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THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought


THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought

UNM researchers measure product characteristics and associated effects with mobile app




Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) recently solved a major gap in scientific literature by using mobile software technology to measure the real-time effects of actual cannabis-based products used by millions of people every day.

Contrary to popular media-reports and scientific dogma, the psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” showed the strongest correlation with therapeutic relief and far less evidence for the benefits of relying on the more socially acceptable chemical, cannabidiol or “CBD.”

In a new study titled, “The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief,” published in the journal Scientific Reports, UNM researchers Sarah See Stith, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, and Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, found that THC and CBD contents were the most important factor for optimizing symptom relief for a wide variety of health conditions.

The findings were based on the largest database of real-time measurements of the effects of cannabis in the United States, collected with the ReleafApp, developed by co-authors Franco Brockelman, Keenan Keeling and Branden Hall.

Since its release in 2016, the commercially developed ReleafApp has been the only publicly available, incentive-free app for educating patients on how their type of product (e.g., flower or concentrate), combustion method, cannabis subspecies (indica, sativa, and hybrid), and major cannabinoid contents (THC and CBD) affect their symptom severity levels, essentially providing invaluable user feedback on their health status, medication choices, and the clinical outcomes of those choices as measured by symptom relief and side effects.

The study aimed to address the practical questions of knowing how fundamental characteristics of currently available and frequently used cannabis products, characteristics that often influence consumer choices, affect health symptom intensity levels. The average patient, across the roughly 20,000 measured user sessions and 27 measured symptom categories ranging from depression to seizure activity, showed an immediate symptom improvement of 3.5 points on a 0-10 scale. Dried flower was the most commonly used product and generally associated with greater symptom improvement than other types of products.

Cannabis is rapidly gaining popularity as a mid-level analgesic and promising substitute for prescription opioids and other classes of medications, which often carry undesirable side effects, dangerous drug interactions and risk of death. Presently, federal barriers restrict researchers from conducting cannabis administration studies in the U.S.

“We were able to fill the most significant absence in the previous medical literature, understanding the ‘efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States,'” said Vigil, quoting from the recently released report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana.

By studying products containing both THC and CBD, the authors were able to analyze the relative importance of these cannabinoids for symptom relief and side effect prevalence, advancing previous research examining either chemical in the absence of the other. One of the most striking patterns in the current results was that THC was generally associated with a more intense user experience, as measured by symptom relief and the prevalence of both positive and negative side effects.

“Despite the conventional wisdom, both in the popular press and much of the scientific community that only CBD has medical benefits while THC merely makes one high, our results suggest that THC may be more important than CBD in generating therapeutic benefits. In our study, CBD appears to have little effect at all, while THC generates measurable improvements in symptom relief. These findings justify the immediate de-scheduling of all types of cannabis, in addition to hemp, so that cannabis with THC can be more widely accessible for pharmaceutical use by the general public,” said Vigil.

“More broadly understanding the relationship between product characteristics and patient outcomes is particularly important given the lack of medical guidance received by medical cannabis patients,” said Stith. “Most receive only a referral for cannabis treatment from their healthcare provider with all other treatment advice coming from prior recreational experience, the internet, social interactions, and/or often minimally trained personnel working in dispensaries.

“This is very different from how patients receive treatment using conventional pharmaceuticals that come with clear dosing instructions and a standardized, uniform product,” she added.

The authors caution that cannabis use does carry the risks of addiction and short-term impairments in cognitive and behavioral functioning, and may not be effective for everyone.

“However, I have seen many people use it as a primary medication for a full spectrum of health conditions as part of their broader desire to gain more control over their healthcare treatment,” says Vigil, a perspective that seems to gaining momentum as cannabis appears to be re-emerging as one of the most widely used medications in the U.S.


This investigation was supported in part by public donations to the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.


If it could happen to anyone, it usually does to me. In this case, I am one of those people who had chickenpox as a child and the varicella-zoster virus didn’t want to stay dormant in my adult nerves, giving me shingles… three separate times.

Ask those who have experienced it and they will tell you, shingles is excruciatingly painful. Treatments include skin patches with painkillers put directly on the area and nerve-affecting drugs such as gabapentin or lyrica; but, most people need opiates to deal with the level of pain that it causes and doctors are happy to prescribe them.

Lucky for me, I know an incredible secret; cannabis and its effects make it one of the best and most effective options when it comes to shingles. The level of relief that it brings it unfathomable and if it ever happens to you, this is what you need to know.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection of a sensory nerve connected to an area of skin. It is characterized by the rash that appears and the painful symptoms it causes. It can cause a great deal of pain as well as other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, severe muscle aches and flu like symptoms. The pain is pretty intense and I like to describe it as coming in a few forms.

What does shingles feel like?

Essentially, I have narrowed down the three different types of pain that you experience when you have a shingles rash:

1, You know the feeling that you get when you take a bad burn off of ice or cold water? The surface of your skin feels that way wherever you have the rash. I would rate this pain level at a solid 9 out of 10.

2, It comes with severe muscle pain. I have had it both times on my neck and shoulder and it felt like I broke my collarbone. I could hardly lift my arm and it caused some seriously weird shooting pains down my arm.

3, You can feel the length of your entire nerves themselves, right from the edge of your skin down to the bone; the rash sends lightning shocks through each one. It is a very bizarre and stressful sensation and the worst part is that you never know when it is coming.

How could cannabis help?

Topical Cannabis

If you have had chickenpox, then you could get shingles and it would be wise to go out right now and make sure you are fully stocked with topical products. The amount of pain relief that a cannabis cream can give is miraculously effective and instantaneous; the second its on the rash, the bad burn pain excruciating drops from a level 9 to a 2.


I don’t think I would ever be able handle a shingles outbreak without high THC, edible cannabis. The type of pain I described as electric shocks throughout the nerves can literally cause severe anxiety because its so weird and uncomfortable. Like hitting a mute button, the moment I felt the effects of the edible starting to take effect, it was like it sent all the shocks and pain far away to someplace else.

With such a large concentration of pain receptors residing in the intestines, using edible cannabis to effectively treat the pain caused by shingles, makes sense and it works.

I can’t explain this but it’s true

I swear that using cannabis to deal with the symptoms of my shingles outbreak made me heal faster; I can’t tell you exactly why but I imagine it has something to do with the neuroprotective properties of cannabis.

In most cases, you can expect shingles to last between 3 to 5 weeks. The longest it has ever taken my body to fully heal, start to finish was 10 days… I really believe I healed faster thanks to cannabis.

For me, the onset has always been rapid but I noticed that the second I saturate the area in THC, it slowed right down. Yes, I started taking antiviral medication immediately all three times but the effect that cannabis had on the area was instantaneous. Taking the antiviral medication was nowhere near as quick or obvious in taking effect.

Cannabis plays a huge role in promoting proper nerve function for conditions such as Epilepsy and MS so it makes sense to me that it could make a big impact in treating an infected nerve.

What to do if you have shingles right now

  • Go to your local dispensary and overstock yourself on edible and topical products. Despite whatever legal status they might be operating under, you will need to go to a dispensary because licensed producers don’t sell either of these life saving products.
  • Try to relax and de-stress as much as possible. The more you sleep and relax, the easier it is for your body to regenerate.
  • Drink lots of fluid and eat food that provides your body with benefits, not takes them from it.

1 in 3 people are going to experience shingles. If there was one thing I could say to everyone who is or is about to get a shingles outbreak, it would be that for me, having shingles three times was easy, not really painful and no big deal…as long as I had enough cannabis.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE WRITTEN BY AND TAKEN BY FROM: https://cannabislifenetwork.com/got-shingles-use-cannabis/