Did you know that marijuana contains over 113 different chemical compounds? And all of these chemical compounds interact with our bodies in very different ways.
Knowing what they are, and how they interact with our bodies is essential for understanding the world of cannabis and what each kind should be used for.
The two most well-known cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and (tetrahydrocannabinol) THC. Not sure what those two components are, or what a cannabinoid even is? In this article, we’ll cover the major difference between CBD and THC and their benefits and drawbacks, so you can determine which one is best for you.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that are unique to the cannabis plant. They’re the chemicals responsible for the medical and recreational benefits of marijuana usage. The marijuana plant produces up to 113 different cannabinoids, and the most prevalent and well-understood of these are CBD and THC.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, CBD, is a non-psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis or hemp plants. It’s a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but in different proportions than THC. CBD is often used to treat a variety of issues such as anxiety and epilepsy, and it may even function as a mild antidepressant and antipsychotic based on how it interacts with your brain receptors.
CBD is often available in oils, and can often be found in food substances like gummies and creams and beauty products. Here are some common things people use CBD to treat:
- Combats anxiety and depression
- Suppresses seizures
- Fights against neurodegenerative disorders
- Combats psychosis
- Combats tumor and cancer cells
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
Because of its natural properties, CBD is great for combating health issues like depression, anxiety, cancer, schizophrenia, migraines, and even arthritis.
What are the Side Effects of CBD?
Like THC, further research on CBD still needs to be conducted in order to fully determine the side effects and long-term impact of usage. Here are some potential side effects of CBD usage:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
Like THC, you should start with a low potency of CBD and gradually increase your intake as you see fit.
What is THC?
THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is composed of a mix of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It’s a cannabinoid, which are the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that interact with the receptors in your brains and body. This interaction produces psychoactive effects, and this, in turn, leads to the feeling of being “high” most people experience when using it.
The short-term effect THC differs by person, as many people report experiencing different things. For some people, THC use leads to feelings of calm and peace, but for others, it can cause a spike in anxiety. The differences in response can be attributed to a few things, such as the type of strain and concentration of the THC, as well as someone’s own unique body chemistry.
Here are some of the main effects of THC:
- Pain relief
- Memory impairment
- Feeling of relaxation
- Increased heart rate
- Red eyes
- Skewed perception of time
A user’s response to THC can differ depending on how much they consumed. So, if you’re unsure or worried about how it will affect you, it’s best to consume only a little at a time and then wait to see how it affects you. And if you have a bad response, just remember that while the high may last for a few hours, it will ultimately wear off.
What are the Benefits and Risks of THC Consumption?
THC is often used to combat health issues like nausea, sleep apnea, and even stress disorders. It’s also used to fight the symptoms and side effects of the following issues: chemotherapy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and spinal issues.
Here is a list of ailments people often treat with THC:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Sleep apnea
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic pain
In general, the long-term effects of THC use are still relatively unknown. The research is ongoing and still inconclusive at this time. But here are some potential side effects that research has pointed to:
- Memory loss
- Psychosis ( only for those who are predisposed)
It’s important to know that this research is overall inconclusive, so while there may be some correlation between these side effects and THC use, there is no concrete proof.
What is the Major Difference Between CBD and THC?
The major difference to keep in mind is that THC offers psychoactive benefits while CBD offers non-psychoactive medical benefits. This is because THC binds to your CB! Receptors while CBD does not. THC activates both your CB1 and CB2 receptors, while CBD interacts with your body in more indirect ways.
If you’re someone who’d like to experience euphoria and relaxation, THC is the recommended option for you. CBD, on the other hand, is ideal for dealing with anxiety issues and acts as a great neuroprotective, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and antipsychotic.
Another important thing to note about these two components is that they have different legal statuses. THC has strict laws, but the legal status of CBD is rather unclear and is still technically illegal under federal law. CBD is found in hemp, however, which is legal in the United States, so it’s usually imported in that form.
Do you use CBD oil? Read more now to see if you’d test positive on a drug test screen.
Final Thoughts on CBD and THC
Knowing the difference between CBD and THC, how they interact with your body, and the benefits and drawbacks they offer are essential to using them properly. If you’re someone who is dealing with health issues and overall discomfort, you’ll most likely want to be using CBD as your option.
If you’re someone with an interest in euphoria and relaxation and the psychoactive properties of cannabis, you should consider THC.
Do you use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes? What has your experience with THC and CBD been? Let us know in the comments below!