CannabisTraitTherapeutic THC?

May 16, 2019by John Cooper

Recent attention on cannabis highlights the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring compound found in the flower of the cannabis plant, and for good reason. CBD has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy, seizures, inflammation, and anxiety, among other health concerns1-4. But what about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the more prevalent cannabis compound? THC is often characterized as the psychoactive component of cannabis that is responsible for providing the well-known euphoric high while the therapeutic benefits from THC are conflicting5.

According to a recent study, middle to high potency levels of THC (10-19%) provides significant symptom relief from depression6. Self-reported data was collected from 3,341 participants regarding their cannabis use (frequency, THC/CBD potency, etc.) and symptom relief (participants provided a 0 to 10 rating corresponding to their symptom severity at the beginning, duration, and end of their cannabis-related session totaling 19,910 sessions)6. While this study is limited by relying on self-reported data, it featured the use of a convenient App to collect participants’ data to correlate THC/CBD potency and symptom relief.

Some evidence exists for the benefits from a THC/CBD combination therapy for pain management that provides an alternative to opioids. After first trying other treatment options, THC/CBD therapy has been shown to relieve pain in some cases7. Further investigation into the independent therapeutic benefits from THC as well as combined THC/CBD therapies is needed to determine how THC and CBD potency and frequency of use relate to relieving symptom severity.

An individual with increased pain sensitivity has a lower pain threshold than the average person. Chronic pain patients often require higher doses of opioids that may develop into dependency issues. THC/CBD combination therapy can provide another option for pain relief that avoids the potential adverse effects from other treatment options. Knowing your genetic predisposition for increased pain sensitivity would help you and your doctor tailor your treatment plan for pain relief to include THC/CBD therapy to treat chronic or acute pain. Find out more about your genetic predisposition to increase pain sensitivity as well as other cannabis-related traits in CannabisDNA, by PathwayOME.


1. Crippa, J.A., Guimaraes, F.S., Campos, A.C. & Zuardi, A.W. Front Immunol 9, 2009 (2018).
2. Watt, G. & Karl, T. Front Pharmacol 8, 20 (2017).
3. Burstein, S. Bioorg Med Chem 23, 1377-85 (2015).
4. O’Connell, B.K., Gloss, D. & Devinsky, O. Epilepsy Behav 70, 341-348 (2017).
5. Hauser, W., Fitzcharles, M.A., Radbruch, L. & Petzke, F. Dtsch Arztebl Int 114, 627-634 (2017).
6. Stith, S.S., Vigil, J.M., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K. & Hall, B. Sci Rep 9, 2712 (2019).
7. Hill, K.P., Palastro, M.D., Johnson, B. & Ditre, J.W. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res 2, 96-104 (2017).

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