CBD and THC are two different cannabinoids found in marijuana. CBD and THC, when in the body, interact with cannabinoid receptors. They help to limit or treat the effects of a variety of conditions. As a result, it is important to know how one differs from the other because they are not the same.
Why It Is Important To Know the Difference between CBD and THC
The marijuana industry and other cannabis products have been growing ever since its widespread legalization. This has raised more questions among consumers with plans of using these products. It is important to become more educated as the market expands and grows.
In the cannabis market, the difference between CBD and THC products is not well known. This leaves consumers burning with questions such as what are their potential benefits, how legally different they are, how they are used, and what they do.
What Is The Difference Between CBD And THC?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the main chemical compounds present in cannabis. CBD is commonly found in any type of cannabis sativa plant, and it is legally accepted all over the US when it specifically comes to hemp.
THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is also a major chemical component in the cannabis sativa plant. The intoxicating, psychoactive “high” common to cannabis usage is often produced by THC.
As indicated already, CBD and THC come from the same plant, but the effects they have on the body are different due to their unique chemical structure. As a result, the US legal system treats them differently. Below are some important differences you should be aware of, even though both CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system:
1. Chemical structure
The molecular structure of both CBD and THC are the same: 2 oxygen atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. What accounts for the dissimilar effect in the body is a little different in the arrangement of their atoms. Additionally, both THC and CBD are chemically like the endocannabinoids of your body, allowing them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
The effect of this interaction is the ejection of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals responsible for transferring messages between cells. They play an essential role in sleep, stress, immune function, and pain.
2. Psychoactive component
CBD and THC have similar chemical structures, but their psychoactive effects are not the same. CBD is known to help manage seizures, depression, and anxiety. It is also psychoactive, but not in the same manner as THC. CBD does not produce the “high” effect often produced by THC.
THC, on the other hand, binds with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. It is what produces a sense of euphoria or a high. CBD, on the other hand, binds weakly with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, if it does bind at all. To minimize some unwanted effects of THC, CBD requires the THC to bind to the cannabinoid receptors of the brain.
Cannabis-related laws are constantly changing in the US. Under federal law, CBD is technically considered a Schedule I drug. CBD is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration, even as hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act.
Nevertheless, Washington, DC, and some other 33 states already passed cannabis-related laws that make medical cannabis legal. Additionally, many states have made the recreational use of THC and cannabis legal. You should be able to buy CBD in states where it is considered legal for medical and recreational purposes.
However, one important thing is that you should research your state laws before trying to buy products with CBD or THC. You could face legal penalties in states where the products are not legal.
4. Medical benefits
There are many medical benefits to the use of CBD and THC. Their benefits are often similar, and they can offer relief to the same conditions. However, CBD does not produce a euphoric effect, unlike THC. The lack of this particular side effect is one of the reasons some people chose to use CBD over THC.
Some medical benefits of CBD may include treating conditions such as
- Mental disorders or psychosis
THC, on the other hand, has medical benefits for conditions like:
- Low appetite
- Muscle spasticity
5. Side effects
CBD has a high tolerance, even in high doses. The effect you may get from CBD is due to its reaction to other medication you may be taking. Both CBD and THC have side effects that are part of the psychoactive properties of the compound. None of them is fatal. However, there are long-term negative psychiatric effects common with high THC use.
The temporary side effects of THC may include:
- Coordination problems
- Dry mouth
- Memory loss
- Red eyes
The side effects of CBD may include:
- Weight loss
- Appetite changes
6. Drug testing
CBD and THC are cannabinoids stored in the body’s fat. They can still show up during a drug test after their use for several days or weeks. CBD is not detected by every drug test, but there are CBD-sensitive tests that may be done. The standard drug test mostly looks for chemicals associated with THC. As a result, THC may show up during a drug test.
At the same time, THC can be produced together with CBD from the use of hemp. You may get a positive THC test as a result, even if you have not used it. You should also know that not all products that claim to be free of THC are true.
CBD and THC have similar chemical compositions, but there are distinct differences between them. Both are considered safe, but there are possibilities of interactions and side effects when used with other medications. Ensure that you understand their difference or speak with a qualified cannabis clinician like BC Seeds before using any of the products.