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  • August 26, 2022 4 min read


    CBD has gained more audience since its legalization in 2018 by the Farmers Bill. Since then, the hemp industry has seen tremendous growth, and more brands offer CBD products, such as CBD oil. So, does CBD oil without THC work.

    CBD is a phytocannabinoid compound belonging to a group of at least one hundred other cannabinoids such as THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, and CBD are among the best-known cannabinoids, probably because of the numerous undergoing research. In addition, the two compounds account for at least forty percent of hemp-based cannabinoids, unlike other cannabinoids such as CBG, which make up a mere one percent of the plants' extracts.

    How CBD and THC Interact With The Body

    The Endocannabinoid System

    Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system. According to Battista et al. (2012), the ECS is involved in a wide range of processes related to sleep, stress, mood, pain, and the proper operation of many other systems. Its primary function is to maintain homeostasis within the body. Despite only being discovered in the 1990s, it has long been an active participant in our lives. Evidence of the ECS exists in some of the planet's earliest life forms dating back 500 million years. Because the ECS evolved at such a primitive time, it evolved alongside the evolution of life in all vertebrates. As a result, the ECS contains two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2, found throughout the body. Cannabinoids can be absorbed into the bloodstream and bind to these CB1 and CB2 receptors, where they can be used by the body.

    How THC Works Alone in the Body

    The predicted and observed interactions of THC and endocannabinoids with CB1 receptors are potentially complex and warrant further investigation. McMahon (2009)suggested that THC and anandamide are ineffective agonists. They may antagonize CB1 receptor signaling elicited by 2-AG under conditions of low receptor density or limited post-receptor effectors. THC acts as an effective CB1 receptor agonist in other systems. The observation that even repeated, very high doses of the CB1 receptor antagonist, rimonabant, modestly attenuated subjective measures of "high" while significantly suppressing THC-induced tachycardia is evidence that acute responses to cannabis involve agonism and antagonism of CB1 receptor signaling.

    How CBD Works Alone In The Body

    Unlike the delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, CBD lacks addictive and euphoric properties. This makes it an intriguing pharmacological compound to be studied further for potential therapeutic utility. CBD has a low affinity for the cannabinoid G-protein-coupled receptor CB1 and is an allosteric agonist of the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor. Furthermore, CBD interacts with TRPV1 channels and is the mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. Hegazy & Platnick (2019) revealed that CBD has analgesic properties. In particular, CBD (5-10 mg/kg) prevents the development of cold and mechanical allodynia in mice treated with paclitaxel. Furthermore, CBD (10 mg/kg) has been shown in rats to abolish carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia to a thermal stimulus. Forouzanfar & Hosseinzadeh (2018) demonstrated CBD's efficacy in treating neuropathic pain symptoms, either alone or with tetrahydrocannabinol.

    How CBD and THC Work Together, The Entourage Effect

    Russo (2016) suggested that cannabis all work together to produce a therapeutic effect. This proposed mechanism was dubbed "an entourage effect." The entourage effect theory contradicted the more popular theory, which held that THC alone was primarily responsible for marijuana's effects.

    Wang et al. (2020) CBD has a modulating effect on THC, the component of cannabis responsible for its psychoactive effects. CBD appears to amplify some of THC's beneficial effects, such as its pain-relieving properties. At the same time, CBD appears to mitigate THC's potential negative side effects, including anxiety, dizziness, and nausea. Anecdotally, many cannabis users report that taking CBD after consuming too much THC can be beneficial in reducing negative side effects. CBD alters how the body processes THC, but more research is needed to fully comprehend how this occurs. CBD alters how THC interacts with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This cannabinoid works by preventing overstimulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway.

    CBD has a wide range of potential benefits when used alone, but it may be more effective when combined with THC. THC, even in trace amounts, may improve the efficacy of CBD products. Because CBD may be more effective when combined with THC, full-spectrum CBD products are preferred over hemp or cannabis products that use CBD isolate. The term "full-spectrum" refers to a product containing the entire spectrum of compounds found in the plant extract. This can include up to 0.3 % THC in hemp-derived CBD products, a trace amount that would not cause psychoactive effects. Marijuana-derived CBD products may contain significantly more THC, making them preferable for those not sensitive to psychoactive effects.

    The Best CBD THC Ratio

    When CBD and THC are combined, they appear to work better. However, is there an ideal CBD-to-THC ratio? There is no perfect CBD-to-THC ratio. More research is needed to determine how these cannabinoids interact in various ratios.

    Based on anecdotal evidence, different ideal CBD to THC ratios are likely to depend on a person's desired effects and condition. For example, someone who uses medical cannabis to alleviate nausea associated with cancer treatment will most likely have a different ideal CBD to THC ratio than someone who uses cannabis recreationally for its psychoactive effects.


    CBD on its own can interact independently with the ECS. CBD interacts with different receptors from THC,  D2, TRPV1, and DDAR- gamma receptors. In contrast, THC interacts with the body mainly through CB1 and CB2 receptors widely distributed in the body. CBD has shown to be more efficacious when both are used together. THC interacts more readily since it has properties similar to anandamide, which is highly efficient in connecting cannabinoid receptors.


    Battista, N., Di Tommaso, M., Bari, M., & Maccarrone, M. (2012). The Endocannabinoid System: An Overview. Frontiers In Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, 9.

    Forouzanfar, F., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2018). Medicinal Herbs In The Treatment Of Neuropathic Pain: A Review. Iranian Journal Of Basic Medical Sciences, 21(4), 347.

    Hegazy, O., & Platnick, H. (2019). Cannabidiol (CBD) For Treatment Of Neurofibromatosis-Related Pain And Concomitant Mood Disorder: A Case Report. Cureus, 11(12).

    Mcmahon, L. R. (2009). Apparent Affinity Estimates Of Rimonabant In Combination With Anandamide And Chemical Analogs Of Anandamide In Rhesus Monkeys Discriminating Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Psychopharmacology, 203(2), 219-228.

    Russo, E. B. (2016). Current Therapeutic Cannabis Controversies And Clinical Trial Design Issues. Frontiers In Pharmacology, 7, 309.