In this article, we’ll join in the raging debate of THC Vs. CBD. We’ll clearly answer a question we get a lot, what is the difference between THC and CBD?
After reading the article, you won’t be intimidated by the acronyms CBD and THC and the jargon around them.
As a lover or interested person in Marijuana, knowing the difference between CBD and THC is important. One does so well for recreational purposes, and both are soaked with medicinal power.
What you will learn about THC vs. CBD
- What is THC
- What is CBD
- What’s the difference between CBD and THC?
- What are the medical uses of CBD?
- What are the medical uses of THC?
- Side effects of CBD
- Side effects of THC
- Ways to take CBD and THC
- Final thoughts on THC vs. CBD
What is THC
Short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is one of the many (at least 113) cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive element in a marijuana plant. Delta-9-THC or just THC is the culprit responsible for the high you get from smoking or eating weed.
The chemical structure of THC is similar to that of the cannabinoid receptors found in the brains responsible for pleasure, thought, memory, coordination, among others.
It is because of this similarity that THC easily attaches itself to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Once they bind and activate themselves, the effects of the high kick in with a euphoria that soars pleasure, affects coordination, movements, concentration, thinking, and sense.
What is CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another of the many cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant, particularly the Cannabis sativa plant species (HEMP). CBD can also be extracted from a marijuana plant.
Unlike Delta-9-THC or THC, CBD is not psychoactive.
Implying that you won’t get high on consuming CBD products.
What’s the difference between CBD and THC?
Though CBD and THC have similarities, there are staggering differences between these two cannabinoids.
The main difference between CBD and THC is the psychoactive component. In contrast, THC gives the high associated with smoking weed CBD does not.
THC is extracted from a marijuana plant, while CBD can be extracted from both a marijuana plant and a hemp plant. But in most cases, CBD is sourced from a hemp plant because of the hemp strains that have a small trace of 0.3% of THC.
THC vs. CBD: legality
Both THC and CBD are derived from the cannabis plant are illegal according to the U.S Federal laws through the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which makes it illegal to possess and use Marijuana (cannabis).
The Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance, determined to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use – thereby prohibiting even medical use of the drug.
However, at the state level, several states have legalized Marijuana for either or both medical use or recreational use, which directly contradicts the federal law that prohibits the use of Marijuana even for medical purposes.
In 35 states, four out of five permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, it is legal to use Marijuana for medical purposes as long as one has a recommendation from a doctor.
Thirteen other states have laws that limit THC content to allow access to products that are rich in cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of cannabis.
Fifteen states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam have legalized the recreational use of Marijuana.
Another 16 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized the use of Marijuana.
You may wonder how one is legally allowed to use Marijuana at the state level. Yet, they are prohibited at the federal level since Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug.
That rider amendment – the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment passed into law in 2014 prohibits federal prosecution of individuals complying with state medical cannabis laws. It does so by denying the U.S. Department of Justice (the DOJ) funds to prosecute individuals complying with local state medical-marijuana laws.
THC vs. CBD: Chemical structure
CBD and THC are two of the very many compounds bi- and tri-cyclic cannabinoid compounds in cannabis plants.
They both (CBD and THC) share the C21H30O2 molecular formula, which has 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms.
THC and CBD also share an almost identical molecular mass. With THC having 314.469 g/mol and CBD having 314.464 g/mol.
Though their molecular structure may be identical, there is a difference in the arrangement of these molecules.
This is why the effects of CBD and THC on the body vary.
It’s important to note that both CBD and THC’s chemical structure is similar to the endocannabinoid structure found in the body.
Therefore, it is easy for the brain to think THC and CBD are endocannabinoids; that’s how they easily bind with them.
Endocannabinoids play a vital role in the brain responsible for mood, feeling, pleasure, sense, coordination, memory, sleep, pain.
What are the medical uses of CBD?
CBD based products are prescribed for medical purposes, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Pain management
- Psychosis or mental disorders
- inflammatory bowel disease
What are the medical uses of THC?
There is a wave of substituting prescription medicine with Marijuana.
THC found in the marijuana plant is known to effectively manage several medical conditions like:
- Nausea; especially to those on cancer treatment
- Pain management associated with conditions such as arthritis, migraine headaches, and fibromyalgia
- Poor appetite
- Muscle Spasticity
Side effects of CBD
The side effects are of CBD are major because of Marijuana’s psychoactive properties.
CBD’s side effects may include:
- weight loss
- appetite changes
Side effects of THC
Research shows that there are no terminal side effects of THC; however, there are side effects. A case in point is where two Toronto Cops got suspended after allegedly eating pot and calling for backup, complaining that they were having hallucinations.
Besides hallucinations, here are the known side effects of using THC filled Marijuana.
- increased heart rate
- coordination problems
- dry mouth
- red eyes
- slower reaction times
- memory loss
Ways to take CBD and THC
There are two primary ways of taking CBD and THC, smoking or edibles.
Humans are creative, so we are spoiled for choice on how to take Marijuana.
CBD and THC can be inhaled in marijuana smoke or through vaping, and they can be taken as sprays into the cheek. CBD and THC are also available as oils, capsules, and edibles like gummies or laced in brownies and other foods.
The choice of what way to use is up to you; through experimenting, you will know the best way to take CBD and THC.
Popular ways to take CBD and THC
- Edibles– these come in CBD and THC gummies or in THC/marijuana-laced cookies. For those looking for a longer substance high from THC, edibles are a preferred option.
- Patches– with patches, one can take CBD and THC through their skin, no need for edibles or fill your lungs with smoke to benefit from CBD and THC.
- CBD or THC Tinctures – with tinctures CBD or THC is infused into alcohol, which is then taken using a dropper to the tongue.
- Vaping– vaping is another popular way of taking CBD and THC, but there is a risk of lung irritation caused by the carrier liquids. If you go this route of taking your CBD or THC, be careful not to be duped with vapes that include ingredients from nicotine.
- CBD and THC Oils– CBD and THC are infused into hemp seed oil or coconut oil, which act as a carrier, the oil can then be dropped under the tongue just like tinctures.
Final thoughts on THC vs. CBD
Even though the research on the benefits of THC and CBD are in their early stages, there is a resounding acknowledgment of the health benefits of CBD and THC.
This has led to a massive rollback on the federal clump down on marijuana possession and use in several states in the U.S.
There is overwhelming evidence of the role THC and CBD can play in managing illnesses that seem to elude pharmaceutical drugs, ailments like anxiety, epilepsy, glaucoma, symptoms of HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBD), sleep difficulties, opioid dependence, movement disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), multiple sclerosis.
I hope this article has helped you learn more and appreciate the differences between CBD and THC.