Consumers are more interested in the options available to them as the legalization of cannabis and other products increases. This includes cannabidiol, (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabinol [THC], two natural compounds found within plants of the cannabis genus.
CBD can be extracted by hemp or cannabis.
The Cannabis Sativa plant is the source of hemp and cannabis. Legal hemp must have 0.3 percent or less THC. CBD can be purchased as gummies, oils, and extracts.
The main psychoactive component in cannabis, THC, is what produces the high sensation. You can smoke cannabis to get it. You can also find it in oils, edibles, and tinctures as well as capsules.
These compounds interact with the Endocannabinoid System of your body but have very different effects.
Continue reading to learn more about these compounds. They may share many similarities, but there are some key differences that will determine how they are used.
CBD vs. THC: Chemical Structure
THC and CBD have exactly the same molecular structure. There are 21 carbon atoms and 30 hydrogen atoms. There are also 2 oxygen atoms. The differences in the arrangement of the atoms is what causes the different effects on the body.
THC and CBD are chemically identical to your body’s endocrinoids. They can interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
Interactions can affect the brain’s release of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that relay messages between cells, play a role in sleep, pain, immune function, and stress.
THC vs. CBD: The Psychoactive Components
Despite having similar chemical structures, CBD is not the same as THC. CBD is just as psychoactive as THC, but not in the same way. CBD doesn’t give off the same high as THC. CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, seizures, and other symptoms.
THC is able to bind with the CB1 receptors in your brain. THC can cause euphoria or a high.
CBD is very weakly bound to CB1 receptors, if any, at all. CBD must bind to CB1 receptors to be effective. This can reduce unwanted psychoactive effects such as euphoria and sedation.
CBD vs. THC: Legality
The laws governing cannabis in the United States are constantly changing. The federal law still considers CBD a Schedule I drug.
Although hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), still consider CBD a Schedule I drug.
Washington, D.C., and 33 other states have passed cannabis laws, which make medical marijuana with high levels of THC legally available. A licensed physician may prescribe cannabis.
Several states also have legalized recreational cannabis use and THC.
You should be able to buy CBD in states where it is legal to use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
It’s essential to understand the laws of your state before you buy CBD or THC products.
You could be facing legal consequences if you possess cannabis-related items in a state that they are illegal in or if you don’t have a prescription in states where these products are legal for medical treatment.
THC vs. CBD: Medical Benefits
Both CBD and THC offer many of the same benefits. Both can be used to treat many of the same conditions. CBD does not have the same euphoric effects as THC. CBD is not associated with this side effect so some people might prefer CBD.
The FDA approved trusted source Epidiolex in June 2018. This was the first CBD-containing prescription medication. It is used to treat epilepsy that is rare and difficult to control. (Epidiolex is currently not approved for any of these conditions.
CBD can be used to treat other conditions such as:
- Psychosis and mental disorders
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
THC can be used to assist with the following:
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite
CBD vs. THC: Side Effects
Even in high doses, CBD is easily tolerated. ResearchTrusted Source indicates that side effects from CBD use may result in drug-to-drug interactions with CBD and other medications.
Temporary side effects of THC include:
- Increased heart rate
- Problems with coordination
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Slower reaction times
- Memory loss
CBD may have side effects such as:
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
These side effects are part and parcel of the psychoactive properties of the compound.
Both compounds are fatal.
High THC consumption may have long-lasting negative psychiatric consequences. Teenagers who have consumed large amounts of THC may experience this, although there is no evidence to support the claim that cannabis use causes schizophrenia.
CBD vs. THC – Drug Testing
The body stores cannabinoids such as CBD and THC in its fat. You may see them in drug tests several days or even weeks after they have been used.
Some drug tests may not be able to detect CBD. However, there is a CBD-sensitive test. Standard drug tests will check for chemicals that are related to THC. This means that THC or marijuana use may be detected in screening.
The same goes for hemp, which can also produce THC, in addition to CBD. A test could show positive even if you haven’t used it.
Important to remember that THC-free products may contain THC. If you have been drug tested, don’t use CBD or THC products.
Why Is It That People Refer To THC In CBD Oil?
THC and CBD are the two most important cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Both hemp and cannabis produce CBD and THC.
Cannabis has a higher level of THC. Hemp contains a higher level of CBD.
The average cannabis strain contains 12%Trusted Source THC. Because CBD oil is low in THC, it may contain very little THC. CBD oil can not contain more than 0.3% THC in order to be considered legal at the federal level.
Both CBD and THC have medical benefits. Both are considered safe. However, you should consider side effects and interactions with other medications. Before you use cannabis or CBD, consult your doctor.