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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
✓ Fact Checked
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'