIA stringently follows WADA’s list of prohibited substances. This means that racers cannot partake in cannabis in its natural form as it contains THC and other cannabinoids currently on the list.

RELATED: 3 Ways CBD Can Help You Get Into Swimsuit Shape

And in the F1 racing lore we, Randy Thomas Lanier is legend. Best known for his racing efforts in the mid-1980s, including winning the 1984 IMSA Camel GT title for the wholly independent Blue Thunder Racing team then for being arrested for large scale marijuana smuggling in 1988 to support his racing efforts.

Once the race is over, drivers can unwind and are allowed to drink bubbles in public, for the media and to celebrate.


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