Two different cannabinoids from the same Cannabis plant.
Key takeaway: THC produces psychoactive effects, and CBD does not.
THC (Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (Cannabinol), are the two principle cannabinoids found in cannabis plants (hemp or marijuana). Both of which bind to our body's natural cannabinoid receptors, offering various effects in attempt to treat, or aid various conditions. Cannabinoids are the substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Researchers have identified over 500 of these cannabis compounds, of which CBD and THC are most prominent. Many people consume cannabis products with intentions of treating
- appetite loss and eating disorders
- spinal cord injury
- multiple sclerosis
- tourettes syndrome
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- sleep issues
CBD and THC may seem similar in their use, however they are certainly different. The key difference is that CBD does not bring the euphoric, psychoactive effects many find in a classic marijuana experience. THC is responsible for delivering the head change.
CBD and THC bind to our end-Cannabinoid system differently. THC binds to the main receptors due to its similar structure to Anandamide. Anandamide has been nicknamed the "bliss molecule", which is a cannabinoid our bodies naturally produce; otherwise known as endocannabinoids. THC binds to these receptors, and produces the effects users refer to as feeling "high, euphoric, happy, etc."
CBD does not bring the psychoactive effects that THC is known for. It also binds to our body's cannabinoid receptors, and offers therapeutic, medicinal effects without changing your head space.
Where does CBD and THC come from?
CBD and THC occur naturally in the cannabis sativa plant. However, hemp plants usually contain a higher concentration of CBD than THC. Marijuana contains a higher concentration of THC. The cannabis plant is defined as hemp when it contains less than .3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis. It is classified as marijuana when it contains more than .3% THC.
Effects and Benefits
Cannabis is becoming increasingly popular for treating various medical conditions. As of December 2022, 39 states in the U.S. have legalized the use of cannabis for medical use. Depending on your ailment, or desired effects, you may find CBD or THC more optimal.
CBD is commonly used to help assist with
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
- psychosis or mental disorders
- migraine or headaches
THC has shown potential uses in treating some of the following:
- muscle spasticity
- low appetite
People may use either to help treat:
There are minimal side effects with CBD and THC use. However, it is not recommended to be used in conjunction with other medications. Please consult a physician before using.
A person consuming THC may experience some temporary side effects. These can include:
- dry mouth (cotton mouth)
- eyes appearing red
- slower than average response times
- a general feeling of being high
- loss of memory
- issues with coordination
- increased heart rate
Again, neither CBD or THC deliver serious side effects, and cannot be fatal when taken correctly. Additionally, users of recreational THC do not seem to be at a high risk of developing an addiction.
Different ways to use CBD and THC
There are many ways to consume cannabis products. Each one is different, and everyone has a favorite method of delivery.
CBD and THC is available in a variety of forms. These include:
- smokable raw cannabis flower
- oils and tinctures
- edibles, such as brownies, gummies, and drinks
- topicals like creams, gels, etc.
- concentrates (wax)
CBD and THC come from the same place, and therefore share similarities. However, they are quite different in their practical application. The main takeaway is that THC causes psychoactive effects, while CBD does not.