Cannabis research is still in its infancy due to decades of prohibition, which has created a lot of red tape for researchers. Two studies published in the past few months have claimed that CBD does not reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, which goes against the commonly held belief of one of CBD’s benefits. To understand what this means for cannabis consumers, let’s look at the history of research on this topic and what the new studies say.
Past research on CBD and THC has suggested that CBD can reduce the negative effects of THC, such as paranoia and anxiety. A 2013 review of nearly 1,300 studies concluded that CBD can counteract some of the negative effects of THC, however, the results were not always consistent.
The two recent studies disagree with this idea. In a UK study from November of last year, 46 participants vaped oil with various ratios of CBD to THC and found no difference in effects. A second study from the UK earlier this month also found no difference in the subjective feel of effects between THC and a product with a 3:1 CBD to THC ratio.
These findings suggest that products containing CBD may not be “weed lite” or less potent than those without. However, due to cannabis research still being so young, it’s hard to know if these studies are the final word on the matter. Additionally, a previous study showed that CBD can lessen some of THC’s effects, but the participants were given exceptionally large doses of 600mg of CBD to 5mg of THC.
At the end of the day, it may be difficult to separate and clearly delineate the effects of CBD and THC because of the entourage effect, or how all the compounds in the cannabis plant work together synergistically to create the feeling of being high. Consumers should keep this in mind when purchasing products with CBD, as it may not be a determining factor in the strength of a product.