Navigating Cannabis: Understanding the Impact of THC and CBD on Anxiety and Heart Health
Source: Medscape (February 13, 2023)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (March 23, 2023)
In a noteworthy study highlighted on Medscape on March 20, 2023, the intricate relationship between marijuana components, THC and CBD, takes center stage. This research delves into their impact on anxiety levels and heart rate, especially among individuals with cardiovascular risk factors. With marijuana product legalization in Canada since 2018, comprehending these findings becomes paramount.
Unpacking Competing Claims: CBD’s Role Re-examined
- Myths and Realities
Amid claims that CBD can counteract THC’s adverse effects, recent research challenges this narrative. Both THC and CBD vie for the same detoxification enzymes in the liver. Rather than mitigating THC effects, CBD slows down THC detoxification, causing a rapid THC surge in the bloodstream. This surge heightens anxiety, stimulating CB1 receptors in the cardiovascular system and significantly elevating heart rate.
The CBD-THC Interaction: A Closer Look
- Debunking Common Beliefs
Contrary to popular belief, CBD doesn’t mellow THC’s impact but accentuates it. Studies demonstrate that the THC-CBD combination intensifies unpleasant symptoms, notably anxiety. This duo also dramatically heightens heart rate and THC blood levels, surpassing the effects of THC alone.
Considerations for Wise Consumption: CBD and THC Use
- Navigating the Cannabis Landscape
While CBD alone carries benefits, combining it with THC demands caution. For those inclined towards THC, opting for edibles containing solely THC (zero grams of CBD) minimizes potential discomfort and curtails negative impacts on heart health.
A Thoughtful Conclusion: Prioritizing Well-Being
- Informed Choices for Health
Understanding the interplay between THC and CBD is pivotal for making informed decisions about marijuana product consumption. CBD doesn’t neutralize THC effects and may, in some instances, exacerbate anxiety, posing cardiac risks. Individuals must remain mindful of these factors, putting their overall well-being at the forefront of their cannabis product choices.
Medscape, March 20, 2023. [“Joint Effect: CBD not just an innocent bystander in weed.”] F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE.
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An important study cited on Medscape on March 20, 2023, sheds light on the effects of marijuana products containing both THC and CBD on individuals prone to anxiety. This study reveals significant findings regarding anxiety levels and heart rate, particularly among those with cardiovascular disease risk factors. It is essential to understand these implications, especially considering the legalization of marijuana products in Canada in 2018.
Competing Claims on CBD’s Effects
Some proponents of marijuana have argued that CBD can counteract the undesirable effects of THC, such as anxiety and an accelerated heart rate. However, recent research has challenged this belief, showing that both THC and CBD compete for the same detoxification enzymes in the liver. Consequently, the presence of CBD slows down the detoxification of THC, leading to a rapid rise of THC in the bloodstream. This sudden increase in THC levels can trigger anxiety and stimulate CB1 receptors in the cardiovascular system, significantly increasing heart rate.
The Reality of CBD and THC Interaction
Contrary to popular claims, CBD does not temper the effects of THC but rather accentuates them. Studies have demonstrated that the combination of THC and CBD leads to more pronounced unpleasant symptoms, particularly anxiety, and significantly elevates heart rate and THC blood levels compared to using cannabis products containing only THC without CBD.
Considerations for CBD and THC Use
While CBD alone can offer benefits, such as pain reduction and medicinal value, combining CBD with THC requires caution. Individuals interested in using cannabis products with THC should opt for edibles containing only THC (with zero grams of CBD) to minimize potential unpleasantness and reduce the negative impact on heart health.
Understanding the interplay between THC and CBD is crucial for making informed decisions about marijuana product consumption. CBD’s presence does not mitigate THC’s effects, and in some cases, it may exacerbate anxiety and pose cardiac risks. Individuals should be mindful of these factors when choosing cannabis products, prioritizing their overall well-being.
Medscape March 20, 2023. “Joint Effect: CBD not just an innocent bystander in weed.” F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE. Click here
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Key Points to Consider:
- A study revealed that marijuana products containing both THC and CBD can worsen anxiety and significantly increase heart rate, especially in those with cardiovascular risk factors.
- CBD does not counteract THC’s effects but rather competes with it for liver detoxification enzymes, leading to a rapid rise of THC in the bloodstream.
- THC and CBD together can cause more unpleasant symptoms, such as anxiety, and have a greater impact on heart rate compared to using THC alone.
- CBD taken alone can offer medicinal benefits, but when combined with THC, it requires caution, and individuals may opt for THC-only edibles to minimize risks.
- Making informed decisions about cannabis product consumption is essential for overall well-being.
Some marijuana proponents have claimed that the CBD component of marijuana helps to tame some of the undesirable effects of THC that can trigger anxiety, a racing heart, and some other unpleasantness. But research is showing that this is just a myth. In fact, both THC and CBD compete for the same detoxification enzymes in the liver. As such, the presence of CBD actually slows down the detoxification of THC, it appears. This results in a more sudden and rapid rise of THC in the bloodstream, which can trigger feelings of anxiety and stimulate CB1 receptors in the cardiovascular system which in turn, significantly increase heart rate. Studies show that THC taken with CBD tends to create more unpleasant symptoms for many people (like anxiety), and it increases the heart rate and THC blood levels to a much greater degree than taking a cannabis product that contains only THC (no CBD).
So, we are learning that CBD does not temper the effects of THC, but rather accentuates the effects of THC, and sometimes in a way that creates unpleasant symptoms and/or cardiac risk. CBD taken alone can help to reduce pain and has some other medicinal value. But taking CBD with THC is something you may want to be wary of. So, if cannabis products with THC are something you are interested in, you may want to find an edible product that contains only THC (zero gm of CBD) to reduce some of the unpleasantness and the negative impact on your heart.
I have included the reference for this information in the text below.
Medscape March 20, 2023. Joint Effect: CBD not jus and innocent bystander in weed. F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/988181#vp_2
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Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.