If you’re considering trying cannabinoids for a myriad of health benefits they offer, it’s important to understand that natural cannabinoids are safer than synthetics, just as nutrition derived from real whole foods is superior to processed foods or synthetically derived vitamin supplements. Natural cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main active compounds found among over 80 cannabinoids derived from Cannabis sativa plants. Both compounds have synthetic counterparts that have been isolated into their most concentrated, purest form, which have been proven to be harmful and even dangerous.
So let’s consider some of the main differences between natural and synthetic cannabinoids. Unlike synthetics, natural CBD and THC are most often found in a varied combination of each other. Depending upon the content ratio of CBD to THC, these two compounds can act synergistically or in opposition to each other in the body. For example, CBD, the non-psychoactive compound, can act in opposition to THC (the psychoactive compound) to protect against or prevent a euphoric high. Most often, there is what is described as the “entourage effect” , where CBD and THC play separate, distinct, but equally important synergistic roles in the healing process. For example in fighting cancer, CBD slows and stops cancer metastasis while THC causes apoptosis, or death of cancer cells. Independently, both natural CBD and THC have shown promising results as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions, including many conditions that are untreatable otherwise. Whole plant treatment is better than isolate effect.
Despite tens of thousands of medical research studies documenting its safety and efficacy, the FDA still classifies marijuana as a dangerous Schedule 1 drug solely because of its natural THC content, while classifying synthetic THC and CBD drugs as safe as prescribed. The truth is that there have never been any reported deaths caused by natural marijuana THC or hemp CBD use or overdoses. This unfair classification incorrectly stigmatizes and demonizes a safe and effective natural medicine while deceptively downplaying the real dangers of Big Pharma-sponsored synthetic drugs, which have been proven to be vastly more harmful and dangerous. The FDA continues to ignore the evidence that synthetic cannabinoids have caused serious damage and death as documented by countless reports on PubMed and other authoritative medical research sites.
A large variety of synthetic THC, most often cannabicyclohexanol, JWH018, JWH073, or HU210, are used in an attempt to avoid the federal laws that make cannabis illegal, while inadvertently making synthetic cannabinoid a designer drug. These synthetics have been sold under various brand names, and are available online and locally. Studies have associated synthetic cannabinoid use with psychotic episodes days after use. Some have even resulted in death.
The most adverse effect of cannabinoids is the psychoactive effect of THC, found in marijuana. This applies to both natural and synthetic THC. But, because synthetic cannabinoids are more concentrated and powerful, their adverse effect can be more extreme. Synthetic cannabis has been compared with the natural psychoactive compound, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in cannabis. On the molecular level, the synthetic cannabinoids act as potent cannabinoid receptor agonists that also disrupt other types of receptors. Also, there is no upper limit to the psychoactive effects of these synthetic compounds. And because the potency can vary greatly, it’s more likely that one will experience worse harmful reactions with synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic marijuana can lead to serious side effects like seizures, hallucinations and convulsions, and can even cause fatal reactions, such as ischemic stroke.
Continued use of synthetic cannabinoids can worsen rather than improve mental illness conditions, and make a person more prone to schizophrenia. A large study involving data gathered from 14,000 subjects showed an overwhelming 93% preference for natural cannabis over synthetic drugs. The study also showed that synthetic cannabinoids were more likely to cause additional adverse effects, including drug-induced paranoia, next-day hangovers, anxiety, agitation, hallucinations, tachycardia, hypertension, excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Another study showed that 2.4% of people using synthetic cannabis required emergency medical attention.
For these reasons, most medical cannabis experts advise people to choose natural cannabis products over synthetic versions. I recommend CTFO CBD full spectrum hemp oil products, which are derived from US certified organic, non-GMO, CO2 extracted hemp. Reputable source recommendations for natural THC (medical marijuana) can be found through ProjectCBD.org