Australian researchers have found that CBD may enhance the high caused by THC, a contradiction to the common belief that CBD can negate the psychoactive effects of THC. The study tested five different vape preparations of varying THC-CBD ratios and found the interaction between the two cannabinoids to be dose-dependent. In lower doses, CBD enhanced the high caused by THC, while in large amounts, CBD suppressed the intoxicating effects of THC. These findings may prove useful in determining proportions for medicinal cannabis.
Researchers Find CBD May Enhance Psychoactive Effects of THC
A study conducted by Australian researchers and published by the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience in January has found that CBD may enhance the high caused by THC.
This finding contradicts the widespread belief backed by earlier research which says that CBD can negate THC’s psychoactive effects.
The researchers administered five different preparations to 36 participants: placebo, CBD-alone (400 mg), THC-alone (8 mg), low-CBD (4 mg) with THC (8 mg), and high-CBD (400 mg) with THC (8 mg).
Participants—who were a mix of frequent and infrequent cannabis users—consumed these preparations by vaping them.
The intoxication levels of the participants were self-reported and also observed by the researchers.
The low-CBD with THC preparation showed a slight increase in subjective levels of intoxication when compared with the THC-alone dose.
The increase was more pronounced in the infrequent cannabis users.
On the other hand, the high-CBD with THC dose showed a significant decrease in intoxication levels.
“These findings are important to consider in terms of recommended proportions of THC and CBD in cannabis plant matter whether used medicinally or recreationally and have implications for novice or less experienced cannabis users,” the researchers wrote.
How Does CBD Interact With THC?
Research on how CBD affects the high caused by THC has been conducted since 1974.
However, it was not until 2015 that a study revealed the mechanism by which CBD can influence the intensity of that high.
This study by researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada introduced CBD and THC or anandamide (an endocannabinoid that acts similarly to THC) to cells with CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are responsible for the high that cannabis users feel.
The findings of the study showed CBD reduced the potency of both THC and anandamide.
CBD was discovered to be a negative allosteric modulator at CB1 receptors, meaning CBD alters CB1 in such a way that CBD inhibits other substances from activating this receptor.
However, other research is inconclusive on the extent to which CBD influences the effects of THC.
In various studies where participants self-rated their high, CBD seemed to have little or no effect on the intensity of a high.
On the other hand, there is evidence that indicates CBD can help minimize some of the unpleasant psychoactive effects of THC, such as anxiety and paranoia.
The mechanism CBD seems to employ for these side effects are the serotonin receptors—the common target of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications—and not the CB1 receptors.
In any case, more research is required to know how exactly CBD affects THC.
Hopefully, the recent Australian study will help lead the scientific community to a better understanding of the interaction between the two cannabinoids.
h/t Marijuana Moment