Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two compounds harvested from the marijuana plant. The former is commonly used for medicinal purposes, while the latter gives its users a “high.” At the turn of the decade, synthetic THC was created, which shook the cannabis industry.
THC vs. CBD
More than 113 chemical compounds are collectively found in the cannabis plant known as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH) are the two most known types of these compounds, often harvested for potential medical use. Although the two compounds are quite similar, their differences lie in their chemical composition and their effect on the brain.
CBD is the second most common chemical compound found within cannabis. CBD was first discovered in the 40s and has become a popular natural treatment for many conditions. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a “high.” Manufacturers can extract it from hemp or marijuana.
On the other hand, THC is a psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, THC triggers the brain to release dopamine, which plays an important part in mood and pleasure. The release of dopamine in more than the usual amounts makes a person feel euphoric. It’s more often extracted from marijuana.
What Is Synthetic THC?
Synthetic THC comes in many names, but the more familiar ones are K2 drug, spice drug, and Northern Lights. Synthetic cannabis is a mind-altering chemical sprayed onto dried plants so that they can be inhaled or vaporized. Researchers emphasize that synthetic cannabis may mimic THC, but they produce a far more potent chemical that provides a more intense “high.”
Synthetic THC is also often referred to as cannabinoids because of their similar chemical composition to marijuana. They are sometimes marketed as a legal and safe alternative to THC, even when they are not. They are not safe and have a stronger effect on the brain than marijuana. In some cases, their effects are more dangerous and life-threatening.
Why Are Synthetic Cannabinoids Dangerous?
Synthetic cannabinoids are powdered chemicals usually mixed with solvents. As manufacturers strive to keep up with the law, the chemicals can vary from each batch. Different packets can have different effects, despite having the same name and branding.
The effect of synthetic cannabis on brain activity is one reason it causes lethal complications like seizures and psychosis. Synthetic cannabis acts similar to pot’s active ingredient, THC. Synthetics bind to the CB1 receptor and activate them to the maximum efficacy, unlike natural THC, which only partially activates these receptors.
Synthetic cannabinoid products also produce toxic effects. People who use these products may experience rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, confusion, agitation, and hallucinations. Many people who take synthetic cannabinoid products often need emergency medical help or admission to emergency rooms and intensive care units.
Health Risks from Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic THC has the same effect as natural THC. However, manufacturers of these products make them to the point where they have a stronger high than natural THC products – and this is where the trouble begins.
The side effect of excessive synthetic cannabinoid intake may include drowsiness and the loss of hand-to-eye coordination. It may also cause vomiting and breathing difficulties. There are also instances where ingesting too many synthetic THC pills results in anxiety and paranoia.
When worse comes to worst, synthetic cannabinoid products may cause hypertension, muscle tissue breakdown, and death.
Although there are not many scientific studies on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the brain, researchers know that some have a stronger bond with THC-sensitive cells, causing more severe side effects. The results can have unpredictable and potentially dangerous health consequences.
What It Means to the CBD Industry
Even though medical professionals and innovators in the cannabis industry have stated the difference between synthetic and natural chemical compounds, people are still wary of CBD.
The US Food and Drug Administration is aware of growing concerns about delta-8 THC products being sold online and in retail stores. The FDA has not evaluated these products, and they are not safe for use in any setting. Variability in product formulations, product labeling, cannabinoid, terpene, and delta-8 THC levels are all concerns.
Threats of misinformation
Some of these products are called “hemp products,” misleading consumers who may mistakenly associate “hemp” with “nonpsychoactive.” The FDA is also concerned about the rise in delta-8 THC-rich products, which are being marketed for medical or therapeutic purposes without their approval.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in using CBD-infused products. To the uninitiated, the two chemical compounds are merely the same, and the lethal results from unregulated synthetic weed are hurting the reputation of CBD.
In their press release, the FDA supports science-based policies regarding CBD production. According to them, CBD-infused products are of great public interest, both for therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes. However, many questions remain about the quality, science, and safety of most CBD products.
Meanwhile, different regulations apply to food, as well as dietary supplements. However, the overarching goal is to protect consumers. It is illegal to sell CBD-containing food in interstate commerce.
The need for further education
Educating the people regarding cannabis and its components may help control the widespread use of synthetic weed. Experts and medical professionals believe that increasing accessibility to CBD-infused products will help the public become more aware of their benefits and their usage.
People active in the cannabis industry believe that as long as the conversation on CBD and its benefits continues, more and more people will get to understand the products, and the stigma will slowly disappear. Conversations regarding CBD should focus on its health benefits, especially for people who are prone to panic and anxiety attacks. Regulations on CBD-infused products should also be easier for business owners.
If you are in need of CBD products in Dillon, CO, consult a legitimate shop. The owners and the workers can surely give you a brief lesson on the benefits and the advantages of using CBD and how you can avoid synthetic THC pills.