The real answer is NEITHER.
The “high-CBD” craze is alive and kicking and it is worth examining the real value of CBDs, both as a medicine and as a marketing tool.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in weed that is thought to help with certain afflictions, such as convulsion and inflammation. It is thought to interact with the CB2 receptors in the body vs. the brain. Here is how it is explained by the folks at Project CBD:
Cannabidiol —CBD— is a compound in Cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC. After decades in which only high-THC Cannabis was available, CBD-rich strains are now being grown by and for medical users.
The reduced psychoactivity of CBD-rich Cannabis may make it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety and/or anti-spasm effects without disconcerting euphoria or lethargy.
So you can kind of see how it is being sold….”We smoke weed that doesn’t really get you high because we are real medical patients;” and therein lies the rub. Where is that line drawn between real medical relief and this movements desire to be accepted so much that we begin to breed low-thc strains just to prove we are legit? Is there really such a huge inflammation problem that we must focus so much time and energy on these “CBD-rich” strains?
Maybe and maybe not. Our movement has a tendency to overplay our hand and exploit loose theory as hard fact; and will stop at nothing to capitalize off of any little phenomenon. I have seen more gimmicks become commonplace in this industry than I care to review, such as the overuse of the term “organic,” or the phase where every strain was “kush” something. Purple weed has come, gone, and come back again. The nomenclature seems to shift with the wind, as well. Here in Cali, we have gone from cannabis clubs, to dispensaries, to patient member closed-loop collectives and may find our way back to dispensary again before it is all over.
The point is that I have watched our movement evolve over many years and have seen organizations overplay certain things to the point of irrelevance. Does CBD have some medical value? Sure it does. Is it the miracle substance that everyone is making it out to be? That is tricky.
No one knows for sure how CBD works, either on its own or in conjunction with other cannabinoids. It is a great marketing tool for some, and also a great justification for our opposition. I mean, we must be legitimate medical providers if we are selling weed with low THC, right? Maybe. I am not sure if that argument has really gained any traction or changed any minds in the halls of justice.
What I do know is that this CBD-rich culture is encouraging the breeding of low-THC strains in an effort to find the mysterious and elusive CBD. I know that to me, most CBD-rich medicine is hay and not enjoyable to me personally. Now I have plenty of medical issues. My rebuilt right knee has plenty of inflammation at the end of a long day, yet I still do not feel better after smoking CBD-rich meds over a high-THC strain. To each their own, and I am sure we are all different in our physical make-up; but the question is still valid…”Is there too much focus on high-CBDs?”
I think there is. I think if we did some real soul searching we may agree that MOST people use cannabis for the euphoric properties. I think that most cannabis users enjoy the buzz they get from good weed. I have asked a bunch of activist the question, “If weed did not get you high would you smoke it?” 99.9% have said “No.” Furthermore, would you risk a decade in prison to grow weed that did not get you high? I guess if you are getting four racks a pound for it you might, but if it was just for you? Would you risk prison to grow weed that did not get you high?
I will make a bet to anyone that 5-years from now, when weed is legal for adult enjoyable use. NOBODY will be talking about CBD-rich weed.
Now I am not saying CBD has no value by any means. I just think. like most things in this industry, we make more of things than they actually are in an effort to gain position or income. One might even say the entire “medical cannabis” deal is being overplayed, and that real patients are suffering because they are being lumped in with the quasi-recreational culture that has taken over the medical industry, leaving many mainstream physicians unwilling to participate. But that may be a conversation for another day.
As for me, I would strongly encourage you to not get up in this craze and to continue to grow weed with THC in it….Most of us still love THC.