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CBD vs THC: All the Differences and Similarities

You’re probably hearing a lot more about cannabis products, especially CBD products. But cannabidiol isn’t the only cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. Another popular one is the THC. So, you might start wondering what are the differences between CBD vs THC.

These are two different cannabinoids, that may appear similar at first, but they have different effects on your body. So, let’s answer what is the difference between CBD and THC, and learn more about each of them

What Is Cannabis?

Before we start getting into smaller details, let’s briefly talk about the plant that both of these chemicals are found. Cannabis is a sun-loving annual plant that thrives under a variety conditions. There are two different types of cannabis sativa plants - cannabis and hemp.

What differentiates them is that hemp has lower than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and has other cannabinoids such as CBD, while cannabis is the rest of the plants that have a higher content of THC. 

cbd vs thc: cannabis plant

Hemp can be used for many purposes. It can be used for paper, canvas, ropes and other textiles. Now it’s even used as a construction alternative, and used instead of fiberglass. Its seeds are valuable too, they’re known to be rather nutritional. What is more, using hemp seeds as a biofuel is now explored making hemp and extremely versatile plant.

While hemp is rarely used for smoking, cannabis' main function is being a recreational drug. It’s becoming legal medically or recreationally in more and more places. That is due to many health benefits that THC is said to provide and the high that many people find enjoyable.

How Cannabinoids Affect Your Body?

Now that you know the basics of these two cannabinoids, let’s learn how cannabinoids interact with your body. It’s rather easy to understand. Us, humans, have endocannabinoid systems. The system is made out of many cannabinoid receptors that are responsible for lots of vital functions such as controlling sleep, pain, mood, and digestion.

Sometimes your system becomes imbalanced and then you need the extra help that cannabinoids can provide. Cannabinoids mimic neurotransmitters and stimulate their production and this way help the endocannabinoid systems function better. 

Usages of THC 

THC is usually used along with CBD as it’s not that easy to separate the two of them. But there are some spheres that specifically THC is used for. THC has both medical and recreational usages. Although very few places in the world have legalized THC recreationally, a few more allow medical use.

Knowing it, let’s find out the main uses of THC.


There’s no need for a CBD vs THC comparison when it comes to dealing with pain, as both of them have such properties, but it’s important to know how THC is used when dealing with pain. In fact, most of the Americans that are prescribed medical marijuana are dealing with chronic pain

cbd and thc: woman feeling pain

As you have learned THC is one of the cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system. Since the system, among other things, is responsible for pain management, THC affecting it appeases the pain.

Appetite Loss

Another thing that is often overlooked and not considered to be a severe symptom of an illness is appetite loss. While short-term appetite loss might not be dangerous, in the long-term it might become a problem.

That’s because your body needs a plethora of different nutrients, minerals and vitamins and it can only be achieved by a varied and healthy diet. If you’re constantly undereating, you’re not able to get all the nutrients that you need. And THC can fix that by raising your appetite.

Eating Disorders

Having talked about appetite loss, we should talk about eating disorders too. One of the eating disorders that THC works perfectly for is anorexia. Contrary to a popular belief, anorexia is more of a psychological disorder than a physical one. 

cbd and thc: anorexic girl

Surely, there are lots of negative outcomes that happen due to undereating but it all starts with a mental illnesses. THC is a great thing to use in this case because it helps to heal both the mental problems, as well as the physical consequences such as a low appetite.


Recently there have been more and more cases when cancer patients are prescribed with medical marijuana[1]. It wouldn’t be done if it wasn’t effective. Although it is sometimes said that cannabis cures cancer cells, this statement lacks proof.

But what it is definitely good for is alleviating the symptoms. With treatment or without, patients often experience nausea, loss of appetite and pain. THC works well for tackling all of these issues and helping the patients to feel better.


One sickness that THC is said to cure is epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disease in which brain activity becomes abnormal. This can cause many undesirable symptoms such as seizures, periods of unusual behavior and sometimes unawareness. THC is said to help with easing these symptoms

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Usages of CBD

When it comes to CBD vs THC, there’s not that much to compare. Usually, these two act together to better your health. But there are some aspects that CBD alone can ease. Let’s find them out. Keep in mind that these aren’t all the illnesses and ailments that CBD could be used for.


As you’ve noticed reading this THC vs CBD comparison, both of these chemicals help with pain relief. CBD just like THC affects the endocannabinoid system help to relieve the pain. Using CBD for pain relief has become extremely popular recently and if you’re looking for the best CBD product for pain relief to try it yourself, check out our best CBD oil for pain guide.

cbd vs thc: man with a neck pain

There are many different kinds of pain. It can be temporary or chronic and might be felt in many different parts of the body, depending on the case. Fortunately, there are ways to ease it. Most people opt for using medication and forget that it can be done more naturally using CBD oil


One more aspect worth mentioning in this CBD vs THC guide is that CBD could help with is anxiety. Anxiety is quite a common illness that as many as 1 out of 5 Americans struggle with[2]. It can be extremely distressing and may cause some additional health issues.

Fortunately, it is said that CBD can help with alleviating anxiety. It does so by affecting your endocannabinoid centers and causing a calming effect on you. If you’re among the many people who struggle with anxiety, you should definitely try out some of the best CBD products.


One more thing that makes this article less of a CBD vs THC comparison is that CBD also eases nausea. It does so by impacting the gastrointestinal tract. This way it helps to relieve the symptoms caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease.

It is said that by using CBD you can make your lower esophageal sphincter less relaxed. This reduces the probability of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

CBD vs THC: woman experiencing nausea

Nausea is a symptom of many illnesses but it can function on its own too. If you’re dealing with nausea you could definitely benefit from trying out CBD oils that could possibly help you ease this ailment. 


Getting enough and good quality of sleep is vital for our bodies. Experiencing sleep disruptions or insomnia can be both physically and mentally exhausting. You should try to avoid it at all costs. Although if you happen to be dealing with insomnia you should try using CBD oil to ease it

CBD is reported to help with anxiety and stress and this way reduces the probability of insomnia. Also, it stimulates the endocannabinoid system in your body which is responsible for our sleep-wake cycles too, maximizing the effect on tackling your inability to sleep.

CBD vs THC - Differences Between Them

Despite this CBD vs THC guide stating quite a few similarities between the effects of CBD vs THC, these two, after all, are different cannabinoids. Naturally, they have many differences that change a lot. Let’s find them out in the next part of the CBD vs THC guide.


What’s definitely worth mentioning in this CBD vs THC guide is that these cannabinoids differ in their psychoactivity. THC is the one that’s psychoactive and is classified as a drug. It’s the part of cannabis that’s responsible for the high feeling people get after smoking or consuming weed. 

CBD on the other hand, is not a not psychoactive cannabinoid. Just like the other cannabinoids, it interacts with your endocannabinoid system but it doesn’t come with the impairment of the high feeling that THC has. 

In Which Plants It’s Found

We’ve already talked briefly about the plant in this CBD vs THC guide. Both of these are found in the cannabis plant but the content of the THC and CBD differ depending on the plant. A high quantity of CBD can be found both in hemp and cannabis.

CBD vs THC: cannabis plant

When it comes to the part of this CBD vs THC guide where we discuss where THC can be found, the answer remains rather similar, as THC can usually be found in both hemp and cannabis plants. The difference is that only a cannabaceae plant that has lower than 0,3% THC concentration is considered hemp

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What’s quite surprising and worth mentioning in this THC vs CBD guide is that both of these cannabinoids molecules are made out of the same atoms - 21 carbons atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. These two are identical when it comes to the contents of the molecule.

CBD vs THC: molecules

But we need this CBDvs THC guide because after all, they’re not the same thing. What differentiates these two molecules is the placement of one single atom. Isn’t it astonishing how such a microscopic difference can change so much?


One more thing that raises the need for this CBD vs THC guide is the legality of these two cannabinoids. As you might already know, one of their usage is usually highly restricted, or only allowed for medical purposes.

As you might’ve guessed what I’m talking about here is the THC. While more and more states and countries are becoming more liberal when it comes to THC, it still isn’t legal in the larger part of the world.

In most countries the possession of it is criminalized, while others don’t allow it to be used recreationally, only providing the medical use.

cbd vs thc: laws

While THC isn’t fully legal in many places, CBD remains in the grey area of the law. Usually, there are no prohibitions when it comes to CBD. What’s important is that the CBD product doesn’t have more than 0,3% of THC

Although the Cannabis industry and its legality are ever-changing, and we can’t guarantee that the answers will remain the same. Check your local laws to find out the actual situation.


Learning about cannabis, you must be wondering what is the difference between CBD and THC. We’re here to clear it all up to help you find out the difference between CBD and THC. First of all, what’s worth mentioning in this CBD vs THC is that they derive from the same plant and have many similar properties.

Both of them are used medically, THC eases symptoms such as pain, appetite loss, eating disorders, cancer, epilepsy, and many more. CBD treats similar ailments such as pain, anxiety, nausea and it also helps with regulating sleep

What raises the need to compare THC vs CBD is the question of what is the difference between CBD and THC. While they’re quite similar they have differences such as psychoactivity, plants in which they’re found, their molecules and their legality. Make sure to consider all these aspects when choosing which one to use.

While we made sure to point out both THC’s and CBD’s qualities, we would recommend you to stick to using CBD. It has great health properties and doesn’t affect your ability to concentrate, nor makes you impaired as THC does.

If you’re looking for CBD products, we’re here to help your searching. Check out our best CBD oils review, to choose the best one.

Scientific References

1. Mack A., Joy J. ' Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy'

2. Bandelow B., Michaelis S. 'Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century'

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Recent User Reviews

Nice article

Saw online some athletes consuming CBD but I thought they were drugs like normal weed, susprising how different is it.

Looking for cbd only

We get tested at work and Im afraid taking cbd would affect results, definitely good to know there are options almost free of thc.

Nice article!

A friend recommended CBD oil to me but I wanted to get THC/CBD oil instead, glad I read CBD works for sleep problems since it's cheaper.

Good to know.

My daughter bought some cannabis "cream" and I honestly thought it was something bad, but I'm glad I looked it up before talking to her.

for Anxiety

I feel amazing taking CBD capsules, I had really bad anxiety at work, it helped me ease the situation since the beginning.



Totally true

THC makes me overthink everything it's horrible, whereas CBD helps my anxiety a lot, the overthinking stops.

Don't felt nothing yet

I'm getting frustrated because the oil I bought doesn't seem to work, before with thc I felt it right away.

Great solution

We got CBD for our dog ❤️? I was worried he could feel body high but I'm glad he is gonna be just fine.

Good read

Thanks, really clear way to answer. I'm glad I'm not the only one with the same question, it's good to know what I want to consume before buying.

Dont like CBD

I'm sorry but cbd just makes me really sleepy and the pain is still there, only when combined with thc i feel positive effects

Prefer THC

I took CBD for a year to alleviate chronic back pain, and I then I had a tea with THC, never felt better honestly! it just made me feel better, mentally and physically.


Last time I got 1:1 capsules but the body high was so bad, I just felt tired, I hope without the THC the effect improves.

Great information

I was afraid to take cbd but I wanted to know what all the fuss was about =) it sounds like something I would try.


My son have me a bottle of CBD oil but saw a weed plant and thought it was going to get me high! I'm glad I looked it up.


pretty sure i felt some high with my cbd oil, it doesnt say the traces of thc but im sure its over .3%

not sure yet

the bad thing about cbd is that i dont get any high that tells me its working, im afraid my tincture is just a ¨placebo effect¨ and not sth working.


It's such a shame cbd loses all the good properties of the THC, wish both delivered the same results.

Great post. =)

I'm glad cbd is not intoxicating, I'm looking for a cure to chronic pain, highly interested.

Good got depression

I stopped the thc cuz made me overeat specially at night time, now I take CBD only, much better, no more midnight munchies.


Is CBD different from THC?

Yes, these are two different cannabinoids. Although they have their own similarities. Both of them share quite similar healing properties. The main difference is that CBD is not psychoactive, while THC is. So using CBD oil you won’t feel high.

Is CBD good for you health?

Yes, CBD has many properties that can alleviate many ailments and symptoms of illnesses. These include aiding sleep, reducing nausea and anxiety and many more. If you’re looking for a good CBD product, check out our best CBD oils or CBD vape oils.

Is CBD good for me?

There's a lot of ongoing research in the field of CBD, but you can already find studies stating the different benefits of CBD oil. Thousands of CBD users report different pros of the product. We represent the voice of the majority of CBD users, who struggle with sleeping problems, anxiety, various diseases & so on. Reading through our CBD oil reviews, you'll understand the details about CBD products, but you should always consult your doctor for more in-depth advice.

Does CBD have side effects?

According to user reviews, different CBD oils may have certain side effects on some people. The most common ones include drowsiness, sleepiness, nausea. However, analyzing the extent of these side effects, it seems that it’s not common, and mostly depends on the usage of the oil (the amount, concentration, flavour) & brand. The benefits seem to overshadow any possible side effects that may occur.

How is AllbestCBDoil different from any other websites that write CBD oil reviews?

AllbestCBDoil is an investigative initiative. The team behind the project is working hard at finding & filtering thousands of user reviews. We deeply investigate products by creating expert documentations, all to provide readers with the most accurate information possible. We are independent & completely unbiased. Unlike some other review sites, AllbestCBDoil cares about your wellness & always aims to uncover the truth behind each CBD brand. We do not compete with other review websites - instead, we focus on the most truthful content.

What do the different concentrations of CBD oils mean?

Different concentration levels mentioned in various CBD oil reviews reference the fact of just how “strong” the oil actually is. Depending on the reason why you want to purchase CBD products, you’re going to need different amounts of cannabidiol in the oil itself.