Comparison between CBD and THC
One positive thing out of the continued legalization of marijuana, other than the fact that it will be much easier to use and distribute the compound, is the increase in information about it. More and more people are beginning to recognize the different product groups under marijuana. There’s, however, still a massive information gap among most people regarding cannabis. This poses a serious challenge because if you can’t tell the difference between the various groups present, then you won’t know which one is best suited for you. We are here to bridge this gap. This read will help you understand the difference between CBD and THC, and we are not talking about the description difference alone. We will help you understand the difference regarding chemicals structures, benefits and also on the potential side effects that you can expect from each one of them.
Both CBD and THC are found in cannabis, but they have completely different effects on your body. The simplest difference between these two is that CBD doesn’t induce the “high” feeling whereas THC does. Looking at the two you will realize that they work against each other. While CBD is quite effective in keeping you active and boosting your energy levels, THC tends to induce drowsiness and sleep something that’s very common among most cannabis users. If you use them together, CBD will counteract the effects of THC relieving you from stress, anxiety, and other similar results. It’s due to this difference that the two compounds are always extracted separately. That way, CBD can be used for non-psychoactive purpose while THC products are made of psychoactive purposes making it easier for consumers to choose between them.
These compounds are also available in different forms. CBD is mostly extracted from the hemp plant and sold in the form of gels, oils, supplements, gummies extracts, etc. THC, on the other hand, can easily be consumed through smoking marijuana. You can also find it in different oils, capsules, edibles, and tinctures among other forms.
While the two are mostly different, there are still a couple of similarities between them. Both of them work within your endocannabinoid system but yield different effects.
CBD is by far the most beneficial among the two extracts. Clinical studies show us that CBD can be used to treat depression, epilepsy, stress, and anxiety. Its benefits also go beyond human consumption as the compound has also been utilized on dogs to treat medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, aches, anxiety, and mobility issues. CBD has also made a name for itself when it comes to treating neurological disorders. According to Anna Abram from the US FDA, CBD has in various experimental settings shown to be very useful in dealing with different neurological diseases such as epilepsy and seizures. There is also some research hinting to the possibility of the compound being helpful in fighting various types of infections.
The fact that CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties has also made it extra popular in the medical field. This allows practitioners to use it on patients for its therapeutic benefits without worrying about getting high. It’s also the reason why the CBD is available in many different products including skincare, drinks, medicines, vapes, oils, etc.
This is the compound responsible for the high feeling you get every time you smoke marijuana. THC looks very similar to CBD but it is psychoactive, and this is why it is less popular in the medicinal field. Even though its psychoactive nature makes it a controversial compound, THC still brags of being capable of dealing with issues such as nausea, asthma, aches, multiple sclerosis and anorexia nervosa. Studies have also shown it to be effective in treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The molecular structure of both these compounds is the same. They both have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms. They are also chemically similar to the endocannabinoids in the body, and this is how they are able to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The interaction between them and the cannabinoid receptors results in a release of neurotransmitters from the brain.
The only difference in structure is on how these atoms are arranged. This may seem like a slight variation, but it is what makes the difference in how the two affect your body. This structure contributes to THC’s ability to bind onto the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors found in the brain resulting in the feeling of euphoria or high. CBD’s structure prevents it from interacting with CB1 receptors. The compound can go even further to prevent or reduce THC’s ability to binding onto the CB1 receptors, and that’s why using the two compounds together reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD is a popular choice in the medical arena, and this is not just due to its benefits and lack of psychoactive effects but also because it is very safe. Multiple clinical trials have shown that CBD can be used for various medicinal purposes without causing any serious adverse reactions. The Medical Marijuana Inc. reports that the only common side effects that users are likely to experience are low blood pressure, drowsiness and dry mouth. There are also reports showing that the chances of experiencing these or any other reactions can be lowered by using CBD from the right strains and as directed.
THC is also not very bad for your body especially if you use it in moderation. Unfortunately, if taken in excess, the compound will result in some severe side effects that can escalate to serious medical complications if not addressed quickly. Some of the adverse reactions associated with the abuse of THC include paranoia, anxiety, increased heart rate, lethargy, red eyes, dry mouth, etc. THC also causes an increase in appetite. This can be viewed as both a bad and good thing. For chemotherapy patients and other people with eating disorders, this increase in appetite will help them to eat. For other people, however, an appetite spike may prove problematic to deal with. Take note that excessive use of THC has been linked to various adverse psychiatric effects and also increases the risk of schizophrenia among other conditions.
CBD Vs THC Legality
The issue on the legality of cannabis-derived products is a complex one. Even though there are dozens of research materials pointing to the medicinal benefits of these compounds, a lot of states and countries are yet to legalize their use. Under the federal law, the recreational use of THC and marijuana is illegal. The good news is that a couple of states have legalized its use. The best news is that the fight for legalization of marijuana and THC for both medical and recreational use is spreading like wildfire all around the globe. Various states in the US have already passed laws permitting the use of marijuana with concentrated THC for medical use. These must, however, be prescribed by a physician. Some states have even permitted the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. This means that you can walk into a marijuana dispensary and buy the products without any legality issues.
The bottom line is that you must understand the laws within your state or country before making your purchase. Make sure that the products you are buying are permitted to avoid facing penalties or even jail time.
CBD vs. THC Drug Tests
Both CBD and THC are stored in your body’s fat. These compounds will quickly show up in drug tests done within days or weeks of taking them. The good thing is that not all drug tests can detect CBD. The bad news is that there are CBD-sensitive tests that can be used to identify the presence of the compound in your system. One problem with CBD from hemp is that the plant can also produce THC. In such a drug test, the screening may show the presence of THC even if you haven’t used it.
Standard drug tests are usually formulated to look out for compounds that are related to THC. Such tests will, therefore, detect the presence of THC in your body with ease.
Both CBD and THC come with lots of medical benefits you just have to be sure on what you are looking for to know which product will work best for you. In case you are not sure you can still talk to a medical practitioner or your distributor to help you understand which item is best for your needs. The most crucial bit is confirming the legality of the compounds before you even make your purchase. The last thing you want is to end up facing legal penalties for something you could have avoided through a simple search or consultation.