It’s an exciting time for cannabis lovers. Committed advocates and patient activists continue to fight for the rights of cannabis consumers the world over, with tangible results. Many countries have legalized the use and research of cannabis as a medicine, and an increasing number recognize the rights of the individual to consume cannabis as a recreational or spiritual intoxicant. The most recent addition to this list is Canada, where the rolling boil of anti-prohibitionist sentiment has spilled over into country-wide recreational legalization, set to take effect on October 17th, 2018.
While the conversation surrounding recreational legalization has naturally focussed on THC, the plant’s primary psychoactive cannabinoid, cannabis’ other major non-psychoactive cannabinoid – CBD – has been largely swept by the wayside. CBD is set to be sold alongside THC at Canadian dispensaries, and with the compound gaining renown as a powerful plant medicine and dietary supplement, let’s see how it can fit into a recreational regimen.
Getting high is fun, plain and simple. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be seeking it out! However, it’s also important to recognize that cannabis can cause some unpleasant side-effects, especially in people prone to psychiatric illness. CBD has been clinically confirmed to reduce or eliminate common side-effects of THC, including anxiety, paranoia, disorganized speech, and memory impairment.
CBD has a number of impressive health benefits, and many of these are independent of the endocannabinoid system. For example, CBD appears to be a more potent antioxidant than vitamins C and E combined! CBD is neuroprotective, meaning it can help to protect the nervous system from damage, and neurogenic, meaning it can help nerve cells make important new connections. To top it all off, CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory agent – more effective than ibuprofen! – and can reduce help the body to recover from physical, mental, and emotional stress.
CBD inhibits the breakdown of THC (as well as the body’s natural endocannabinoids) and can prolong the effects of THC! Studies suggest that consuming a reasonable dose of CBD around 30 minutes before consuming THC can prolong its effects, although that’s not set in stone. Try experimenting with CBD oil before, during, and after you consume psychoactive cannabis – you might just find your new favourite zen.
Every now and then, it’s good for recreational consumers to take a quick tolerance break. This will help the body to reset its endocannabinoid tone, meaning more potent effects can once again be achieved through lower doses. Although THC is barely physically addictive, it can have some irksome side-effects like insomnia, lack of appetite, mild nausea, and anxiety. Because CBD helps to balance the endocannabinoid system, and especially because CBD cannot cause tolerance, it may be extraordinarily helpful in dealing with the pesky side-effects that can be brought on by tolerance breaks.
Lana Tong is an aspiring Biochemist and Squirrel Behavioral Psychologist based in Victoria, British Columbia. She's passionate about cannabis as a medicine, entheogen, food, fiber crop, and so much more. Lana hopes to one day swim in a pool filled with organic CBD oil. We all have dreams - right?!