CBD vs THC: The difference between THC and CBD?
Although they are coming from the same plant and share the same chemical compounds, THC and CBD are not the same.
The main differences are:
THC will get you high, while CBD is not psychoactive. Also, THC and CBD products usually have different origins.
There are two different types of Cannabis plants: marijuana and hemp.
THC is extracted from marijuana, and CBD usually from the hemp plant.
Let’s find out more details about the differences between THC and CBD.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is one of at least 113 different cannabinoids, the compounds of the Cannabis plant. It is usually extracted from the marijuana plant, although the hemp plant can also contain a low THC amount (maximum 0.3%). Maybe it’s the most famous cannabinoid because of its psychedelic effect. In many countries of the world, it is classified as a drug. Its consumption and possession can have legal consequences, and the law varies from country to country.
However, THC sparked an interest among scientists, and its potential benefits have been more and more researched. Although the studies are still limited, we know more and more details about its effects and other features.
The effect of THC
When THC comes into the body, it connects with our endocannabinoid system. It is influencing the receptors that release neurotransmitters in the brain.
THC can affect things like pain, mood, sleep, and memory. It is also responsible for releasing more dopamine than usual in our brain.
This means that when consumed, THC can lead to euphoric feelings. Dopamine is influencing our mood and pleasure, and it can bring the feeling of “high” if increased.
The possible benefits of THC
The studies are offering some preliminary results about the potential benefits of THC. In some countries, it became legal, and it started to be prescribed for medical purposes.
THC may have potential benefit for conditions such as:
- Loss of appetite
In some countries where it’s legal, some medicines containing THC are being used to treat nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and appetite problems connected with chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS.
THC side effects
Although it is generally considered as safe, THC can have some negative effects. Some of the troubles you might experience are:
- increased heart rate
- memory loss
- coordination problems
- dry mouth
Although all these side effects are not fatal, THC may cause some long-term negative psychiatric effects. Some studies claim the connection between THC usage and serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and psychosis.
The legality of THC
When it comes to the legal position of THC, the law varies from country to country.
The first country which fully legalized marijuana is Uruguay in 2013. However, many countries loosened the law, and the situation is changing every day.
Canada legalized Cannabis for recreational purposes recently, and some of the states in the USA.
Many countries decriminalized THC or legalized it for medical purposes, including Holland, Germany, Finland, Croatia, Australia, Brasil, Chile, Czech Republic, Argentina, Colombia, and others.
With more research and more potential benefits being discovered, many countries are considering legalization for medical purposes in the future.
In which countries is THC illegal?
Some countries still stand by very strict rules about THC possession and consumption. Breaking the law could result in very drastic punishment and even death.
Some countries such as Malaysia, Egypt, China, and Saudi Arabia have a history or still use the death penalty for possession of marijuana, although usually for possessing the larger amounts.
Cannabis plants and THC are still illegal in the majority of countries. Still, there is a possibility the number of countries that legalized it will grow in the future.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a cannabinoid usually derived from the hemp plant. Hemp is a plant, a common and widely legal type of Cannabis, used in the textile and food industry.
Unlike marijuana and THC, CBD will not make you high, since it doesn’t have a psychoactive effect.
The origin of CBD
CBD can be extracted from the marijuana plant too, but it would contain a higher percentage of THC.
The hemp plant doesn’t contain more than 0.3% of THC. That's why it is usually used for the extraction of CBD. Also, it has a bigger amount of CBD than the marijuana plant.
Although they are made of the same atoms, the difference between THC and CBD is how these compounds are arranged in a chemical sense. Due to that difference, THC and CBD are not reacting with the same receptors in our bodies. They are influencing the same endocannabinoid system, but they are causing different effects.
The effect of CBD
When ingested, CBD is affecting to our body’s cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are responsible for pain, sleep, and stress.
Studies show CBD showed potential benefits for:
- chronic pain
Because it doesn’t have a psychedelic effect, CBD use is more widespread.
Due to that, there are more researches about the medical benefits of CBD than THC. The lack of an intoxicating effect makes it more approachable for common use.
CBD side effects
Although it doesn’t have connections with serious psychiatric conditions, CBD can still negatively affect the body. The common side effects, usually occurred with bigger dosages, are:
- dry mouth
Also, some researchers noted the possible connection between CBD and liver damage. Besides that, CBD can react with some medications, and it is advised to consult the doctor before taking it.
The legality of CBD
One of the main differences between THC and CBD is that CBD is legal in more countries.
Due to the potential medical benefits and the lack of psychoactive effects, the medical use of CBD is increasing. However, the law is different from country to country, and there are still some rules about the features of CBD products. In most countries, the amount of THC in CBD products shouldn’t exceed 0.3%.
Why is the level of THC in CBD products important?
The extraction process can remove the THC component, but not every company offers pure products. Researches say that there are many mislabeled products with a higher amount of THC than claimed.
Although CBD is not visible on the drug test, THC could show up on the test and make trouble. Also, if the product has more THC than expected, you could face some unwanted effects.
That's why you make good research and buy only from a reliable source.
Is the difference between CBD vs THC leading to interactions if used at the same time?
It is possible to make a clean CBD or THC product, but sometimes those two are connected on purpose.
CBD is actually controlling the psychoactive effect of THC. It is inhibiting the intensity of it, and it can help to prevent the negative effects.
Interaction between THC and CBD is called “the entourage effect.” Some studies claim that THC and CBD are more effective together.
How to consume THC and CBD
Although there are differences between THC and CBD, the consumption is pretty much the same. Both products can be smoked, vaped, and eaten in many forms.
THC and CBD products come in various forms, although CBD has more varieties and brands since it’s broadly legal. Both can be found in the form of oil, tinctures, capsules, candies, and as a part of the medicine. However, the most popular way of consuming THC is smoking, while CBD is usually taken in the form of oil.
Final remarks about the difference between CBD vs THC
Both THC and CBD sparkled an outburst of many different brands and products in the countries where it’s legal. We can consume it in many different ways, and the type of the product itself can make a difference in the effect.
The main difference is that THC has a psychoactive effect and CBD doesn’t, which is why CBD gained more popularity and has been broadly legalized.
Although different in some ways, both THC and CBD showed many potential benefits in the studies so far. The futures studies will reveal more details about both cannabinoids and their features.
Eather for recreational or medical purposes, the popularity of various Cannabis uses is growing. It is a fruitful field for research and for the production and monetization of the plant’s products.