The Difference Between CBD & THC

As marijuana and cannabis products become legal in more and more states you’re probably curious as to what all the fuss is about. The two natural compounds generating the most buzz by popular demand: CBD and THC. You may be wondering whats the difference? Let us break it down for you.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol better known as CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana. What’s the difference between the two? Well hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain much higher concentrations of THC. Chemical compounds derived from plants are scientifically known as phytocannabinoids and mimic the endocannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce. CBD is non-psychoactive meaning it does not cause the feeling of being “high”. CBD is sold in the form of gels, gummies, tinctures, and more.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol most commonly referred to as THC, is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Most known for causing the sensation of feeling “high”. THC is widely consumed by smoking marijuana but it’s also available in edibles, capsules, and more. CBD & THC interact with our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS), but have very different effects. As stated in our previous posts these phytocannabinoids work with the ECS by binding with the receptors found throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. Which means they can affect many different things from appetite and digestion to mood and sleep.

CBD vs. THC: Benefits

CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits as they have similar effects for treating certain medical conditions. The difference is when using either of the two CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric effects of feeling “high” that occur with THC. Some people may prefer to use CBD because of the lack of this side effect. CBD is used to help with various conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Insomnia 
  • Migraines
  • Seizures

THC is used to help with conditions such as:

  • Alzheimers Disease
  • Eating Disorders
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Nausea
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia

CBD vs. THC: Side effects

Studies have shown that CBD is well-tolerated, even in large doses. Research also suggests that most, if any side effects that occur with CBD use are likely the result of drug-to-drug interactions between CBD and other medications you may be taking. THC causes temporary side effects, such as:

  • increased heart rate
  • coordination problems
  • dry mouth
  • red eyes
  • slower reaction times
  • memory loss

These side effects are part of the compound’s psychoactive properties. In the end neither compound is fatal. However, high THC use may be connected to long-term negative psychiatric effects. This is especially true for adolescents who consume large amounts of THC.

The effect on the brain is more profound for teens. CBD and THC both have medical benefits. They’re also both considered safe, but consider the possibility of side effects and interactions with other drugs you’re taking. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions.

CBD vs. THC: Drug Testing

Pure CBD should not show up on a drug test. Researchers found that CBD, did not react with either of two commercially available tests used to screen for marijuana use. However, another cannabis compound known as cannabinol (CBN) did. Many CBD products currently available contain trace amounts of THC usually below 0.3%. So if enough THC is present, or if taken in large amounts over a long period of time it may show up on a drug test.

Final Thoughts

Both CBD and THC have medical benefits. They’re also considered safe, but consider the possibility of side effects and interactions with other drugs if you’re currently taking any. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions.