Most people have heard of a chemical called THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that gets users high. But recently, attention has shifted to another compound in marijuana called CBD — and for good reason.
Because while doctors can’t seem to look past certain side effects of THC, CBD doesn’t seem to present that problem. On the other hand, evidence of CBD’s medical benefits continues to grow.
Here are five facts that you should know about this unique compound:
1. CBD IS A KEY INGREDIENT IN CANNABIS
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied.
CBD and THC levels tend to vary among different plants. Marijuana grown for recreational purposes often contains more THC than CBD.
However, by using selective breeding techniques, cannabis breeders have managed to create varieties with high levels of CBD and next to zero levels of THC. These strains are rare but have become more popular in recent years.
In a recent study titled “Effect of Marijuana Use on Outcomes in Traumatic Brain Injury” and published in The American Surgeon, researchers
found that patients who had detectable levels of THC in their bodies were less likely than those who did not to die as a result of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The retrospective study examined the data of 446 cases of TBI over a three year period, involving patients who had been treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA.
THC Helps Prevent Death Resulting From Traumatic Brain Injury
Overall, 18.4% of TBI patients in the sample had toxicology reports positive for the presence of THC, and the death rate for all cases examined was 9.9%. After adjusting for differences that may confound results (such as age, gender, and classification of injury), the death rate for TBI patients with THC-negative toxicology reports (i.e. without detectable levels of THC in their body) was 11.5%, but for TBI patients with THC-positive reports was only 2.4%. Therefore, the survival of THC-positive TBI patients was approximately 80 times more than the survival of THC-negative TBI patients.