The past decade has seen medical cannabis become exceedingly popular as more than 30 states have passed legislation allowing qualifying patients to use marijuana for medical purposes. Consequently, there has been increased, although still limited, research into marijuana’s medical potential, and one theory has almost become a fact in many people’s minds. THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive agent in cannabis, has been unofficially dubbed the fun cannabinoid that has barely any medicinal properties and gets users high while CBD (cannabidiol) is the medical powerhouse responsible for marijuana’s purported medical abilities.
Most of state-legal medical cannabis programs only allow cannabis with very limited THC levels, and a majority of companies in the medical marijuana space have leaned into the “THC is for fun, but CBD is medicinal” theory. However, a recent study found that this theory may be wrong, with plenty of cannabis users deriving immediate and effective relief from nausea after consuming cannabis strains with more THC and less CBD. Conducted by researchers at the University of New Mexico, the study has been described as the largest study of its kind.
To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers tracked cannabis users’ habits, symptoms, the cannabis products they used and the consequent relief (or lack of) they felt after consuming cannabis via the Releaf app. Not only did the researchers deduce that THC-dominant cannabis offered relief against nausea in as little as five minutes but that smoking cannabis flower offered the individuals faster, more substantial relief compared to using edibles or vaporizers. Cannabis products with more THC were generally more effective than CBD-dominant cannabis products, with research published in the “Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology” in April reporting that cannabis users who consumed products high in CBD achieved less relief on average.
The researchers analyzed 886 cannabis users looking to obtain nausea relief from June 6, 2016, to July 8, 2019, through an estimated 2,220 self-administration sessions. The users reported which specific products they were using, the symptoms they were trying to eliminate and how these symptoms reacted to cannabis, all in real time. Jacob Vigil, the study’s co-author and associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, says that this discovery was quite surprising to the researchers.
However, the study co-author and the lead author of the study Dr. Sarah Stith, who is also an assistant professor of economics at the University of New Mexico, reported that this study doesn’t give THC the all clear. The substance still presents significant long-term effects on high-risk individuals such as pregnant women and children, and nausea is only one area in which THC may shine brighter than CBD. While there are other symptoms that cannabidiol may relieve more effectively than THC, this study provides evidence against the prevalent theory that THC will just get you high but CBD is packed with medicinal properties.
As this scientific proof mounts, companies such as RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH), which makes devices that can help patients measure their medical cannabis dosage more accurately, will see a heightened demand for their products.
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