You’ve read or heard that CBD and THC have varying effects and are probably wondering, “What is the difference between CBD and THC?” You are not alone! As many countries legalize cannabis products, people are becoming curious about using CBD and THC.
The truth is that both CBD and THC are the most prominent cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants. Both hemp and cannabis produce THC and CBD. However, hemp has higher concentrations of CBD while cannabis has higher concentrations of THC.
Both CBD and THC react with the body’s endocannabinoid system. However, they have different effects. This guide explores all the differences between CBD and THC based on their structural properties and impact on consumers. Keep reading to learn more.
What is the difference between THC and CBD?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are among the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, and they result in drug-like reactions in the human body. However, we’ll only focus on CBD and THC.
So, what is the difference between CBD and THC?
While both THC and CBD have many things in common, they are different in terms of:
- Chemical structures
- Psychoactive components
- Medical benefits
- Side effects
- Drug testing
That said, let’s break down the key differences.
Difference between CBD and THC: Chemical Structure
Both THC and CBD have the same chemical makeup: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, the arrangement of the atoms is different in the two cannabinoids. It’s the reason CBD and THC have varying effects on your body.
Notably, both THC and CBD are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids found in the body. That’s why they interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body to produce effects that affect sleep, pain, mood, and memory.
Difference between CBD and THC: Psychoactive Components
Despite having the same chemical makeup, THC and CBD have different psychoactive effects. Both cannabinoids are psychoactive but not in the same manner. For example, CBD doesn’t produce the “high” effect associated with THC.
THC binds with CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptors in the brain to produce the “high” effect. On the other hand, CBD binds weakly with the CB1 receptors. In fact, CBD needs THC to bind with the CB1 receptors, helping to eliminate THC’s psychoactive effects.
Difference between CBD and THC: Medical Benefits
Many people use both THC and CBD due to their numerous health benefits. They can offer relief from many health conditions, including pain. However, CBD doesn’t produce euphoric effects associated with THC. That’s why many consumers prefer CBD to THC.
An excellent example of a prescription medication that contains CBD is Epidiolex, an FDA-approved medicine used to treat rare, hard-to-control types of epilepsy. It serves as evidence that CBD is a potential pharmaceutical agent to treat several conditions.
Some people consume CBD products to help them treat arthritis, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, depression, and migraines. Others also take CBD to treat multiple sclerosis, depression, nausea, seizures, mental disorders, or inflammatory bowel disease.
On the other hand, some people use THC to help them relieve pain, glaucoma, muscle spasticity, insomnia, nausea, and low appetite.
Notably, there is little research-based evidence to prove the effectiveness of CBD and THC to treat the various health conditions mentioned.
Difference between CBD and THC: Side Effects
CBD is more tolerable than THC, even in large doses. Besides, studies reveal that the side effects that occur when you take CBD result from drug-to-drug interaction between CBD and other medications you may be taking. However, the effects are short-lived.
Here are the temporary side effects of CBD.
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
THC’s temporary side effects are:
- Coordination issues
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
- Memory loss
- Red eyes
- Slower reaction times
While none of the cannabinoids is fatal, some psychiatrists associate high THC use with long-term negative psychiatric impacts. Notably, this happens mostly with adolescents consuming significant amounts of THC.
Difference between CBD and THC: Drug Testing
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are stored in the body’s fat. So, they can easily get detected during a drug test performed a few days or weeks after using the compounds. However, not all drug tests will detect CBD, although CBD-sensitive tests are available.
Most standard drug tests look for chemicals related to THC, and that’s why marijuana or THC use will show up during screening. Like marijuana, hemp can also contain THC but in low amounts. So, a test for THC could be positive after using hemp-derived CBD.
So, do CBD products have THC? The most straightforward answer is yes. Some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC up to 0.3 percent. However, such amounts will never cause any psychoactive side effects but may show up during a drug test.
How to Take CBD and THC
There are many ways to consume both CBD and THC. For example, one can consume THC in the form of marijuana. However, some states prohibit the smoking of marijuana. If you live in Canada, you must be conversant with the Cannabis Act before using THC.
Like THC, CBD also exists in several forms, hence different consumption methods. You can purchase it as CBD oil, CBD tinctures, vape products, or CBD edibles. CBD can also get infused in lotions and balms as topical products for skin application.
What to Do Before Consuming CBD or THC
Now that you understand the differences between CBD and THC, you know what works best for you. Generally, CBD is more beneficial than THC because it’s not psychoactive.
But before you start using any CBD product of your choice, you must talk to your doctor to evaluate your health condition. CBD can interact with other medications and produce side effects that can make you feel uncomfortable, such as heightened anxiety.
Where to Buy CBD Products in Canada
CBD products have numerous health benefits as it helps to treat anxiety, stress, and chronic pain. However, to maximize the effectiveness of CBD, you need to purchase the products from a reputable manufacturer like Zen Bliss. We produce many CBD products, including CBD oil, CBD gummies, and other CBD edibles. Our products are from 100% organic hemp.
Contact us to talk to one of our CBD specialists who will take you through the process.