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The Main Difference Between CBD and THC

by Louise W. Rice
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Now that CBD and other cannabinoids are becoming federally regulated and more popular, you may be wondering what these compounds are all about.

You may find yourself asking: what’s the difference between CBD and THC? What benefits do CBD and THC offer?

Luckily, we’ve got all the answers to your questions about the most popular cannabis compounds. Keep reading, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about CBD vs. THC.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly are cannabinoids?

The cannabis plant contains lots of unique compounds called cannabinoids. Our bodies have receptors called endocannabinoid receptors that help us metabolize these compounds.

The relationship between our endocannabinoid receptors and the cannabinoid compounds in cannabis is what gives this plant its health benefits.

With that said, let’s break down some of the most well-known cannabinoids, including CBD and THC.

CBD

CBD is a cannabinoid with anti-inflammatory, physically relaxing, and anxiety-reducing properties. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it will not get you high.

You can buy all kinds of CBD products, from gummies to tinctures to topical creams.

There are three main types of CBD that you can buy: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD. These forms contain trace amounts of no other cannabinoids, some other cannabinoids, and all other cannabinoids, respectively.

THC

THC is the main psychoactive compound of cannabis. The more THC is in your cannabis, the more psychoactive effects you will feel.

THC can help you relax, stimulate your appetite and libido, and may give you relief from insomnia. The effectiveness of medical marijuana is mostly owed to the healing properties of THC.

CBN

CBN is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid like CBD. Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD blends usually contain a small amount of CBN.

CBN is especially effective as a sleep aid when combined with CBD. CBD products designed specifically for sleep often contain CBN (and a small dose of melatonin).

Delta 8

Delta 8 is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is also an isomer of THC. This means that it has an identical molecular formula to THC — however, its atoms are arranged in a unique way.

Delta 8 produces a relaxing high that is milder than THC. If you’re interested in finding out what all the fuss is about, you can try out some delta 8 pre rolls.

CBD vs. THC

The two most commonly known cannabinoids are CBD and THC. When you buy cannabis products, they are probably primarily made up of one or both of these two compounds.

Let’s break down the primary differences between CBD and THC.

Legality

One major difference between these two cannabinoids is their legality. Marijuana (cannabis that contains above a certain threshold of THC) is not federally legal yet, but it is legal in many states.

CBD is federally legal as long as it contains trace amounts of THC no greater than 0.3%.

In states where marijuana is legal, either medically or recreationally, you may be able to buy CBD blends that contain a higher amount of THC.

Effects

If you haven’t tried these cannabis compounds before, you’re probably wondering: what is CBD like?

Even though CBD is not psychoactive, it can still make you feel mildly euphoric. This euphoria will come from muscle relaxation, a calm and centered mind, and the soothing of inflammation.

The psychoactive effects of THC are more extreme. A THC high will probably make you feel relaxed, giggly, hungry, and happy.

Many people enjoy the THC high, but some people find that it makes them anxious or paranoid. If you feel heightened anxiety from consuming THC, you should consider sticking to other cannabinoids.

Health Benefits

CBD and THC offer many of the same health benefits. They can both help you relax and sleep well. They both may also relieve muscle aches and tension.

THC is generally a more effective appetite stimulant than CBD alone. It is also more effective at curbing nausea, which is why cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy often benefit from medical marijuana.

When it comes to soothing anxiety, CBD may be a better choice because it carries less risk of causing further anxiety.

CBD is also a better choice for people who deal with certain mental health issues that can be exacerbated by THC. Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist if you’re not sure which cannabinoid is right for you.

The Entourage Effect

The best way to reap the benefits of CBD and THC is to use them together. When combined, these compounds offer you more health benefits than they would alone. This phenomenon is known as the “entourage effect.”

As we mentioned before, there are strict federal regulations on how much THC a CBD product can contain. However, even the small amount of THC that is present in full-spectrum CBD is enough to make a difference.

If you want to reap the benefits of CBD, but you don’t want to get high, full-spectrum CBD is still probably the best choice for you.

CBD that contains 0.3% THC won’t be psychoactive at recommended doses. However, the THC will help the CBD more effectively relax you.

Now You Know the Difference Between CBD and THC

Now that you know all about the difference between CBD and THC, you’re ready to get out there and find the perfect cannabis product for you.

Remember to read up on your state’s cannabis regulations and buy from trusted retailers!

For more articles like this one, check out the rest of our blog. We’ve got all the information you need to be an informed cannabis consumer.

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