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CBD Vs THC: What’s The Difference?

Published: 23-06-2021

Are exploring marijuana and hemp-derived products, but, struggling to understand some of the key components? This CBD vs THC comparison can finally eliminate all your confusion. In some cases, you will find that CBD and THC are used interchangeably. However, the two components are completely different from each other. In this comparison below, we’ve shared a detailed outlook into the key difference between CBD and THC.

What Are CBD and THC?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, and THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol are two natural compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is extracted from hemp or cannabis (Sativa plant)/ it normally contains about 0.3% of THC or less and comes in the form of edibles, gels, capsules, oil, or topical ointments.

THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Unlike CBD, THC is what's responsible for the high effect in cannabis. Just like CBD, it can be consumed by smoking cannabis or found in products such as oils, edibles, or capsules. Both THC and CBD are consumed to produce therapeutic effects in the body. However, each compound interacts differently with your body.

Both THC and CBD are stored in the body. However, THC is more sensitive which makes it much easier to be detected during drug tests. Since hemp-derived CBD contains up to 0.3% THC, sensitive tests may offer a positive.

How Do THC And CBD Interact With The Human Body?

As mentioned above, THC is a psychoactive compound – it is what gives you the high from smoking weed or consuming weed cookies, to name a few products. In the body, we have two types of cannabinoid receptors. Thus, when introduced into the body, THC binds with these receptors which are found in the brain.

The result is the high sensation you feel which brings in benefits such as controlling pain and heightening your mood. This is why THC offers euphoric effects.CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. Therefore, it doesn’t produce any high effects. However, almost similarly to THC, it does bind with receptors in the body to affect mood and sensations even though you will not get the same high effect like that from THC.

THC Vs CBD – Which Is Legal?

The issue of THC and CBD legality is quite complex. Generally, CBD is more tolerated. CBD derived from hemp has a more lax law. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal on a federal level, but, illegal under several state laws. In fact, in some states, hemp-derived CBD products are only legal for medical use.

Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but, they have been legalized in some states.  Therefore, it's always wise to cross-check with your respective state laws to ensure you are not breaking any before you use CBD products. Similarly, cannabis with higher levels of THC is still illegal at the federal level.

However, about 33 states along with the District of Columbia have made medical cannabis with high THC levels legal. However, since it's medical cannabis, you need a licensed physician's prescription to use it. Nonetheless, several states have made cannabis and THC completely legal – even for recreational use.

THC Vs CBD – Main Benefits

The difference between CBD and THC doesn’t end in their source and chemical structures. Both compounds offer similar medical and recreational benefits. However, they also boast significant differences. THC and CBD both offer calming and relaxing effects whilst delivering several medical benefits.

However, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause any euphoric effects. Some may consider this advantage – in fact, this is why many people opt for CBD. But, others may consider the lack of the euphoric effects in CBD a downside.

As a general rule of thumb, amongst the key benefits of CBD include controlling seizures, treating inflammation, offering pain relief, reducing anxiety, treating migraines, and other health benefits. THC offers pain relief, treats glaucoma and insomnia, improves appetite, and relieves anxiety, just to mention a few.

THC Vs CBD – Side Effects

Whilst neither compound is fatal, both THC and CBD do have side effects, Some of the common side effects of THC include dry mouth, memory loss, anxiety and hallucinations, increased heart rate, red eyes, and coordination problems. But, THC may cause long term side effects too. These include psychiatric effects if taken in large amounts especially during adolescence. CBD may cause fatigue, weight loss, dizziness, diarrhea, and appetite changes.

The Main Difference Between THC and CBD

When looking you are looking for CBD products, you will notice that the two compounds are both talked about. You will even notice that some CBD products contain THC.  In fact, two CBD spectrums must contain THC levels. These include full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products. The only CBD spectrum with no THC levels in CBD isolate.

The key thing to know is that both cannabis and hemp produce CBD and THC. But, the difference is that whilst hemp has a higher concentration of CBD, cannabis has a higher concentration of THC. For example, a cannabis joint may contain as high as 12% THC. Hemp-derived CBD oil, on the other hand, will only contain about 0.3 % THC to remain within the legal range.

The bottom line is THC is a psychoactive compound that produces high and is sourced from marijuana. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that doesn’t produce a high and is sourced from hemp.

CBD VS THC – Final Verdict

Both CBD and THC boast superior medical benefits. Thus, using either one is fine. In fact, the choice of which compound to opt for depends on your preferences and what you are looking to achieve – whether you want to use them recreationally or for medical purposes.

Furthermore, both compounds are considered safe although, THC may slightly pose some risks if abused. if you have an underlying condition, it is best to talk to your physician before you start using either one of the compounds.

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