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NMU 280 – CBD with THC Amplifies the Effect of THC, Which Can Enhance Feelings of Anxiety and Heart Rate

Nutrition/Natural Medicine Update No 180 (March 23, 2023)

with Dr. James Meschino

Topic: CBD with THC Amplifies the Effect of THC, Which Can Enhance Feelings of Anxiety and Heart Rate

Source: Medscape (February 13, 2023)


An important study was cited on Medscape on March 20, 2023, revealing that taking a marijuana product containing both THC with CBD tends to worsen feelings of anxiety in those prone to anxiety and it significantly increases heart rate, which can increase risk for a heart attack, especially in those with cardiovascular disease risk factors (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes etc.) In Canada, use of marijuana products became legal on October 17, 2018. Some marijuana proponents have claimed that the CBD component of marijuana helps to tame some of the undesirable effects of THC that can trigger anxiety, a racing heart, and some other unpleasantness. But research is showing that this is just a myth. In fact, both THC and CBD compete for the same detoxification enzymes in the liver. As such, the presence of CBD actually slows down the detoxification of THC, it appears. This results in a more sudden and rapid rise of THC in the bloodstream, which can trigger feelings of anxiety and stimulate CB1 receptors in the cardiovascular system which in turn, significantly increase heart rate. Studies show that THC taken with CBD tends to create more unpleasant symptoms for many people (like anxiety), and it increases the heart rate and THC blood levels to a much greater degree than taking a cannabis product that contains only THC (no CBD).

So, we are learning that CBD does not temper the effects of THC, but rather accentuates the effects of THC, and sometimes in a way that creates unpleasant symptoms and/or cardiac risk. CBD taken alone can help to reduce pain and has some other medicinal value. But taking CBD with THC is something you may want to be wary of. So, if cannabis products with THC are something you are interested in, you may want to find an edible product that contains only THC (zero gm of CBD) to reduce some of the unpleasantness and the negative impact on your heart.

I have included the reference for this information in the text below.


Medscape March 20, 2023. Joint Effect: CBD not jus and innocent bystander in weed. F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE.


Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,
Dr. Meschino

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