CBD vs THC | What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?

By Tamer Alexandera
15 Min Read

CBD vs THC Cannabinoids, which are chemical substances found in cannabis, number over 113. Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two cannabis-derived chemical substances. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the possible health impacts and advantages of cannabis. Much of the focus has been on these two cannabinoids.

This desire is anticipated to rise as more states legalise cannabis and marijuana products. A variety of products containing CBD, THC, or both have arisen, with the goal of alleviating conditions such as stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness. To comprehend the adverse effects and possible advantages of these drugs, it is necessary to first comprehend the distinctions between CBD and THC.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, sometimes known as CBD, is the second most common chemical ingredient discovered in cannabis. CBD, which was discovered in the 1940s, has lately gained popularity as a natural therapy for a variety of diseases. It may be made from hemp or marijuana. THC is still present in tiny levels in hemp-derived CBD, although marijuana-derived CBD may include more.

What Is THC?

THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive element in cannabis. THC triggers the brain’s reward system by activating the production of the brain chemical dopamine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that influences mood and pleasure. THC induces feelings of bliss by causing a higher-than-normal release of dopamine. THC is often ingested via marijuana smoking, although it may also be found as a component in capsules, sweets, and oils.

CBD vs. THC: What Are the Differences?

CBD vs THC, THC and CBD have an influence on the endocannabinoid system, which is essential for maintaining homeostasis. Researchers are still trying to figure out the intricacies of this complicated system, but they do know that it is linked to functions such as memory, hunger, sleep, mood, and fertility.

While THC and CBD have certain similarities, they also have some significant distinctions.

THC

  • Psychostimulant (produces a high)
  • derived from marijuana

CBD

  • Non-psychoactive substances (does not produce a high)
  • Usually derived from hemp

Psychoactive Properties

CBD and THC have various effects on different brain receptors. As a result, CBD does not often have psychoactive effects—in other words, it will not get you high.

THC, on the other hand, has psychotropic properties. It is the chemical that gives individuals the high they associate with marijuana.

Chemical Structure

CBD and THC share a chemical structure with the body’s natural endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that have an effect on the brain.

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the body that convey impulses between nerve cells. They are involved in a variety of processes, including sleep, pain, hunger, mood, and the immune system.

CBD and THC have the same basic structure, but the way these molecules are organised differs, which accounts for the variances in their effects. They attach to receptors and generate various actions in the body by imitating endocannabinoids.

Sources

While CBD may be generated from either hemp or marijuana, it is more often derived from hemp to prevent the addition of higher levels of THC. THC, on the other hand, is a component of marijuana.

CBD derived from marijuana may include higher THC, which may not be optimal for those attempting to avoid THC. CBD products derived from cannabis, for example, may contain more THC than the label indicates.

Potential Benefits of CBD and THC

CBD vs THC, While research into the possible health benefits of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids is still in its early stages, there is evidence that these compounds may be beneficial for a variety of illnesses, including:

  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS Symptoms
  • Pain
  • Opioid addiction
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (IBS)
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) (IBD)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Sleeping problems
  • Disorders of movement

While CBD and THC have comparable effects and are often used to treat many of the same conditions, there are significant distinctions.

CBD is often used to treat symptoms linked with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Migraines
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (PTSD)
  • Seizures

THC, which may be supplied as medicinal marijuana, can be used to treat a variety of illnesses. It might be beneficial for situations such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Insomnia
  • It may be useful in alleviating nausea induced by cancer therapy.
  • Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches are all illnesses that cause pain.
  • Appetite difficulties, especially those induced by cancer treatment
  • Tremors

FDA-Approved Medications

CBD vs THC, While cannabis has not been FDA authorised to treat any ailment, there are a few medications that include CBD or THC that have been approved by the FDA.

  • Epidiolex includes CBD and is licenced to treat seizures caused by two severe kinds of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
  • Marinol and Syndros are THC-containing medications that include dronabinol, a synthetic THC. These medications are used to relieve nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy while undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Cesamet includes nabilone, which is a synthetic chemical related to THC. This medication is used to treat weight loss and appetite issues caused by chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS.

CBD and THC Adverse Effects

CBD vs THC, According to certain study, CBD and THC are typically harmless and have minimal adverse effects.

However, just though these medications seem to be harmless does not indicate that you will not encounter any negative side effects. Some of the negative impacts that have been documented include:

  • Mood and appetite swings
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety or other mood fluctuations
  • Dizziness and nausea

THC usage may also cause unpleasant side effects including increased heart rate, dry mouth, and memory loss.

Marijuana has a range of short- and long-term negative consequences, including reduced short-term memory, poor judgement, and impaired coordination. Marijuana may potentially disrupt brain development and contribute to cognitive impairment, according to research.

THC also changes the function of the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, according to NIDA. These parts of the brain are crucial for the creation of new memories as well as the capacity to shift attention from one item to the next. This not only impairs a person’s capacity to learn and build new memories, but it also makes tough activities harder to complete.

Legality of CBD and THC

CBD vs THC, When selecting CBD or THC-containing products, it is also vital to evaluate their legality. Marijuana and THC are both listed as controlled substances in the United States Controlled Substances Act, which means they are not permitted under federal law. As of July 2020, 33 states and Washington, D.C. have regulations in place that allowed medical marijuana and THC-containing products to be prescribed by a doctor. Marijuana and THC-containing products are also legal for recreational use in other states.

Although CBD in some forms is allowed in most jurisdictions, the details of any THC or CBD product’s legality might differ from state to state. Several states have also legalised the recreational use of marijuana and THC.

Because the rules governing the use of cannabis and cannabis products are constantly changing, you should always verify your state’s legislation before utilising CBD or THC products.

How to Consume CBD and THC

CBD vs THC, THC and CBD may both be ingested in a variety of ways. THC may be ingested as marijuana via smoking, but there are also a variety of alternative cannabis products available, such as:

  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Sprays
  • Products for vaping
  • Gummies and chocolates are examples of edibles.
  • Marijuana oil-infused beverages

CBD, like THC, may be ingested in a variety of ways. CBD oils can be prepared for vaping, albeit there have recently been concerns raised regarding the health risks associated with vaping.

It may also be mixed into lotions and salves to be applied to the skin. It is vital to remember that since these topical treatments are not consumed, their effects will be confined.

CBD may also be consumed orally in the form of a tincture, oil, pill, or spray. Edible CBD products, such as sweets, chocolates, and drinks, are increasingly popular.

When selecting CBD products, it is also important to evaluate the formulation. CBD is the sole ingredient in isolate products. With the exception of THC, broad-spectrum CBD products include additional cannabinoids, while full-spectrum CBD products contain CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.

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Which should you choose?

CBD vs THC, The product you choose may be determined by the results you want to attain. CBD may give advantages without the negative side effects associated with THC if you are attempting to decrease stress or sleep better, for example. THC may be a better option for symptoms or disorders where the chemical has been shown to be beneficial, such as tremors or a lack of appetite.

According to some study, the potential therapeutic benefits of THC and CBD are enhanced when the two cannabinoids are taken together.

This is referred to as the entourage effect.

Taking CBD alongside THC has also been proven to help lessen some of the negative effects of THC. One research, for example, shows that CBD may be able to mitigate some of the harmful cognitive consequences of frequent cannabis usage. 5 People who use cannabis, especially when it has a high concentration of THC, may be more likely to have mental symptoms such as paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis. CBD, on the other hand, has been shown in studies to help reduce these effects.

In one research, CBD was shown to help inhibit some of THC’s possible mental effects.

According to the study’s authors, such results have significant consequences for the usage of cannabis products. People who are sensitive to unpleasant side effects, for example, may be able to reap the potential health advantages by sticking to products with low THC and high CBD levels.

It is also crucial to note that CBD and THC act in distinct parts of the brain, and researchers do not yet completely understand the effects of these cannabinoids, either alone or in combination.

According to some data, the combined effects of CBD and THC may be dosage dependant. A 2019 research, for example, discovered that low dosages of CBD actually amplified THC’s euphoric effects, whilst large doses of CBD lowered THC’s effects.

CBD or THC Drug Testing

CBD vs THC, Because THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, it may be identified on the majority of routine drug tests. CBD may also be detected, although many drug tests are not intended to search for it.

Many CBD products, however, do include minor quantities of THC. While these levels are minute, they may be visible if you consume a lot of CBD or if the goods you’re using include more THC than the labelling states.

According to one study, up to 70% of CBD products are mislabeled and contain much higher THC than the labels indicate.

Because these products are not regulated, it is impossible to tell how much THC you are truly receiving.

THC and CBD are both stored in body fat, which means they may both be discovered on drug tests for some time after you stop taking them.

Before Using CBD or THC

CBD vs THC, THC and CBD may also have an impact on some health issues and may interact with certain drugs, so exercise care while using these products. These chemicals may have an effect on how your body metabolises pharmaceuticals. In rare circumstances, they might also amplify feelings of worry.

It is critical to verify your state regulations before purchasing a THC or CBD product to confirm that these products are legal where you reside. Although federal law requires hemp-derived CBD products to have less than 0.3 percent THC, even small levels are unlawful in several states.

THC and CBD may have a lot of advantages, but you should always see your doctor before using any products containing these cannabinoids. CBD and THC both show promise for relieving symptoms and even treating certain physical and mental health disorders, but research in this field is still in its early stages, and more study is required.

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