What’s the difference?
If you are new to cannabis, the difference between CBD and THC can be confusing. Let’s take a quick look at what these chemical compounds does and which one is right for you.
The two most common chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant are: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Chemically they are nearly identical, but a small change in the structure has a big impact on how humans react to it.
There are of course many others in the plant that are unique to cannabis but the most abundant will be CBD and/or THC. As you smoke or eat cannabis, the CBD/THC activates cannabinoid receptors in your brain. This is part of the endocannabinoid system that can affect different areas of your brain and body.
Will I get high?
CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not affect your mind or mental state. Because of this, consuming only CBD will not get you “high”. Instead, CBD is known more for it’s healing effects and can be used to treat a variety of health issues. It is useful for the treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, psychosis, just to name a few.
THC, on the other hand is psychoactive. When consumed, they bind to receptors in your brain and you can feel relaxed or euphoric, also known as being “high“. In many cases it also makes you very hungry, known as “the munchies”. Even if THC is seen at as a more recreational drug, it also has benefits like reducing nausea, treating pain, stimulating appetite and many other uses.
Medicinal effects of CBD vs THC
Because of its illegality through the years, there is lacking information when it comes to CBD and THC. But we do know that these compounds work best together which each other. Like a yin and yang of cannabis. But since everyone medicating with CBD can’t walk around being high all day there are several products which are almost all CBD.
Some of the many uses CBD has is to treat conditions or symptoms like:
- Pain or inflammation
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Multiple sclerosis
- Anxiety or PTSD
- Crohn’s disease
- Drug withdrawal
When it comes to THC on its own, there is a little bit more controversy, since you can get “high”. Feeling euphoric and relaxed isn’t always seen as a medical treatment. However, as we said earlier, there is a benefit to getting a mix of CBD and THC that can’t be denied. THC on its own has been reported being specially effective in treating:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety or depression
- Loss of appetite
Hemp or marijuana?
CBD is normally derived from hemp or marijuana. THC is derived from marijuana since it has been bred to have higher levels of THC. CDB that has been extracted from marijuana can contain higher levels of THC than when extracted from hemp and might not be ideal for people trying to avoid THC.
Both hemp and marijuana technically comes from the same plant (cannabis sativa) but are classified differently depending on what they are used for as well as it’s THC content. In general hemp is classified as having less than 0.3% THC, used for extraction of CBD, or to use the plant fiber for clothes, rope or building material.
Depending on your situation and what you are after you can choose to purchase products high in either THC or CBD, or both. Depending on your needs and if it is for medicinal and recreational use, it may take some time and experimentation before you find the perfect match for you.