I met author Martin Lee during the New Jersey stop on his book tour for Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific.
Lee, the co-founder and director of Project CBD, granted me a lively interview between a book signing event, an NPR interview, and a party in his honor – all within a 24-hour period during which Lee also fielded phone calls and emails from patients seeking high-CBD medical cannabis.
VANESSA WALTZ: How would you explain CBD to someone who knows nothing about cannabis?
MARTIN LEE: There are two dominant cannabinoids in cannabis: THC and CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. And CBD is the yin to THC’s yang.
THC is the “high-causer,” the main psychoactive component of the plant, and CBD is a therapeutic compound that can treat dozens of conditions.
THC and CBD work together, and they have a very interesting relationship: it’s synergistic and oppositional at the same time.
CBD amplifies THC’s pain-killing ability, so in that way, THC and CBD magnify each other. And yet CBD can also neutralize the psychoactivity of THC, and it can take the “edge” off of THC, the stoniness that some patients find unpleasant.