What’s The Difference Between CBD And THC

There are many health benefits to taking CBD and THC, but what are the main differences between the two? Discover more about them below.


You may have heard a lot about Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the media, advertising campaigns, and social platforms. You may have even spotted Cannabis shops or CBD beauty products on the grocery shelves. They have regularly been used as buzz words in the popular media, which has increased misinformation and distrust. What is the main difference between CBD and THC? Read on to find out more!


Chemical make up.


One of the most interesting aspects of the CBD and THC is that they have the exact same chemical make-up. Both have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. You would think that because they both are identical, they would have the same effect. However, you’d be wrong! The main difference between these two compounds on a chemical level is down to just one atom. Now even though this may seem like a small difference, the impact it can have on us is significant.


CBD actually does have a small portion of THC in it (0.3% at the most). In comparison, marijuana can have anything from 15% - 40% of THC. This is a significant difference, and when it comes down to it, this is the most crucial difference between hemp and marijuana.


Cannabis plant.


There are approximately 85 cannabinoids present in a Cannabis plant. Two of the most important are CBD and THC. A cannabinoid impacts our Endocannabinoid System, which is a complex network of receptors. These receptors are integral in maintaining the function of different cannabinoids in our brain and body. Yes, cannabinoids are also found in our body, not just in plants!


The impact of cannabinoids.


The cannabinoids in our brain are in charge of important processes, such as our memory, emotional, and motor abilities. In the body, these cannabinoid receptors are also present in our immune and nervous system.  Because of the small molecular difference between CBD and THC, they both interact very differently with these important cannabinoids.


Both CBD and THC can have positive health benefits when they react with the natural cannabinoids found in our bodies. These effects include pain relief and stress management.


Now, let’s break down the main differences between CBD and THC below!


The impact of THC.


The THC found in the marijuana plant is responsible for the mind and mood altering experience of the ‘high” that you get. Ever wonder why people giggle a lot when they have THC? Or maybe they get very philosophical about the world around them? This is because the THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors that are present in our brain. It produces these psychoactive effects that people describe as a THC “high”.


THC is commonly used for relaxation, improving appetite, and decreasing nausea and chronic pain. This means that there are different medical conditions with symptoms that can be positively impacted by THC intake.


How does CBD influence us?


In comparison, CBD does not bind with the receptors in our brains. It’s been found that even taking CBD with THC can negate the psychoactive effect of the compound. This is why CBD is such a popular alternative to THC. The user can reap all of the positive effects without experiencing any significant mood changes. This is preferable for people who want to stay within the law and use this compound for medicinal purposes only.


CBD has an array of different health benefits that can help relieve the symptoms of epilepsy, inflammation, heart disease, and Parkinson’s, to mention but a few. One of the most popular reasons for using CBD is for simple and effective pain relief. It’s also being used to assist with withdrawal from substance abuse.


It’s not addictive and readily available in a variety of different ways. It can be vaporized (one of the quickest ways to take CBD) and used in beauty products. CBD can even be eaten in gummies, chocolate, or peanut butter! There are so many different options that there will definitely be something that can suit every individual lifestyle and needs.


CBD has also become very popular to assist with mental related issues. This includes anxiety, depression, insomnia, and ADHD. CBD isn’t addictive and it’s legal, which is why it is increasing in popularity and accessibility every year. 


CBD quality.


Because CBD is legal and available in an array of products there can be significant quality differences between brands. Make sure you research each company to make sure that you are getting a high-quality product with pure CBD. Another interesting difference between THC and CBD is that CBD only affects the user if they have a preexisting physical or mental condition. For instance, if you aren’t experiencing anxiety or pain, CBD will have next to no effect on you. In comparison, THC will always impact the user no matter their physical or mental condition. 


Legal matters.


Because THC is a mind-altering drug, it has been determined as an illegal drug in many countries and states. However, the legal restrictions surrounding marijuana is starting to decrease over time. Before using any product with THC in it, make sure you check out the current laws surrounding it in your area. CBD is legal in most areas; however, there may restrictions depending on where you work. If unsure, get in touch with your management about CBD to check that it’s ok to use. Some workplaces may have strict medication conditions, so it’s better to be prepared and aware in case of a mandatory drug test.


As far as THC is concerned, some medical professionals may prescribe medicinal marijuana. This may be for people who are struggling with physical problems such as chronic pain. Do you believe that THC may be a good fit for you and you would prefer to work within the law? Then make sure that you talk to your local doctor. Chances are that you may be eligible for medicinal marijuana.


Medical help.


Although both THC and CBD both have an array of positive health benefits, it’s always advisable to talk to a health care professional first. Taking these compounds cannot replace medical assistance. Yet, used with care and with medical advice, users can reap the many health benefits of both of these cannabis products.


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