intoxicating vs non-intoxicating cannabis

Cannabis can come in both intoxicating and non-intoxicating forms. Toxicity is affected by the ratio of cannabinoids within the strain. Its levels within cannabis are often determined by any given strain’s reaction with CB1 receptors.

CB1 receptors are concentrated within the brain and nervous system. If a cannabinoid binds itself to the receptor, they are stimulated; when one binds to the CB1 receptor and mimics feelings of euphoria, this results in intoxication. THC is perfectly shaped to plug into the CB1 receptor, whereas a cannabinoid like CBD will simply pass by.

Researchers explain that THC mimics our bodies’ naturally produced compound anandamide, the “bliss molecule.” Anandamide is an endocannabinoid which has been shown to affect certain feelings of pleasure and reward. THC so closely resembles Anandamide that it is able to bind with CB1 receptors and activate certain feelings along these lines.

THC is classified as a CB1 receptor agonist; CBD is a CB1 receptor antagonist.

CBD neither stimulates nor suppresses the CB1 receptor, however, it will suppress the activating qualities within THC and preventing the resultant high. Overall, CBD does not activate the CB receptors. Instead, it tends to stimulate the bodies production of natural endocannabinoids.

As claimed by Chasen, product labels do not specify whether a cannabis strain is intoxicating or non-intoxicating, but if you have an idea of the THC/CBD concentration percentages, you could deduce their level of intoxication on your own. THC causes a cerebral high— i.e. it is intoxicating. CBD does not cause a high, and therefore is non-intoxicating.

For instance, a product that has 70 percent CBD and 30 percent THC won’t be as intoxicating as a product that has 70 percent THC and 30 percent CBD.

This should not be taken to the extreme that THC is “bad” and CBD “good” simply because one has a higher chance of intoxication. Both substances are beneficial in consumption. One simply needs to be aware of how they work together. CBD, THC, and terpenes all fit together like puzzle pieces; the ratio of the pieces simply determines the resulting puzzle. Cannabinoids and terpenes should be allowed to work together for our benefit, rather than demonizing one simply because it creates an artificial euphoric effect during consumption— an effect that can be mitigated by another cannabinoid.