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What's the Difference Between CBD and THC?

Est. Reading: 7 minutes

Written by kyle ON June 22, 2023

If you've ever heard of cannabis, you've likely heard of THC and CBD. These two compounds are the most abundant cannabinoids found in the plant, but they have very different effects on the body. While THC is responsible for the "high" associated with cannabis use, CBD has been touted for its potential anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving properties.

In this article, we'll explore the key differences between these two compounds and their effects on the body.

 

Basic Difference between CBD vs THC

The first thing to know about CBD and THC is that they are both cannabinoids. They are two of more than 150 cannabinoids discovered in cannabis. And what are cannabinoids?

Well, they are those chemical compounds capable of interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the human body and brain via the endocannabinoid system.

THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) causes a feeling of well-being and pleasure (that feeling of being 'high') when taken for non-medical purposes, and at low dosages, it has potential medicinal effects that help relieve chronic pain, induce sleep, and improve appetite in certain medical conditions.

CBD (cannabidiol) has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces anxiety, and controls seizures in people with refractory epilepsy.

 

What is CBD?

CBD, the "hot ingredient" right now, is one of hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Most importantly, this cannabinoid has no psychotropic effects. That is, it has no effect on our mental capacities. It can also counteract THC's intoxicating effects.

It gained popularity due to its proven anticonvulsant properties and has been studied as an active principle capable of preventing the attacks caused by several refractory epilepsies.

 

Benefits of CBD

  • CBD does not cause the intoxication experienced with high THC doses.
  • Several studies have found that it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It also has an anxiolytic effect (reduces anxiety levels), therefore it helps to alleviate related symptoms and allows better levels of concentration.
  • Due to its antioxidant effect, its use in skin care products has increased, and studies are being observed that suggest therapeutic effects in various dermatological diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.
  • Because of its effect on brain receptors, it helps in seizure control (adjuvant in the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adults).

 

What is THC?

THC, the main ingredient of the cannabis plant produces euphoric effects when consumed in high concentrations. But its effects go much further.

THC has significant narcotic properties, is particularly helpful in reducing chronic pain in patients, and is a great ally to stimulate the appetite and reduce nausea, which is why it is often recommended to people who are being treated with chemotherapy.

 

Benefits of THC

  • In general, it has an effect similar to dopamine in the brain, producing a sense of well-being and enjoyment (feeling 'happy').
  • Although it is commonly associated with "recreational" use, it can be effective in relieving chronic pain when used medicinally.
  • It improves the quality of sleep in patients suffering from insomnia.
  • THC improves appetite in patients suffering from anorexia caused by HIV or cancer.
  • It helps cancer patients suffering from nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

 

 Similarities between CBD and THC

While these cannabinoids have different profiles, they do share some similarities.

Potential Therapeutic Benefits

CBD and THC have been studied for their potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. Research has also shown promise for their potential in treating a range of medical conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and epilepsy.

Variety of Consumption Methods

CBD and THC can be consumed in various forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, and topical creams. The method of consumption can affect how quickly and how long the effects last.

Interaction with Other Medications

Both CBD and THC can interact with other medications, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

Potential Medical Applications

CBD and THC are being researched for their potential to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, inflammation, and neurological disorders. While research is still ongoing, there is promising evidence for the potential therapeutic benefits of these compounds.

Overall, while CBD and THC have distinct differences, they also share several similarities, such as potential therapeutic benefits and the ability to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system.

What's the Difference Between CBD and THC?

Here are some key differences between the two:

  • Psychoactive Effects: THC is psychoactive, which means it can alter your state of mind and cause a "high" feeling. On the other hand, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a high.
  • Legality: In most countries, THC is classified as a controlled substance and is illegal to possess or use without a prescription. CBD, on the other hand, is legal in many countries and can be found in various products, including oils, capsules, and topical creams.
  • Medical Benefits: Both THC and CBD have potential therapeutic benefits, but they work in different ways. THC is often used to treat conditions such as pain, nausea, and muscle spasms, while CBD is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving properties.
  • Side Effects: THC can cause side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, and impaired coordination. CBD, on the other hand, is generally well-tolerated and does not have significant side effects.
  • Drug Testing: THC can show up on drug tests for several days or even weeks after use, while CBD is not usually detected on drug tests.

Overall, CBD and THC are distinct compounds with different effects on the body, and their use depends on individual preferences and needs.

 

How Do CBD and THC Affect the Body?

Both components interact with the endocannabinoid system, but their effects are different. While CBD has no effect on our mental abilities, THC does impact part of our brain. This is the main difference between how both cannabinoids affect our bodies.

In general, the effects of CBD include reduced anxiety, decreased seizures, and muscle relaxation. THC has psychoactive effects, but also narcotic, relaxing, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Better together than apart

The cannabinoids in cannabis are noted for working better together, known as the entourage effect. This statement is based on the fact that the positive effects of taking a specific cannabinoid are enhanced when combined with the ingestion of other plant compounds. This is due to a synergy between the various active components of cannabis, as they are all naturally consumed together.

Moreover, it is scientifically proven that it would be more convenient to consume CBD in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes of the plant.

By doing this, we can improve how well the body absorbs the benefits of cannabidiol. As CBD is a THC antagonist cannabidiol, consuming them together slows down the psychoactive part produced by THC. Therefore, the high is stopped and we can enjoy this plant without its psychoactive effect.

 

Is CBD as Powerful as THC?

In terms of potency, THC is generally considered to be more powerful than CBD due to its psychoactive effects. However, both compounds have potential therapeutic benefits and their effects depend on several factors, including dosage, method of consumption, and individual body chemistry.

It's also worth noting that the effects of THC and CBD can be influenced by the presence of other compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as terpenes. Additionally, the effects of THC and CBD can vary depending on the specific strain of cannabis being used.

 

What's the Difference Between CBD High and THC High?

A THC high is characterized by a euphoric, psychoactive effect that can alter perception, mood, and behavior. THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, producing high and potentially impairing cognitive and motor functions.

On the other hand, CBD does not produce a high or altered perception or behavior. While it does interact with the endocannabinoid system, it does not bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain in the same way that THC does. Instead, CBD modulates the activity of the endocannabinoid system, producing a range of potential therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC.

 

What's Better for Pain CBD or THC?

Both CBD and THC have potential pain-relieving properties, but they work in different ways and may be more effective for different types of pain.

THC is commonly used for pain relief due to its psychoactive effects and ability to activate the body's endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in pain regulation. THC can also help reduce inflammation and muscle spasms, making it potentially effective for pain caused by diseases like multiple sclerosis.

On the other hand, CBD may be effective in reducing pain and inflammation through a different mechanism of action. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system in a more complex way, modulating its activity and potentially reducing pain and inflammation without producing a high or impairing cognitive function. CBD has neuroprotective properties, which may be beneficial for chronic pain conditions such as neuropathic pain.

Overall, the effectiveness of CBD or THC for pain management may vary depending on the type of pain and individual body chemistry.

 

Is CBD Feel the Same as THC Feel?

No, CBD and THC produce different effects on the body and do not feel the same.

THC produces a psychoactive high, characterized by euphoria and altered perception, mood, and behavior. THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, producing its psychoactive effects.

CBD doesn't produce a high or affect perception or behavior in the same way that THC does. While it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it doesn't bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain like THC. Instead, CBD modulates the activity of the ECS, producing a range of potential therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC.

Some people report feeling a sense of relaxation or calm after using CBD, but this is not the same as the high produced by THC.

 

Summary

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most well-known compounds found in the cannabis plant. While they share some similarities, they also have significant differences.

CBD is non-intoxicating and does not cause a "high" effect, whereas THC is psychoactive and produces a euphoric effect. CBD is legal in many countries, while THC is only legal in some places and is heavily regulated.

CBD and THC also interact with the body's endocannabinoid system in different ways, leading to different effects on the body. While CBD has potential therapeutic benefits such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties, THC is commonly used for its pain-relieving, appetite-stimulating, and anti-nausea effects.

CBD and THC can also be consumed in different ways, you can take CBD in a variety of forms such as oils, capsules, and topicals, whereas THC is commonly consumed through smoking or ingestion of edibles.

Overall, while CBD and THC share some similarities as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, they have distinct differences in terms of their effects, legality, and potential therapeutic benefits.

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    The statements made by Carmen’s Medicinals have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. By buying CBD-based products on the Carmen’s Medicinals website, you agree to follow the Privacy Policy and all Terms & Conditions. The information given in this website does not substitute the one given by healthcare practitioners. THC DISCLOSURE The products sold on this site contain less than 0.3% of THC. Not to be sold to persons under the legal age in each state. If you suffer from a severe medical condition or consume other medication, you should consult your physician before use.
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