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After their legalization, CBD products have been spreading like wildfire. Aside from the medical industry, other industries like cosmetics, foods, and drinks have also joined the CBD race. However, even with the increasing popularity, many people still unfamiliar with the difference between marijuana and CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both naturally occurring components in hemp and marijuana plants, which are varieties of the cannabis plant. There are other cannabinoids in cannabis, but CBD and THC are the most abundant and well-known.

Let’s break down the differences.

Differences Between CBD and THC

Both CBD and THC are found in hemp and marijuana. The difference is that marijuana contains more THC, while hemp contains more CBD. Contrary to what many people know, CBD should be called legal hemp rather than legal marijuana because most CBD products come from the hemp plant.

CBD products from hemp contain a very low amount of THC, the legal limit being not more than 0.02% in the UK and 0.03% in the USA. The low THC amounts won’t have psychoactive effects and have a lot of medical benefits.

Hemp Leaves and Oil BottlesTHC, on the other hand, is what most people refer to when they talk about marijuana. Unlike hemp, marijuana contains more THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive “high” effects when you smoke. So basically, the main difference between CBD and marijuana (THC) is the psychoactive effects. THC gives you a psychoactive “high” feeling while CBD does not.

When you’re buying CBD products online, it’s crucial to check the CBD and THC ratios. Make sure you’re purchasing from reliable stores like Charlotte’s Web that have a rigorous extraction and production process.

Psychoactive Components

The interaction with CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptors is the reason behind the “high” feeling associated with marijuana. THC binds with the receptors to give a person the high feeling while CBD weakly binds with the CB1 receptors hence users don’t get the high feeling.

Chemical Structure

Marijuana and hemp are more alike, even though they have different effects on the human body. Both CBD and THC have the same molecular structure, which is 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms.

What makes them have different effects then? This is because of the difference in how the atoms are arranged.

Effects and Benefits

Both CBD and THC have some medical benefits, and many more are still to be discovered.

Some common uses of CBD oil include:

  • Relieve pain, migraine, and nausea
  • Manage anxiety and depression
  • Help treat inflammatory bowel disease
  • Alleviate seizures
  • Potential treatment for psychosis or mental disorders

On the other hand, THC can help in treating:

  • Insomnia
  • Glaucoma
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Low appetite
  • Muscle spasticity

Side Effects

This is where another difference comes in because CBD is well tolerated than THC. CBD can be tolerated in large doses, and side effects can occur if there’s an interaction with other medications.

Some of the side effects of CBD include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue

The following are some examples of the side effects of THC:

  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Memory loss
  • Increased heart rate
  • Slower response time
  • Coordination problems

THC slightly has more side effects than CBD, but if taken in moderation and correct doses, you can significantly reduce their severity. Just remember, people tend to develop an addiction to THC after prolonged use.

Recommended Use

You can decide on this after reading the benefits and side effects, but these tips can also help you decide.

THC is best to use when you don’t mind feeling high when you want to feel relaxed. It’s also a great option for alleviating insomnia and lack of appetite. CBD, on the other hand, is better if you don’t want to stay active or if your body reacts badly to the side effects of THC.

Methods for Consumption and Ingestion

Smoking is the most popular way to consume both of them, but it might not be helpful for people with certain conditions. CBD can be consumed through:

  • Oils and tinctures: CBD oil is becoming the most popular way to consume CBD. CBD oil is taken by dropping small amounts under the tongue.
  • Edibles: CBD edibles can be in the form of gummies, capsules, and cookies. An advantage of this method is you know the exact dosage you’re taking.
  • Creams and lotions: Creams and lotions are the best when treating skin conditions like eczema, relieving pain in joints, and helping with muscle relaxation.
  • Pills: Pills are the best when treating digestive problems. They contain precise amounts, so you know you’re taking the right dosage.
  • Vaping: Vaping is simply inhaling CBD, absorbing it into the bloodstream. Vaping is done using vape pens and is by far the fastest way to feel the effects.

On the other hand, THC can be consumed by:

  • Smoking: Smoking is the most common method because it’s the fastest way to feel the effects of THC. You can smoke by rolling a joint or using a pipe.
  • Vaping: Vaping is not the same as smoking. Vaping is inhaling heated oil via an e-cigarette, and it doesn’t involve inhaling smoke. You’ll also notice the effects more quickly.
  • Edibles: THC is also available as edibles. The effects take much longer to feel, but they
    last longer than other methods.

Legal Status

CBD from the hemp plant is legal, but it should contain the required legal limit of 0.03% THC. THC is illegal, but it’s legal for medical and recreational purposes in some states. When travelling to a new place, it’s better to do some research to know if CBD is legal or not.

Are CBD and THC Better Together?

When both compounds are combined, they work better than individual compounds. This is called the entourage effect. The effects created by one compound cannot match all the compounds. A combination of both has been proven effective in treating anxiety and depression, arthritis, and migraine.

Final Thoughts

Both CBD and THC offer different medical benefits. Don’t turn down THC just because it doesn’t have a good reputation. It can be beneficial medically as long as it’s properly consumed. It’s advisable to try out both so you can have a better understanding of what works best for you. Just remember to consult your doctor to ensure proper dosage and use.

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