THC vs CBD: What is the difference?

As more states consider opening their borders to the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, there is still much to learn about the plant and its benefits.

Cannabis has over a hundred cannabinoids or chemical compounds. Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two cannabinoids that many people find the most beneficial and interesting.

Despite these two compounds coming from the same plant, they each have unique characteristics and provide a different experience for the consumer once they are extracted.

CBD was first discovered back in 1940 and continues to be used in a variety of products that aim to promote health and wellness.

In some cases, CBD may contain up to less than 1 percent of THC but does not have enough to produce the same psychoactive effects seen in taking THC.

CBD helps aid sleep, anxiety and depression by changing one’s serotonin levels and even acting as an anti-depressant. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating emotions, mood and stress levels.

Presently the FDA approves only one CBD medication approved by the FDA  called Epidiolex which is used to treat epilepsy. There are still other legal, over-the-counter CBD products and they come in several different forms such as creams, oils, edibles and more.

These kinds of CBD products promote relaxation, sleep and  anxiety relief, but will not give someone the  high or euphoric feeling associated with THC.

On the other side of the spectrum, the use of THC has benefits but is not as legal as CBD. THC is one of the main chemical compounds in cannabis that gives the consumer the  high sensation after smoking or ingesting marijuana.

Unlike CBD, THC attaches well to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the brain which are in control of cognitive functions, memory and the  rewarding feeling many people experience.

These functions directly correlate to the physical and psychological changes people experience after consuming THC products. Some temporary side effects many people experience afterward are memory loss, problems with coordination and a slower reaction time.

THC can come in several different forms similar to CBD such as vapors, edibles, flower and oil. Although the recreational use of cannabis is illegal in some states, THC has shown to have its list of health benefits.

Some studies suggest that THC products can improve sleep, alleviate pain, increase appetite and reduce the feeling of nausea during chemotherapy. Even though some states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, THC products can still have harmful effects if abused.

Despite not being able to overdose from THC, it can still cause a great deal of anxiety, paranoia, vomiting and other harsh side effects when consumed in excessive amounts. Along with these side effects, people can also become addicted to THC when it is consistently consumed in high doses

With THC and CBD being from the same plant, these two compounds have many differences while sharing some similarities. Before using either to treat anything or just for fun, it is best to speak with a doctor or trusted professional to see what is the most beneficial.