Does THC pack better health benefits than CBD?

The cannabidiol (CBD) industry has exploded. Everywhere you go you see CBD products of some kind or another — CBD oil, chocolates, beer, shampoo, lotion, coffee.

Why is CBD suddenly so popular?

Because it’s an effective anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. And there’s a growing body of evidence that it can ease common health conditions, including anxiety, depression, cancer-related symptoms, high blood pressure, acne, and epilepsy.

The fact that CBD doesn’t make you high and can be derived from hemp doesn’t hurt its cause either. That makes it more socially (and legally) acceptable than other parts of the cannabis plant.

But as interest in CBD reaches its pinnacle, another cannabis compound with heaps of health potential is being left in the shadows — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Now, I know there’s still a stigma surrounding THC because it’s the stuff that makes you “high.” But let’s put things in perspective for a moment…

Coffee makes you “high.” Alcohol makes you “high.” Many prescription medications make you “high.” (Albeit in different ways.) But these things are all accepted in our society.

So, let’s overcome the stigma surrounding THC. Because a new study shows that THC may be helping a lot of people feel better.

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THC tames symptoms better than CBD

A recent study from researchers at the University of New Mexico found that THC offered more therapeutic benefits than CBD.

The study collected data from ReleafApp, an app which allows people to track information about the cannabis products they use and how these products affect their symptoms. Researchers analyzed data from 20,000 sessions on the app. And they measured 27 symptom categories ranging from depression to seizures.

Their data showed that, in general, people experienced the most symptom relief from products with THC rather than CBD. They also found that dried marijuana (known as flower in the medical marijuana world) was tied to greater symptom relief than other forms of marijuana.

“Despite the conventional wisdom, both in the popular press and much of the scientific community that only CBD has medical benefits while THC merely makes one high, our results suggest that THC may be more important than CBD in generating therapeutic benefits,” said study researcher Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at University of New Mexico.

Should you turn to THC instead of CBD for symptom relief?

Now, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether CBD or THC is the best option for you…

Researchers in this study found that THC offered a more intense user experience overall. That meant more symptom relief and positive side effects, like relaxation. But it also meant more negative side effects.

If you’ve ever used marijuana recreationally or medically, you’re probably familiar with some of the negative side effects, like dry mouth, anxiety, dizziness, tiredness, and paranoia.

Related: The side-effects of cannabis they don’t talk about

If you can’t stand these side effects, choosing CBD might be a better option for you. But keep in mind that the strain of marijuana and the amount you use impacts the side effects you experience. For example, if marijuana makes you anxious often, the employees at a marijuana dispensary can guide you toward a strain that’s less likely to cause anxiety. Reducing your dosage can lower your odds of experiencing anxiety too.

You should also compare the symptoms CBD is proven to relieve versus the symptoms THC is proven to relieve. Research shows that CBD can relieve anxiety, depression, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disorders, migraines, nausea, pain, psychosis, and other mental disorders. THC is known for relieving anxiety (depending on the strain), glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, muscle spasticity, nausea, and pain.

Hopefully, this information will help you choose the cannabis health products that are right for you. That may mean sticking to CBD. But don’t count THC out too quickly. It holds health benefits that can improve a lot of people’s lives, maybe even yours.

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  1. THC more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than previously believed — MedicalXpress
  2. The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom ReliefScientific Reports
  3. Everything you need to know about CBD oil — Medical News Today
  4. 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects) — Healthline
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and