CBD vs. THC – What is the Difference

The demand for natural remedies and medicines are on the rise, with more and more popularity gravitating towards the compounds of the cannabis plant. This is mostly because of the wide range of benefits to your health that they provide.

Cannabis is complex. It contains hundreds of cannabinoids. You’re probably familiar with the two main components that push the physiological process, right? If you thought CBD and THC then you know your cannabinoids.

Even though the two cannabinoids have a very close connection, and may give off the impression that they affect your body in the same manner, the molecule structure can show you that they’re actually much different from one another.

The Key Differences Between CBD and THC

CBD is extracted primarily from hemp. You can find CBD in multiple forms such as oils, gummies, supplements, and topical creams.

THC is a different monster. This compound is the psychoactive part of marijuana, and is responsible for altering your brain, or, getting you “high”. Like CBD, you can find an array of products such as smokable bud, tinctures, capsules, and edibles.

This is just scratching the surface when it comes to differences between the two. Continue reading to explore more about how CBD is unique from THC.

The Chemical Makeup: CBD vs THC

For those of you who aren’t cannabis experts, CBD and THC have an identical chemical makeup. This broken down is 2 oxygen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 30 hydrogen atoms. In theory, these two may seem like twins, except for the arrangement of a single atom. This single atom is what truly separates them.

Basically, everything comes down to the ECS, otherwise known as the endocannabinoid system.

ECS is a network of receptors that can interact with these cannabinoids, helping to support vital functions in your body. The only known cannabinoid receptors that have been discovered are CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 receptors are primarily located in your brain, and are mostly responsible for mental processing, such as emotion, memory, motor coordination, and high cognition.

CB2 receptors you’ll find in your central nervous and immune systems. The THC and CBD cannabinoids interact with these receptors and can result in many health benefits, including, managing your moods, stimulating your appetite, relieving your pain, and reducing your anxiety.

Here’s what you should take away from all of this because no one wants to read about molecular biology.

CBD and THC are mostly the same but different. The key difference is how they interact with the receptors in your brain.

This ultimately determines how these cannabinoids will affect your body, and this is the fun part so keep reading.

How CBD And THC Affect Your Body

The difference between CBD and THC affecting your body, comes down to the way they react with your CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CBD has no effect on your CB1 receptor. This means that when you consume CBD, you have no distorted state of mind. The CBD only reacts to the CB2 receptors, which are located in your immune and central nervous systems.

THC, on the other hand, WILL effect your CB1 receptors. This is what makes you experience a “high”. THC will distort time, impair motor skills, and even slow cognitive function.

Beyond the psychoactive effects it has on your brain, THC can provide the same benefits to your CB2 receptors as CBD.

The bottom line is, CBD will provide you with all of the same medical benefits as THC, without giving you a “high”. CBD has even been known to counteract the psychoactive part of marijuana, and can be used to eliminate a THC high.

What are those medical benefits? Let’s take a closer look at all of the amazing benefits CBD and THC can provide below!

The Incredible Medical Benefits: CBD vs THC

So what’s better, CBD or THC? The answer is neither and both. Each can deliver some profound benefits. It’s simply a matter of what you’re looking for.

If you don’t enjoy feeling high, then maybe you should consider using CBD. If you don’t mind the euphoric feelings, then perhaps THC can be a good choice.

2018, the FDA surprisingly approved Epidiolex, which was the first prescription medication containing CBD.

Epidiolex is used to treat a rare and terribly debilitating form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome.

The ground-breaking new drug with its super ingredient of CBD did what no other drugs could and therefore, catapulted CBD into the consciousness of the medical community.

Beyond epilepsy, CBD has been scientifically-linked to help treat pain, nausea, inflammation, migraines, IBS, anxiety, and depression.

Even though THC has mind-altering effects, it still has some of its own important benefits. You may find some overlap when it comes to conditions treated by THC and CBD, but THC is the best at treating appetite loss, insomnia, and nausea.

Beyond those conditions, THC has been known to treat muscle spasms, Glaucoma, and even pain.

So are these compounds legal? In the next section we’ll take a closer look at the legality issues that you may run into when purchasing or using THC and CBD.

Legalities: CBD vs THC

The laws for both THC and CBD are changing every year in the United States. Unfortunately, all forms of cannabis are federally illegal, unless you live in a state that it’s legalized.

THC and Marijuana are considered controlled substances, which makes them prohibited under the federal law.

This is where the law can be contradictory. THC and marijuana are federally illegal, but the states have the overruling say in the matter.

For instance, you may live in Colorado, where the state legalized recreational marijuana. In this case, you are legally allowed to smoke or consume any CBD or THC products derived from marijuana or hemp.

In Pennsylvanian, marijuana is legal to those with a medical card, provided by their physician, but can not be smoked recreationally. This means that all the products derived from marijuana are for medical patients only.

CBD products in Pennsylvania are available to the public as long as the CBD is derived from hemp.

When it comes to CBD, it’s still considered in a gray area of the law. Technically, if you look from a legal perspective, CBD is safer to use.

Any CBD that is derived from Hemp is federally legal.

If you are smoking CBD that is derived from marijuana in a state that has not legalized marijuana, then you are breaking the law.

Because the distinction between marijuana and hemp are still a little unclear, the laws for CBD can be a little confusing.

Get to know the cannabis laws in your state! Many of the states in America have legalized recreational marijuana, and other states have legalized medical marijuana, but you’ll need a prescription from a licensed doctor.

To put things plain and simple, Marijuana is federally illegal. Hemp is federally legal. If your state legalized marijuana, then you aren’t breaking the law. If your state is not a legal marijuana state, then the only products you can legally consume would be from hemp.

The Pros and Cons: THC Vs CBD

If you are a recreational user of cannabis, then you’re always looking for the best strain with the highest levels of THC. Why? Because they have the best taste, and they give you better “highs”.

Just like those who enjoy drinking beer on a Saturday, there are those fans of the mind-altering effects of THC. The effects can differ depending on your strain, but most are either mellow, or euphoric.

THC will make you hungry, and enhance your senses, but keep in mind, it will also impair cognition, motor skills, and even distort your sense of time.

While we like to consider marijuana an amazing plant, the effects may be negative in some people. Depending on your tolerance, among a few other factors, you could experience depression, or paranoia.

Pros of THC

  • Treats conditions such as nausea, appetite loss, insomnia, Glaucoma, pain, and muscle spasms.
  • Causes euphoria/’High” feeling.
  • Come in multiple forms such as oils, flower, tinctures, lotions, and edibles.

Cons of THC

  • Psychoactive chemical that gets users ‘High”
  • Can cause paranoia, and depression.
  • THC is federally illegal, and can’t be consumed nationwide.
  • Distorts time, impairs motor function and cognition.

CBD is a much safer choice than THC. Even if scientists want more research done on CBD, this is the more popular sibling when it comes to treating a variety of diseases and medical conditions, without giving you that “high” feeling.

Pros of CBD

  • Treats pain, nausea, inflammation, migraines, IBS, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy.
  • Does not affect motor skills, or get the user “high”
  • Comes in multiple forms such as gummies, oils, tinctures, and lotions

Cons of CBD

The only con that you may experience with CBD is how the compound reacts to your individual body. Some people may not react to CBD the same as others, so it takes some experimenting.

In the section below, we’ll cover one of the biggest concerns when it comes to purchasing and consuming CBD oil.

Will CBD Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

So, I know this may come at no surprise, but there are some cases where THC shows up in a drug-test from vaping or ingesting CBD products.

This could be a huge problem for some people! Let us ease your mind.

The two most distinct cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD, we know that…Hemp is known to have a much higher concentration of CBD, where THC is more prominent in marijuana.

Because hemp has very low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, it’s the perfect source to extract oil.

You will find that CBD oil or other products with CBD may have trace amounts of THC, because of its presence in the hemp plant.

Could this make you fail a drug-test? Lets go over the 4 most important things to do before ordering your CBD oil.

The first thing you should do before ordering CBD oil, is to make sure that the company is legitimate, and that the product they sell is pure.

Make sure that the hemp supply they use is viable. This makes a big difference in the quality of product. CBD isolates are the best.

Be sure to ask questions about cross-contamination. This tends to happen more when ordering CBD products from cannabis dispensaries. Find a company that has dedicated their business to CBD.

Last, but certainly not least, keep your distance from THC products, and smokers. You’re more likely to fail a drug test when surrounded by marijuana smokers or marijuana derived products.

Failing a drug-test is very unlikely if you take your time to research the CBD products, and purchase high quality oils from legitimate companies.

Many companies are now finding ways to remove THC from CBD oils completely, making it easier for those who have to take a drug test. Do your research on each company, and ask questions to make sure you are getting the highest quality products!

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to see that CBD and THC share many of the same properties, while also being very different.

We could sit here and argue all day about which one is better, but the important thing is they both have wonderful benefits for your health. The truth is, it’s up to you to decide which is best for you.

In this article we touched on a plethora of topics when it comes to CBD vs THC. You learned that the molecular makeup of THC and CBD are separated by a single atom.

We also mentioned that your body reacts differently to THC and CBD due to the CB1 receptors in your brain.

You learned that both THC and CBD provide a great deal of medical benefits including, but not limited to, pain relief, anxiety relief, nausea, inflammation, IBS, depression, epilepsy, and more!

You’ve also learned that because CBD and THC are becoming more popular, the laws are a little vague. We know that THC and marijuana are federally illegal, but legal in some states. Furthermore, we know that CBD is federally legal, along with Hemp, so hemp derived CBD is legal nationwide.

We even covered a section on those worried about failing a drug test due to untrustworthy CBD. Make sure you know where your CBD is coming from. Is it a trusted brand? Do they use CBD isolates?

Now that you know the key differences between CBD and THC, you have the confidence to find the right product! Do research on top rated CBD brands, and products to find out what others are experiencing for themselves!

If you have any additional information to add, or have any questions, leave us a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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