With the legalized usage of cannabis and marijuana product has increased, customers have become curious about the options that they have. And often people have a question in mind on what is the difference between THC and CBD? Both of these compounds come from the cannabis genus plants.
CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana. The hemp plant has less than 0.3 percent of THC in it. On the other side, there is a high amount of THC found in the marijuana plant. CBD products are available in the market in the form of gummies, gels, oils, and a lot more.
THC is the compound present in marijuana that has psychoactive effects or what we call as being ‘high’. This can be consumed by marijuana smoking. The THC products are also available in the form of capsules, edibles, oils, and more.
Both of these compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system of the body. But they portray varied effects on the body. Just keep reading on for learning in detail on both of these compounds. There is so much in common, but there are also some major differences in the manner it can be used.
What Is The Difference Between THC And CBD?
These are the 6 points which best differentiate them-
#1 There chemical structure
The molecular structure of both of these compounds is the same. There are 21 carbon atoms, 2 oxygen atoms, and 30 hydrogen atoms. There is a small difference in the manner that these atoms have been arranged and that’s why the effect on the body is different as well.
Both of them are similar to our body’s endocannabinoid as well. This allows the interaction of the cannabinoid receptors that are present in our bodies. This interaction has an impact on the neurotransmitters present in the brain. The neurotransmitters are the chemicals that are responsible for relying on the messages that occur between the cells and have a vital role in immune function, pain, sleep, and stress among many others.
#2 The psychoactive components
Although they have similarities in the chemical structure, THC and CBD don’t have many similarities in the psychoactive effect. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that it will not be producing the feeling of euphoria that is THC associated.
A sense of being high is experienced when THC gets attached to the brain’s CB 1 receptors. This is the case of CBD is a weak bond between the receptors. This can interfere with the binding of THC adversely and hence lower the psychoactive effect.
#3 The legal aspects
The cannabis laws in the U.S. have been evolving regularly. THC and marijuana are still on the list of controlled substances. That means they are prohibited as per the federal law. Although there have been several laws that were passed in many states like Washington D.C. that had made THC legal. Marijuana might have to be prescribed by a registered physician.
Additionally many states have also made the use of recreational marijuana as well as THC legal. In some of the states for medical usage, marijuana has been legalized. And these are also the places where you might be able to purchase CBD.
Before you go ahead with the purchase of THC or CBD product it is recommended that you get detailed information on the state laws of the place that you live in. Also, if you possess any of the products that are illegal or have been brought without a medical prescription in the state where it is currently illegal even for the medical treatment, you might have to face penalties.
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#4 Medical Benefits:
There are many similar medical benefits when it comes to THC and CBD. These can offer relief form similar conditions as well. Although there are no euphoric effects experienced when one takes CBD. Some people might make use of CBD as there are negligible side effects.
FDA in the year 2018 June had approved Epidolex as the medicine for a rare form of epilepsy. This is also the first prescription medicine that has CBD in it.
CBD can help in other health conditions as well like:
- Psychosis Or Mental Disorders
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
THC can be used in assisting with conditions like:
- Muscle Spasticity
- Low Appetite
#5 Side Effects
This is the point where some major differences can be noted. Some of the studies have suggested that any of the side effects that come with CBD can be on the drug interaction that happens between the medicine that you are taking and CBD. Also, CBD is known for being well tolerated at high doses.
But THC can cause some side effects that can be temporary like:
- Increased Heart Rate
- Coordination Problems
- Dry Mouth
- Red Eyes
- Slower Reaction Times
- Memory Loss
These are the side effects that are seen with the psychoactive effect that THC offers. One has to remember that neither of these compounds is fatal. Although, when one takes THC in high dosage, there are some long term psychiatric effects that can be negative and do harm. This is true for people that are consuming THC in a large dosage.
The effect on our brain gets more profound for children in their teens. Therefore THC usage can increase the risk of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.
#6 Drug Testing
CBD and THC are the cannabinoids that are stored in body fat. Therefore these can show positively in many drug tests even after several days when you had used them. Not all drug tests will be able in detecting CBD. But there are specific CBD sensitive tests available now. Most of the standard drug tests have been made for testing THC therefore that can show up during screening.
Hemp also produces some THC with the CBD. Therefore the test can come out to be positive even though one might not have used THC.
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Why is there so much confusion regarding THC and CBD when these are different compounds?
THC and CBD are the two cannabinoids that are from the cannabis plant. As we stated earlier THC and CBD is produced in hemp and marijuana both. Although the concentration level of THC in hemp is much lower than the amount of CBD present.
On average marijuana has 12% of THC in it. CBD oil that you buy might have a small THC amount in it. But there is not more than 0.3 % of THC present in a CBD product. This is a legal level advisory. But you might have understood much about the reason why this confusion occurs.
Both THC and CBD have medical benefits. They are also considered safe but the possibility of kinds of side effects and interaction with other drugs is needed to be observed. It is always recommended that you talk to your doctor about it. If you want to learn more about CBD, you can scroll through our website for reading more reviews and researched based articles right here!