CBD Vs THC – What is the Difference Between THC and CBD
If you are anything like me, you may be noticing more product displays and signage for CBD products at your local grocer or other merchandisers in your area. While CBD is quickly becoming a more commonly available product with many advocates touting its benefits, the question often still arises: doesn’t CBD have THC in it? Short answer is it can, but not always. CBD will have trace amounts of THC, as both substances are derived from the same plant, Hemp or Cannabis Sativa. But during the extraction process THC can be filtered out.
So what differences are important to understand? This post will review how CBD and THC behave differently, their distinct benefits and side effects, legal status and more. In reading this blog, you’ll become more knowledgeable and prepared to make a decision regarding CBD use that’s best for your individual needs and desired outcomes.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a naturally occurring chemical compound extracted from two similar plants, Hemp and Cannabis Sativa, or more commonly known as marijuana. A cannabinoid, CBD and THC have been used for centuries for various medicinal purposes. Recently there has been a newfound interest in THC, and specifically CBD, for their medicinal viability after more and more research are showing promising benefits. The additional attention placed on CBD is due to a major difference between it and THC. CBD’s lack of a psychoactive effect on a person has great appeal to people who aren’t comfortable or aren’t able to use THC and its associated psychoactive effects.
What is THC?
THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, another naturally occurring chemical compound extracted from Hemp and Cannabis Sativa plants. Though the concentrations found in the Cannabis plants are much greater. THC has been used by various cultures for both medicinal purposes and cultural reasons for centuries. As mentioned earlier, THC ingestion results in a psychoactive effect commonly referred to as a “high.” This has resulted in THC consumption being illegal for the majority of the population for the past century. Only recently, the past 20 years, have the medicinal purposes become more evident and the science supporting THC use more clear. This has seen a sweeping change in both stigma and legal status of THC use.
CBD vs THC: Chemical structure
Chemically speaking, CBD and THC are made of the same atoms, 21 carbon, 30 hydrogen and 8 oxygen. However, they differ in their molecular structure. This difference is where the psychoactive effect of THC and non-psychoactive effect of CBD come from. THC molecules are able to strongly bind to CB1 receptors in the brain resulting in a release of dopamine which then triggers the sensation of being “high.” CBD molecules are not able to bind to CB1 receptors as strongly, and thus do not result in a release of dopamine.
The similarity between the two allows them both to interact with our endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids, which occur naturally in your body and act on the endocannabinoid system; these “endogenous cannabinoids” have a similar molecular makeup to both THC and CBD. While experts have not confirmed exactly how the endocannabinoid system works, it plays a role in supporting a range of functions and processes, including: sleep, mood, appetite, memory and reproduction. When there is an imbalance in the endocannabinoids, dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system may result.
CBD vs THC: Psychoactive effects
The similarity in chemical structure of CBD and THC molecules is where their ability to interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system comes from. This same chemical structure difference is where their differences in psychoactive effects arise as well. THC molecules bind to neurotransmitters that result in increased release of dopamine and other “feel good” chemicals. This is where the euphoric high from ingesting THC comes from. Conversely, CBD molecules aren’t able to bind to these same receptors, thus no high is experienced from CBD use.
CBD vs THC: Legal status
Legal status of both CBD and THC is a very convoluted subject. We advise checking your local regulations before using any CBD products. Currently CBD is legal in most states, but CBD form (gummy, tincture, etc.) may also be restricted from state to state. As for THC, which is still classified as a controlled substance, this also varies greatly from state to state. Some states have it outright classified as illegal, while some allow for medical marijuana use with a doctor’s prescription. Again, confirm with your local laws before using any CBD or THC containing products.
CBD vs THC: Health benefits
Both CBD and THC have been used for centuries for a variety of purposes. Modern day science is continuing to research and refine our understanding of what these compounds are capable of. Below are some common conditions that CBD and THC may help with.
● Mental disorders
● Muscles spasticity
● Low appetite
CBD vs THC: Side effects
Overall, CBD and THC have been found to be safe alternatives to standard medicines. Although rare, some side effects may occur and occur in varying degrees.
You may experience the following side effects of CBD consumption.
● Weight loss
● Appetite change
If you consume THC, you may have the following temporary side effects.
● Increased heart rate
● Dry mouth
● Red eyes
● Coordination problems
● Slower reaction times
● Memory loss
CBD vs THC: What happens after a drug test?
THC and CBD are stored in fat cells throughout the body. And due to this storage, they may appear in a drug test days after use. Drug testing usually tests a wide array of commonly abused drugs, with THC being included. While CBD is much less likely to be a criterion for a positive test, there are CBD-sensitive drug tests. If you are subject to drug tests ensure you are using quality CBD products that have third-party testing confirming the absence of any levels of THC.
What THC in CBD is a concern for people?
With CBD products being derived from the hemp plant, the level of THC is much less than that of products derived from the marajuana plant. Although it is less, it can still contain a measurable level of THC. During the extraction process it is possible to remove some or all of the THC, it is always advised that you ensure your CBD products are confirmed THC free.
For the best CBD products with a minimum amount of THC, Glacier Organics: 100% is pure CBD with easy to verify third-party testing results. Simply follow this link and input your batch number on the bottom of your bottle.
In a nutshell
CBD and THC are very similar compounds extracted from plants in the same family. Although they share many similarities, their differences result in starkly different psychoactive effects. Used for centuries for medicinal purposes, growing research supports their use to treat a variety of symptoms. And with few adverse side effects, CBD is a proven way to take control of your personal health.