When it comes to cannabis, people have been utilizing the plant for medicinal and/or recreational purposes for not just decades, but centuries. The stigmas surrounding its use come and go like a merry-go-round, but the potential benefits are continually demonstrated.
Cannabis consists of hundreds of different cannabinoids, but THC and CBD are the top two. Both can be used medicinally or recreationally, but what they’re good for and the effects they can have are substantially different. One has the power to get a person high, while the other may help put a person to sleep!
THC, or “medicinal marijuana”, tends to tackle the more serious and extreme conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, etc. Patients ingest it as part of an edible (cookies, brownies or caramel-like squares), smoke it in the form of a joint, or add THC oil to a pipe.
CBD, on the other hand, has broader and typically gentler potential uses. Some users report it can sometimes help with sleep, mood, acne, mild pain, inflammation and more. Both CBD and THC have shown to be potentially effective for epilepsy and anxiety (but no promises).
CBD can typically be consumed in even more ways than THC can (you can even take a bath in it!). It can come in oil form and be applied directly under the tongue, or added to any food or drink where it can be mixed in. You can pop it as a pill, or plop it as a lotion. Like THC, there are also CBD gummies. And, of course, you can also now vape CBD!
Here are five things to keep in mind when squaring off THC and CBD:
1. CBD won’t ever get you “high”
A big difference between CBD and THC is that the former lacks the mind-altering properties of the latter. CBD doesn’t bind to the receptors in our brains like THC does. While THC sets off our CB1 receptors and triggers the associated intoxicating effects, CBD actually counters them. This is why getting high as a kite (or even just a step stool) isn’t possible with CBD. However, because CBD is related to THC, it can still show up in some drug tests.
2. Commercial CBD does not come from the same type of cannabis as THC
There are different varieties of the cannabis plant, with marijuana being the one loaded with THC and hemp being the kind packing CBD (although CBD can also be found in the marijuana variety). While hemp does still contain THC, it’s at a very low level (0.3%). The confusion stems from the fact that marijuana and hemp appear the same to our senses. They look the same, they smell the same, and only a THC test can determine what they really are.
3. Chemically speaking, CBD is nearly identical to THC, but it’s their arrangement that sets them apart
It’s common knowledge that humans share 99% of their DNA with chimpanzees, but boy, what a difference that one percent makes! Similarly, CBD and THC consist of the same molecular makeup, but are structured in different ways. A small but mighty difference that causes them to have nearly the opposite effect on the body.
4. CBD doesn’t come with the side effects that THC does
Anyone who’s experimented with THC can tell you consuming it often leaves one in laughing fits, with a sense of paranoia, or having a strong urge to order a pizza. CBD lacks these effects (even in higher doses), but needs to be consumed with caution if a user is taking any form of medicine. While neither compound is fatal, elevated THC consumption has been linked to long-term adverse psychiatric effects.
5. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, whereas THC from marijuana isn’t
While more and more states continue to legalize marijuana with each passing year, it still isn’t lawful in the majority of them. Restrictions on the growth, sale and possession of THC based cannabis is still a hot topic today. Conversely, a 2018 Farm Bill made it permissible for farmers to grow industrial hemp anywhere in the U.S., as long as they possess the appropriate license. However, while CBD is legal on a federal level, it’s still up to the individual states to enforce laws concerning it, so it’s best to check before you checkout!
If you’re ready to see what CBD might do for you, check out our line of superior CBD products.
Important Note: CBD has not been evaluated by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent any health concern. There is some anecdotal evidence that regular CBD use may enhance personal wellness by lessening pain, lowering anxiety, improving sleep and heightening mood.