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THC + CBD Synergy: Myth or Backed by Science?

THC + CBD Synergy: Myth or Backed by Science?

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THC and CBD are the two most popular cannabinoids, yet they could not be more different in terms of effects. THC is about what you feel with its psychoactive properties, while CBD leans into what you don't feel with its more passive nature. From smoking circles to online forums, many enthusiasts swear by combining the two to get an array of new benefits in a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect." 

But is the entourage effect just anecdotal or, dare we say... a marketing tactic? Or is there some scientific basis behind this potential synergy? This blog post will explain the truth in plain, simple English. 

THC and CBD: How Do They Work?

CBD and THC chemical structures drawn beside a hemp plant.

Before we discuss combining these two cannabinoids, we'll need to understand how they work individually. 

THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound found in cannabis (hemp and marijuana) that consists of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. There are various forms of THC with nuances in effects based on the location of the double bond on their molecule. For instance, Delta-9 THC has a bond on its ninth carbon chain, and Delta-8 THC on its eighth carbon chain. 

THC offers psychoactive effects because it resembles a compound our bodies make called "anandamide." Anadaminide is a chemical messenger used in our endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate various functions such as emotional processes, memory, sleep, appetite, pain management, and much more. This chemical messenger binds to the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. 

Due to THC's resemblance to anandamide, it can bind to the same receptors, offering relaxation, contentment, increased aesthetic appreciation, laughter, and other effects commonly associated with cannabis. 

CBD is short for cannabidiol. Like THC, it consists of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, CBD is an isomer of THC, meaning it comprises the same building blocks but in a different structure. 

Regarding its mechanisms and effects, CBD has a minimal binding affinity to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. However, CBD can enhance or inhibit the activation of other receptors in the human body. For instance, according to research published in 2020, CBD can improve the activity of serotonin (one of the brain's "happy chemicals") 1A receptors. However, CBD's interaction with the body changes when you add THC. 

Scientific Findings on THC + CBD

brownies beside cannabis flower

So, what's the verdict on this entourage effect? Scientific studies have shown that combining THC with CBD can yield desirable outcomes for cannasseurs. 

Stronger, Longer Lasting Effects from THC

In 2023, Jama Network published findings on a randomized clinical trial consisting of 18 adults consuming brownies with either: 
  • 20mg Delta-9 + 640mg CBD
  • 20mg Delta-9 alone
  • A placebo
The results showed that participants who consumed the brownies containing Delta-9 and CBD had THC levels in their blood that were nearly twice as high as those who consumed brownies with just THC. This combination also resulted in effects that were stronger and longer lasting. 

But what causes this? According to the study, CBD can inhibit the breakdown of THC in the body. 

More THC, Less Unwanted Effects

In 2018, Neuropsychopharmacology published a review of various studies on the interactions of CBD and THC. One of their findings included that a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD can allow someone to consume higher amounts of THC without an increased risk of unwanted effects (such as feeling overwhelmed). 

THC + CBD Products

A greater degree of effects per milligram and mitigation of unwanted effects certainly sounds appealing. However, it's best to remember that cannabinoids, along with their combinations and ratios, will affect everyone a bit differently.

Nonetheless, you're probably wondering if there are products out there that combine THC and CBD, and the answer is certainly "yes." Select Spectrum is our line of CBD and THC blends, each specially formulated to deliver an optimized mind and body experience. Whether you seek balance or heightened senses, this collection is sure to offer it through a synergistic ratio of cannabinoids. Check out some of our classic Select Spectrum products below.

5mg Live Rosin Gummies 

Live Rosin 5mg Gummies with CBD
For beginner enthusiasts looking to experience the effects of THC combined with CBD, we recommend our 5mg Live Rosin Gummies. Each gummy contains solventless live rosin concentrate derived from various hemp strains along with 5mg Delta-9 THC and 5mg CBD per piece. 

Flavors/Strains: 

Extra Sour Hard Candies

Extra Sour hard candy, green apple flavored with THC and CBD
Another excellent option for beginners, our Extra Sour Hard Candies also contain 5mg Delta-9 THC and 5mg CBD per piece. Pocket-sized and individually wrapped, these candies are also a great "pick me up" for when you're out and about. 

Flavors: Atomic Apple

Balance Gummies

Balance Gummies- Select Spectrum Blend CBD and tHC
Containing a blend 1:1 ratio of 10mg Delta-9 THC and 10mg CBD, we crafted our Balance Gummies to deliver a balanced mind and body effect. Our Mango flavor was one of the first hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products ever released. 

Flavors:

CBDA + CBGA Tinctures

CBDACBGATincture
For regulars who have a favorite that's not on this list, we recommend our CBDA + CBGA Tincture. The vial contains 600mg CBDA, 600mg CBGA, 600mg CBD, and 600mg CBG. So whether your favorite product is our Relief Delta-8 GummiesLive Rosin Gummies, or even our Sour Belts, you can experience the entourage effect by taking a few drops of this tincture alongside your regular go-to's. 

Final Thoughts

Due to decades of red tape and prohibitionist stances, cannabis research is still in its infancy. Nonetheless, there seems to be some research out there supporting the entourage effect of combining THC with CBD. In one study, CBD boosted the strength of THC by inhibiting its breakdown, and in another, it allowed subjects to consume more THC while suppressing some unwanted effects. We hope this article enriched your understanding of cannabis and potentially opened up new horizons for your next session. 

Until then, happy exploring and mind your mind. 

FDA DisclaimerThe statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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