You might know what THC is, but CBD is relatively new in the market. We get CBD and THC from the cannabis plant but they interact with the body differently. THC is generally the potent cousin of CBD. Many people go for products with the highest potency; therefore, it is likely that you will get products with a mix of CBD and THC. Before purchasing any CBD or THC, here are the key differences between CBD and THC!
What is THC?
THC is the primary psychoactive chemical found in the cannabis plant. THC is what makes you feel high. Research shows that THC acts like the cannabinoid chemicals found naturally in the body. Consequently, THC interacts with the body’s nervous system very well producing euphoric effects. When you ingest THC, it combines with CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system and releases the effects.
THC, like CBD, is extracted from the marijuana plant, scientifically referred to as Cannabis Sativa. Other cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant include CBD. There are more than 100 compounds in the cannabis plant which affect the body differently. Notably, CBD and THC are the most popular in the market. You can consume THC in form of edibles, tablets, pills and capsules, powder, transdermal patches, vapes, tinctures, and oils.
Interestingly, modern science did not discover THC. There is a long history of cannabis use due to its healing properties. In the past, THC found in cannabis has been used to treat conditions ranging from depression, arthritis, inflammation, lack of appetite, asthma, and amenorrhea. Scientists isolated the THC compound from other cannabinoids found in marijuana in 1964.
What is CBD?
On the other hand, cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from marijuana plants, specifically the hemp part of the plant. Hemp is any part of the cannabis plant that has less than 0.03% of THC. companies synthesize CBD in the laboratory, and it is used for medical purposes. CBD has been approved as a prescription for seizures in the US. Notably, CBD is not psychoactive; actually, it makes THC less strong. Commercial companies source CBD from hemp even though it also occurs in other non-hemp parts. The reason behind this is that the CBD content in the non-hemp parts is low and therefore it is expensive extracting the compound from there. Companies source hemp and extract CBD that proceeds to the laboratory for manufacturing and packaging. Note that CBD is a sensitive substance, and most CBD products undergo third-party testing to ensure that the products are safe for consumption.
CBD does not make the user high; instead, it helps increase focus. CBD is helpful for a user who does not want the high associated with THC to interrupt their day. You can get CBD in the form of lotions, capsules, foods, oils, and cosmetics.
Difference between CBD and THC: Legality
Laws revolving around marijuana are evolving as time goes by. Its contribution to the medical field has gone a long way in easing the regulation against cannabis. Substances made from hemp are generally legal in the United States as long as they contain less than 0.03 percent THC. As for THC, 37 states, including Washington DC and two territories have approved medical cannabis; therefore, users can get these products legally with a prescription from a physician. Additionally, 19 states, the District of Columbia, and two territories have approved the recreational use of marijuana and THC for adults. In China, the recreational use of cannabis is illegal.
China grows hemp in three designated provinces; Yunnan, Heilongjiang, and Jilin. In Hong Kong, THC is illegal but CBD containing zero percent THC is legal. In China, CBD use in the beauty and wellness sector has boomed, however, it is yet to get into the medicine and food sector. Consequently, it is illegal to import or export CBD beverages, oils, and edibles. The laws are however evolving, and it is likely that by the end of 2023, cannabinoids will be completely legal. Some companies have already received approval for producing flowers therefore the future seems excellent.
Difference between CBD and THC: Benefits
CBD and THC both interact with the brain, bringing about different reactions. The cannabis plant has been useful throughout history to treat many diseases and conditions.
Benefits of THC
THC use is primarily recreational, however, it bears many medical purposes. THC interacts with the nerves in the brain, and can be a solution to pain. In the US, doctors started prescribing THC to patients with chronic cancer to manage its symptoms. THC also helps with appetite loss and nausea; therefore, helping these patients get better nutrition. Any other person suffering from muscle loss, such as the one associated with HIV/AIDS can result in THC for help.
Additionally, THC helps with depression. It interacts with the brain bringing about some euphoric feeling. It also helps the body to relax, therefore, people who have insomnia can benefit from THC. It is critical to note that there are two strains of cannabis; Indica and Sativa. Sativa has an energizing effect; therefore, when you want more focus, it would be the best option. When you want to relax or sleep, Indica is the best option.
THC has also proven effective in managing conditions including; Crohn’s disease, opioid withdrawal, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, PTSD, and anxiety and seizure disorders.
Benefits of CBD
CBD is associated with medicinal purposes. The most recent breakthrough in research was the development of the drug, Epidiolex, which contains CBD as a treatment for seizures. CBD has been approved to be effective in managing childhood epilepsy syndrome by reducing seizures or stopping them altogether.
CBD is also effective in managing anxiety. Research has shown that it can help manage anxiety disorders such as PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and winter depression.
Other benefits of CBD include pain alleviation, improved heart health, substance abuse treatment, better sleep patterns, and reduced antipsychotic effects.
Difference between CBD and THC: Side effects
Like any other substance that works by interacting with the brain, both THC and CBD have side effects on the body. These substances are not fit for children since research proves that cannabis can slow down brain development. Most manufacturers indicate the recommended dosages on the packaging to help users avoid overdoses. In the US, where THC and CBD products are legal, the Poisons and Control Board receives a considerable number of people seeking help after overdosing, with the majority being children.
Side effects of CBD
The body generally tolerates CBD, and there have not been extreme cases as a result of indulging in it.
However, there are side effects, such as;
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Low blood pressure
Additionally, there are reports of liver damage when there is a high intake of CBD; specifically for the CBD-infused drug, Epidiolex. Furthermore, it can reduce the effectiveness of other medications, such as blood thinners; consequently, it is advisable to get a doctor’s advice before taking CBD.
The world health organization established that there are no public health issues that result from taking pure CBD. The problem arises because most of the products in the market are not pure CBD and have THC. Research carried out in the American market showed that more than a quarter of the CBD products in the market contain less CBD than indicated and have high levels of THC. Fortunately, CBD is not addictive.
Side effects of THC
THC is also reasonably safe for consumption. You can expect side effects such as:
- Dry mouth and eye
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Increased appetite
THC causes intoxication and therefore users are advised to avoid work that requires focus such as driving when high.
Additionally, THC is psychoactive, therefore, not fit for people with mental health illnesses. For instance, THC can worsen the manic symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Increased use can also worsen depression or put the user at risk of depression. It also brings about psychosis in people who have schizophrenia.
Research shows that long-term usage of marijuana has some consequences. For example, research shows that it reduces cognitive function and affects cardiovascular function by, for instance, increasing blood pressure. Additionally, smoking marijuana for a long time affects respiratory function.
THC interacts with other medications in the body by either increasing their effect or reducing it. For instance, using THC with alcohol is likely to make you drunker. It also affects CNS depressants, ones used to prevent pain during surgery. THC interacts with these depressants increasing their sedative ability. THC reduces the effectiveness of anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications; therefore, you risk over bleeding. It also reduces the effectiveness of antiviral medications such as protease inhibitors.
Commonly asked questions about CBD and THC
Will drug tests turn out positive for CBD and THC?
THC will most definitely appear on a drug test screening. Most standard drug tests detect THC but not CBD. However, there are tests specifically made for CBD so, you won’t get off lucky.
It is important to note that the CBD products in the market may contain some THC; therefore, your test may come out positive even if you have not taken any. Consequently, ensure you get your products from fully licensed and tested companies.
What is the recommended dosage for CBD?
Generally, ensure that you take up to 200mg daily. The effects of CBD are different for every person; therefore, just like THC, take it till you experience the desired result. If you experience the side effects, such as dry mouth and eyes, you should stop using it and probably consult your doctor.
We recommend that you start with a lower dosage and build your tolerance. When you take CBD through an oral spray, you can expect results in about 30 minutes, and the feeling will last up to six hours. An oral spray is arguably the most effective way of administering CBD as it absorbs directly into the bloodstream; therefore, bypassing the digestive system where most nutrients get lost.
CBD and THC have taken the market by storm and with most laws worldwide changing to legalize them, the storm has just begun. Both have great medicinal benefits, and can help change the quality of life. For instance, they help with insomnia, appetite loss, pain, and inflammation. CBD products have been used to manage conditions such as cancer, seizures, and multiple sclerosis. On the plus side, they don’t have adverse side effects.
If you are looking for that pleasant high, THC is the way to go. If you are looking for healing properties, CBD is the way to go. Either option you choose, we guarantee you will have a blast!