THC? Or CBD? Pros and Cons

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of two key ingredients used to formulate medicinal cannabis products. The other is THC (tetrahydocannabinol). Both of these biological compounds are extracted from marijuana plants (but also from hemp plants; more on this in another post). Both have shown significant benefits in the treatment of a wide range of medical ailments.

THC is the ingredient that gets you high. Obviously, getting high as a side effect might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If taken during the day, it can seriously impact the motor skills you need to function, e.g., driving your car. And if you have a job that requires regular drug-testing, any amount of THC in your body needs to be avoided.

Other considerations:

  • Some people don’t react well to THC in that, even in moderate doses, it can bring on anxiety or paranoia.
  • Additionally, THC can come from different strains of marijuana with each strain having different effects on your mood. The Indica strain tends to have a relaxing, and in some cases, sedating effect. It can calm, but also make you drowsy. Sativa, on the other hand, tends to be stimulating. THC can also come from hybrid plants that contain genetics from both Indica and Sativa. The mood effect of hybrid strains varies, depending upon the proportions of Indica and Sativa in the hybrid plants.
  • There is a final consideration that’s a very real one for may households: products with THC must be kept away from children and pets. This is a particular concern when the THC is in the form of edibles, i.e., baked goods and candy.

The amazing thing about CBD is that it has no known side effects. It won’t get you high. It won’t impair your motor skills. You won’t build a resistance to it. And although one shouldn’t be too casual about letting it get into the hands of children and pets, it won’t cause any harm in the event that they take any of it.

Given the positive attributes of CBD and the many drawbacks of THC, the lesson might be that if you are trying medicinal cannabis for the first time, start with a product that is just CBD (with no THC in it). Chances are that once you’ve landed on the right dose, it will provide the benefit you’re looking for (see Medicinal Cannabis Primer, for information on dosing).  

As we’ve said many times, what we know about medicinal cannabis (THC and CBD) is based solely on what people say about how it has helped them. There has been little-to-no clinical testing. Hopefully, with legalization, more testing will follow. We expect it will confirm all the great things people are saying about medicinal cannabis.

Patrick and the staff at Budtanicals

Can I Take CBD Across the Border???

Recent stories have highlighted Canadians who got into trouble with US border authorities. They were caught carrying CBD. As a result, they were denied entry and could possibly face a lifetime ban.

It’s widely understood by Canadians that you cannot take marijuana into the US. What’s not so well known, is that CBD is also prohibited.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active compound in marijuana and the reason why marijuana gets you high. CBD (cannabidiol) doesn’t get you high and has no known side effects. So, why the concern with CBD?

Well, that’s a good question. Probably simply because THC and CBD both come from the marijuana plant. Regardless of the reason, the bottom line is US federal regulations make no distinction between THC and CBD. In the eyes of the law, they’re the same.

Some of us might also be aware that CBD can be extracted from hemp plants (this is where Budtanicals’ CBD comes from). In fact, both marijuana and hemp are members of the cannabis family. However, regardless of what plant it comes from, CBD cannot be taken into the US.  

Canadian media haven’t helped the situation. The folks who bring us the news have focused on marijuana and the psycho-active effects of THC. Anyone who has followed the stories will be aware that marijuana, or any product made from marijuana, e.g., edibles, has THC in it. But the media has given little coverage to CBD and it’s no surprise the public isn’t as knowledgeable about CBD or where it comes from.

But THC and CBD are legal in lots of US states you say? Doesn’t that mean it’s OK to cross from Canada into a border state, like Washington, if it’s legal there? The answer is again… “No”. The government with jurisdiction over the International border is the US federal government and federal rules apply to anyone crossing into the US.

Here’s a quick story to close our session. A friend of mine took his car to his mechanic for a once-over before heading to the US. His mechanic found a bottle of CBD tincture in his glove box. My friend had forgotten about it! Chances are he would have sailed through customs with no problem. But the risk would still be there. And it’s a risk with pretty severe consequences. The lesson: if you’ve been using a THC or CBD product, make sure it’s not knowingly, or unknowingly, on your person, in your luggage, or in your vehicle.

Happy trails!

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

CBD for Pets – Health Care for Best Friends

Household pets are our friends. We form strong bonds with them. They’re important to our mental health and give back so much more than we ask of them. Given the role they play in our lives, we hate to see them in discomfort or pain.

As you might be aware, CBD is getting a lot of attention in the treatment of human ailments. The exciting news is that CBD is also showing very positive signs in the treatment of a wide-range of pet-related conditions including anxiety, epilepsy, and arthritis.

However, as we’ve said in previous articles, there hasn’t been enough clinical testing of medicinal cannabis. This goes for humans and animals. And, as with humans, there are many variables that impact the effectiveness of any product when treating a dog or cat. These include age, weight, the specifics of the condition being treated, etc.

The upside is that that CBD isn’t known to have any significant side effects in animals, so there shouldn’t be any risk in administering more than required. Nevertheless, it’s wise to err on the downside, and start with a small dose. This initial dose can be gradually increased to arrive at the amount that gives optimum benefit. With an animal, this means observing external signs, i.e., behaviour and body language, appetite, etc.

Where to start? Felines and smaller to medium dogs can start with one dose of 5mg in the morning for 3 days, and then increased to 10 mg and so on until the animal starts to show signs of relief. The tincture fluid can be put on food, or on a treat held in the hand until the animal licks up all the ingredients.

We can’t emphasize enough that finding the optimum dose requires trial and error. This can take a fair amount of patience, noting that it may also take time for the CBD to build up in the animal’s system.

Veterinarians are in an awkward position because their professional associations haven’t recognized the medicinal benefits of CBD. Although many veterinarians have heard about the benefits of CBD, they’re not legally able to prescribe it. This will only come when there’s enough clinical science to back up the growing evidence. In the meantime, we’re on own when it comes to dosing CBD for our pets.

In closing, please be aware that THC, the other principal cannabis compound, should not be given to pets as it can produce adverse effects, e.g., paranoia and anxiety. For those who wish to administer CBD to their pets, the cannabis product should be free of THC. Budtanicals Pet Care products are made exclusively with hemp-extracted CBD isolate. They’re THC-free and easy to administer.

We wish you well in nursing your pet back to good health!

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

Is CBD for Real?

About 12 years ago, some close friends bought into a multi-level marketing program to sell a health-related beverage. My wife and I were among the first they approached to also come on board. The claims were that the product would invigorate the body, stave off disease, and greatly enhance your quality of life. But we didn’t have the interest or drive and our involvement was short-lived.

It turns out the company was also short-lived; it is no longer in business and its “miracle product” is no longer available. Was it due to mismanagement or some flaw in the way the program was set up? Perhaps. More likely, the product wasn’t everything its promoters claimed it to be. Otherwise, it would have been around for the long run. It was a flash in the pan, as they say. Will we be saying the same thing about CBD in five years?

Today, CBD, like our unnamed product, has a groundswell of people who profess its merits. At Budtanicals, we regularly hear from customers that CBD has helped with a wide range of ailments. CBD consumers cite wonderful results, especially in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and pain management. Here are some of the comments we’ve received:

  • I just wanted to say how much the CBD has helped me with my anxiety.
  • Great product. Has helped me through chronic sciatic pain.  
  • As an ultra endurance cyclist and trail runner I can tell you I know when something addresses inflammation.
  • These are excellent cannabis medical products. They are proven to be really effective for pain control, inflammation, sleep.

The accolades pour in. Not just to Budtanicals but wherever people share health-related information. And of course, the amazing thing about CBD is that it has no significant side effects (unlike THC, its cannabis cousin, it won’t get you stoned. You can take it and still function normally). How many pharmaceuticals can make that claim? Too often, the upside of a medication comes with tag-along symptoms that make us wonder if the bark isn’t worse than the bite. 

But there’s lots of scepticism, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some sources are saying it’s a fad (see this New York Times article). With CBD being added to lifestyle products such as skin care creams, and recreational products such as beverages, it’s no wonder that some question CBD as a “serious” medicinal treatment.

We at Budtanicals believe in the product and we remain focused on CBD for its medicinal benefits. We’re confident it will revolutionize health care, particularly pain management, which compromises the quality of so many lives and keeps people from activities they enjoy. Additionally, we’ll gradually see more research to help take the guesswork out of dosing. We think the future of CBD is very bright and that the science will prove out what people are saying about CBD.

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

Can CBD Treat ____________?

I recently received a question from a customer who asked about CBD for her father. Her question was: is it good for high cholesterol?

My answer was that I didn’t think so; or at least I have never heard that it is. So, the next thing was to look online. Sure enough, a number of articles came up. They all suggested that CBD can reduce LDL cholesterol, i.e., (“bad” cholesterol, as opposed to HDL or “good” cholesterol).

For example, this article asked “Is CBD a better alternative (than statins) for lowering cholesterol? The author’s concluding thought is:

Although research into this issue is very much in its infancy, it is possible that CBD could ultimately assist with the symptoms of several cardiovascular conditions. Its effect on our endocannabinoid system (ECS) cannot be underestimated, and once researchers have greater license to explore the effects of CBD on the human body, they could make some very exciting discoveries.

The feedback we get at Budtanicals indicates medicinal cannabis is particularly effective in treating anxiety, insomnia, and any pain related to inflammation, especially as it relates to connective tissue disorders. These latter disorders include arthritis and fibromyalgia.

However, as a result of the customer’s inquiry, and upon looking beyond the obvious, the range of conditions that can benefit from CBD seems much wider and diverse. I had assumed I was familiar with all of the conditions that might respond, but such is not the case. 

If you think CBD might be helpful in treating a condition, do some research. There’s lots of information available online. Also, a book I’ve found informative is CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis by Leonard Lienow and Julia Birnbaum ( North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2017).

Be cautious though. As implied in the quote above, medicinal cannabis hasn’t been legal, and as a result, there’s been little research. And what research has been done, isn’t necessarily conclusive. Research is in its infancy, and hopefully, with legalization in Canada, more extensive study will be forthcoming.

Also be skeptical about claims. Particularly if the author of an article sells medicinal cannabis. The aim of a lot of people that tout the benefits of medicinal cannabis is mostly to make money.

Having said that, the more I read, the more I feel confident that CBD will prove out what people say about it: that it is a natural way to treat a number of ailments, without the side effects that come with a lot of pharmaceutical products.

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

My Day Starts Backwards: I Wake Up Tired and Go to Bed Wide Awake : (

Morning comes and you feel like you haven’t had any sleep? Mind going like crazy when you’re trying to get to sleep? Cranky all day because you didn’t get enough quality shuteye?

Statistics Canada’s 2017 survey (find it here) reported that “… 43 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women in the 18 to 64 age group reported trouble going to sleep or staying asleep “sometimes/most of the time/all of the time.” 

Conversations with your friends and co-workers probably confirm that Canadians are sleep deprived. This state of affairs is linked to a number of “…adverse health outcomes, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, …depression, irritability, and reduced well-being.” It’s also linked to increased traffic collisions and lost on-the-job productivity.

I don’t know that any of us still count sheep. Probably not. But there are lots of strategies for getting to sleep, and for staying asleep. Meditation, deep-breathing, relaxing sounds, and avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, strenuous exercise, etc., before bedtime, are some of the recommendations from the experts. And then of course, there’s the pharmaceutical approach. A doctor’s prescription will get you a chemical intervention which, while getting you to sleep, comes with potential side effects and possible addiction.

Ultimately, not enough quality sleep, especially the deep sleep referred to as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep comes down to the amount of stress and anxiety in our lives. Logic would tell us that reducing stress is the best way to increase the quality of sleep. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible.  

Enter CBD (cannabidiol), one of the two key ingredients in the cannabis plant. This biological compound is showing great promise. Interestingly, knowledge of the benefits of CBD isn’t anything particularly new. In fact, according to an article in Consumer Reports, “People have been turning to cannabis for its possible health benefits for a long, long time. Its ability to help people, for example, is mentioned in the Atharvaveda, a Hindu text that dates back to around 1500 B.C., and its use for inducing sleep is described in a 1200 A.D. Chinese medical text.”

The interesting finding is that CBD treats any anxiety that’s underlying the cause of insomnia. Some recent studies, according to an article in the online HuffPost,”… point to CBD’s ability to interact with … serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain…Serotonin plays an important role in mood and anxiety, and GABA is known as the main ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter, meaning it calms excess activity in the brain and promotes relaxation.”

The information isn’t conclusive, and CBD as a sleep-aid might not work for everyone. But the evidence to date is very encouraging. So, if your mind is racing at bedtime, or you wake up during the night and you’re going 100 miles an hour, try CBD and put on the brakes. You deserve a good night’s sleep.

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

Capsules? Tinctures? Phoenix Tears? Which is Best?

A good question! The answer is that one is not necessarily better than the other. Here’s a quick comparison.


Capsules come in measured doses, e.g., 10mg, 20mg, 30mg per capsule, etc. This means the dose doesn’t have to be measured. Simply put the
capsule in your mouth and swallow. Capsules also provide flexibility. For example, if you bought 10mg capsules but feel you need 20 milligrams, take two capsules at one time, rather than one.


Tinctures come with calibrated droppers. The label will say how many millilitres (ml) of oil are in a full dropper. It will also tell you how many milligrams (mg) of medicinal cannabis, i.e., CBD and/or THC, are in a dropper. This allows you to measure out what you want, which could be a portion of a dropper, or more than one full dropper.

Tinctures aren’t as convenient as capsules in that every dose must be measured. However, the medicinal cannabis can be put directly on the mucous membrane under the tongue. This allows it to go directly into the bloodstream. Capsules on the other hand, go through the stomach to be metabolized before entering the bloodstream. This process takes longer than the mucous membrane route.

Phoenix Tears

Phoenix Tears are more concentrated versions of tinctures. They also come with a calibrated dispenser; a syringe as opposed to a dropper. The syringe is more awkward to use as it pretty much takes two hands to accurately measure the desired amount. Our recommendation is to measure onto a spoon. From there, it can be swallowed, or placed under the tongue.

Carrier Oils

Capsules, tinctures, and Phoenix Tears come in carrier oils. Budtanicals’ capsules are made with coconut oil, also known as MCT oil. Our tinctures are made with grapeseed oil. Phoenix Tears use hemp oil. These are all approved food-grade oils found in many household kitchens.

There is no underlying reason why one product is made with one oil, and another made with a different oil. Some consumers though, might prefer one oil over another, or might even have an allergy to a particular oil. The carrier oil might therefore be an important consideration for some consumers. Other things to consider are: taste, and concentration, and shelf life.

Taste – with capsules, this isn’t an issue because they’re swallowed whole and the oil isn’t tasted. With tinctures and Phoenix Tears, the oil will likely be tasted. This can be disguised by taking the product with food.

Concentration– refers to the number of milligrams of medicinal cannabis per millilitre of oil. A higher concentration means fewer millilitres of oil are required to get a desired number of milligrams of CBD or THC. As mentioned, Phoenix Tears have a higher concentration than tinctures. Fewer drops of a Phoenix Tear are required to get the desired dose of CBD or THC.

The number of millilitres is listed on the labels for tinctures and Phoenix Tears. Individual capsules have a high ratio of medicinal cannabis to oil. For this reason, the millilitres of oil aren’t usually listed on the capsule container.

Shelf Life – All oral medicinal cannabis products should be kept away from heat; preferably refrigerated. This keeps the carrier oil from going bad. However, even if the oil goes bad, the medicinal ingredients should still retain their potency. Budtanicals products have a shelf life up to two years from the time they are made.

We hope this information helps you better understand the range of products Budtanicals offers. If you have any questions, contact us through our Facebook Page (, or at

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

Confusion Around Dosing?

We get lots of feedback from customers, which we always appreciate. Most of it is overwhelmingly positive. Treatment for insomnia, anxiety, and inflammation-related pain are the ones we hear about most. It’s great to hear that our products have helped someone. But some comments are not always so positive. When that happens, we have to quit pounding our chests and do a reality check.

Last week a customer who had purchased a Large Breed Pet Tincture emailed us. His issue was that, although the label advises how much to give at one time, it doesn’t advise how many times a day. And he was right.

I admitted that the information was incomplete. More than that, I had to say we shouldn’t have had a recommended dose on the label in the first place. We don’t put dosing recommendations on products for human consumption. We shouldn’t put them on pet care products. It was an oversight on our part. We made a mistake.

There are two reasons why dosing shouldn’t be on labels. The first is that there just isn’t enough solid information on medicinal cannabis. Hopefully, with the legalization of cannabis in Canada, this will change with more clinical testing. With more research will come more information about what cannabis products, in what doses, are best for particular conditions and ailments.

The second reason is that many variables affect the results of any product. These include, age, weight, the condition being treated, etc. As such, there is no “one size fits all”. Finding the right product and dose requires trial and error.

The upside, at least for products that only have CBD in them, is that CBD isn’t known to have any negative side effects. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any risk with taking more than necessary. Nevertheless, it’s preferable to start with a small dose, say 5 or 10 mg, 3 to 4 times a day, and gradually increase the amount and/or the frequency, until you start to feel a benefit.

When you’re starting to get some relief, you’ll know. By gradually taking more, your body will also tell you when more product isn’t getting any more results. That’s when you’ll have reached the optimum dosage.

THC can get you high. Some people are comfortable with the feeling. Others don’t like being even mildly high. For some, anxiety, paranoia, and even physical side effects can be quite acute. THC also impairs motor skills. This can affect the ability to safely carry out certain tasks. So, if there’s THC in the product, it’s essential to start low, and gradually increase the dose until the effects can be determined.

If possible, it’s good to talk to others who have used medicinal cannabis. You can also do your own research; just keep in mind that what works for someone else, might not work for you. Even when you find evidence that a particular product might be good for you, you’ll still need to find the right dose.

In closing, we offer this encouragement: although there’s still much to learn, the future of medicinal cannabis looks very good.

If you have any questions, contact us at We’re here to help.

Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals


Medicinal Cannabis Primer

There’s been little research regarding medicinal cannabis. However, people using medicinal cannabis report benefits for a range of conditions and ailments. We regularly receive encouraging comments about how medicinal cannabis has helped people. As word of these benefits spread, Budtanicals staff is often asked two questions: a) which product is best? and b) how big a dose to start with?

At the outset, it’s not possible to be precise about what product is best, or how much to consume. However, there are some rules of thumb that should help when choosing a product and determining appropriate dosage:

1. A product’s effectiveness varies from person to person. Effectiveness depends upon many factors. These include a person’s age, weight, metabolic rate, etc.
2. You should begin with a small dose and gradually increase it until the optimal level is found. As with any medication, you will need to consume it consistently, preferably at regular intervals throughout the day, to achieve the optimal benefit.
3. CBD is one of 2 key ingredients found in cannabis products. The other key ingredient is THC. Medicinal products can be made with CBD as the only medicinal ingredient. You can also find products that have only THC in them. And you can find products that have both CBD and THC in varying proportions, e.g., 0:1, 1:1, 1:0, (where the first number is the proportion of THC and the second number is the proportion of CBD).
4. CBD isn’t known to have any side effects. As such, any kind of psycho-activity or impairment of motor skills, i.e., “getting high”, shouldn’t be an issue.
5. Any product with THC can get you high. Again, it depends upon how much THC you consume, as well as the variables mentioned above (age, weight, etc.).
6. Given that a THC product could get you high, only take it when you don’t have to perform tasks that require motor skills or a high-degree of concentration, e.g., driving a vehicle or using power tools, etc. If you find you need THC, start with a small amount and work upward until you find the amount that is effective but allows you to function in your normal activity.
7. Because CBD won’t get you high, and because it seems to have such good effects, it might be best to start with a product that only has CBD in it.
8. Higher doses do not always mean a better result. “Too much THC can amplify anxiety, paranoia, or mood disorders. Too much CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. ‘Less is more’ is often the case with cannabis therapeutics.” From CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, Leonard Lienow and Juliana Birnbaum, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2017.

We hope this helps guide you towards the right product. Feel free to contact us at if you have any questions.


Patrick and the Staff at Budtanicals

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