How CBD And THC Work Together

Are you wondering how CBD and THC work together?

Maybe you're trying to decide between a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD product.

Or you're wondering if a CBD product will kill your high when smoking on a blunt.

The point is, you're trying to find out exactly how CBD and THC work when combined. Well, in this article, you'll find out everything you need to know when you combine the two.

Let's discuss the terms used when talking about cannabis. There's so much misinformation out there that it's sickening.

We're going to go through:

  • The differences between marijuana and hemp
  • What CBD and THC is and the differences
  • How CBD and THC affect the body

Marijuana Vs. Hemp

Hemp and Marijuana feel different when consumed

Before we dive into the differences between CBD and THC, you first need to understand what hemp and marijuana are. Lots of articles out there claim that there is a massive difference between the two when that couldn't be further from the truth.

Marijuana and hemp are both from cannabis. They are just terms used to describe the cannabinoid profile of a cannabis strain. A cannabinoid profile shows how much of each cannabinoid is present in that particular strain. For example 5% THC and 20% CBD.

It's similar to how you would describe the look of cannabis when it's growing, such as Sativa or Indica.

Just remember this, and you won't be confused:

Marijuana - Any strain that contains MORE than 0.3% THC.

Hemp - Any strains that contain LESS than 0.3% THC.

Cannabis products that derive from hemp are referred to as Industrial Hemp. That's why when you buy CBD products, you will hear this term often.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis alongside THC.

The whole purpose of CBD is to give you the non-psychoactive effects of cannabis, but with all the positives. It's taken the cannabis market by storm for its therapeutic benefits. No matter how much CBD you consume, you will not get high.

CBD benefits:

  • Anti-anxiety and reduces depression
  • Reduces seizures
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-psychotic
  • Reduces nausea and vomiting
  • Combats chronic pain and inflammation
  • Fights tumor and cancer cells


  • CBD is an unregulated market which makes it hard to find good products
  • Not as much CBD as products claims to have

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary compound in cannabis. It's well known for its psychoactive effects, which alter your state of mind and gives you euphoria.

THC benefits:

  • Analgesic effects which relieve pain and inflammation
  • Relaxation
  • Treats insomnia
  • Increases appetite
  • Reduces muscle spasms
  • Reduces nausea


  • Can make you more anxious and paranoid
  • Increased risk of psychosis when abused
  • Interfered with REM sleep


CBD and THC do two totally different things in the body, but they both work with the same cannabinoid system.

We have something called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which consists of receptors all around the body. The endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to these receptors that are expressed throughout the central nervous system.

There are two types of receptors which are CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors - affects the brain and nervous system.

CB2 receptors - affects the immune system and inflammation

CBD alone doesn't affect these receptors directly. It only stimulates the production of our body's natural cannabinoids. What does this do? It slightly changes the structure of CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning it makes it more receptive to endocannabinoids.

CBD does something called a negative allosteric modulator of CB1. When this happens, it modulates the effects of THC, making THC take a different effect compared to just THC alone.

THC is the compound that directly affects the CB1 receptors, which give you that high that people experience. As it stimulates the central nervous system, it helps with things like pain relief.

The two primary cannabinoids

Both cannabinoids in isolation have their benefits. But let's find out what happens when CBD and THC are combined. Here are the three main effects.

1. The entourage effect

The effects that cannabinoids have on the body

The entourage effects take place when you combine THC and CBD. Products like full-spectrum CBD oil contain all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutrients. This gives you everything that cannabis has to offer because you're getting everything. The effects are a lot different compared to products like broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate.

When you begin to tamper with the extraction of cannabis, such as removing THC or other cannabinoids, then it starts to lose its value. However, some people are extremely sensitive to THC even in tiny amounts, so it's understandable why some people may opt for that. But for the average person and those suffering from conditions, they will see more value in cannabis products that have both CBD and THC.

2. Relieves pain

pain relief and reducing inflammation

THC is known for its ability to relieve pain. However, CBD alone isn't used for treating chronic pain. When you combine CBD and THC, you can maximize the effects of reducing pain and inflammation.

Again, a full-spectrum CBD would be superior to other products that contain no THC when it comes to treating pain. If you have any kind of muscular pain or chronic pain, THC is a must for pain relief.

3. Balances out the effects of THC

cbd balances effects of thc

Have you ever got really anxious or paranoid when smoking marijuana? Most marijuana strains these days have an average of 20-30% THC with little to no CBD at all.

THC directly stimulates CB1 receptors, so the more THC you take, the stronger the effects will be. This can cause people to suffer from things like panic attacks or have a mental breakdown because of overstimulation. When you take CBD, it actually changes the structure of the CB1 receptors by making it more receptive to cannabinoids. So this means that you can experience more enjoyable psychoactive effects.

So taking some CBD oil before you smoke or adding some CBD to your joint can balance out unwanted effects.

The entourage effect

Is the entourage effect real?

The short answer is yes. Cannabis is just like any other plant.

Take an apple, for example. An apple doesn't only have vitamin C. It has potassium, other vitamins, and fiber, which all contribute to the benefits of eating an apple. If you were to make apple juice and you take out the fiber, it makes it less effective.

Same thing with cannabis. If you take away cannabinoids, then you're not getting the optimal effects.

Does CBD need THC to work?

Yes and no. Even a trace of THC is much more beneficial than having no THC at all. That's why full-spectrum CBD products are more potent compared to broad-spectrum products (no THC).

Does CBD work by itself?

CBD can work by itself, but in larger doses, the effects begin to taper off. When THC is present, the effects of CBD keep increasing as you take much higher doses.

For example, if you take a CBD isolate product on its own, you won't see much difference if you keep increasing your dosage. However, if you add it with a THC product or even combine it with a full-spectrum CBD oil product, you can increase the effects.

Final thoughts on CBD and THC

So hopefully by now, you understand how CBD and THC work together.

CBD and THC are much more effective when combined, compared to isolating the two. CBD doesn't work as well without THC, and THC can provide unwanted side effects without CBD.

So the reality is, they are both needed. CBD products contain 0.3% THC, which is enough to experience the benefits without getting high.

Types of CBD products

There are four main types of CBD products on the market:

  • CBD oil
  • Edibles
  • Vapes
  • Topicals

How to add THC to CBD oil

You wouldn't add THC to CBD oil yourself. You would get a CBD product labeled full-spectrum, which has a trace of THC.

Make sure it's lab-tested because if it contains more THC than the legal 0.3% limit, then you can fail a drug test.

If you're in a legal state where you can take marijuana, you can take a CBD product before you smoke. That way, you can get the benefits of CBD and THC combined.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD oil enhance your high?

Does CBD kill your high?

Does CBD oil work without Thc?

Can you separate THC from CBD?

Nabrissa Simpson

I'm the co-owner of CBDTornado. I live in Star, Idaho and CBD oil has got rid of my anxiety and muscle pains. I take 50mg a daily and haven't looked back since.

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