THC vs CBD –Do You Know The Difference?
THC vs CBD, how are they different?The Cannabis plant contains different biochemical compounds called cannabinoids. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids occurring naturally in cannabis. With the increase in demand for natural medicine, these two substances are becoming more popular due to their health benefits.
CBD and THC have exactly the same chemical makeup, almost like identical twins, except for the arrangement one single atom. This microscopic variation in atom arrangement makes all the differences between these two.
These compounds interact with our body through a network of receptors called the Endocannabinoid System to maintain our body’s vital functions. As the two compounds have distinct molecular structures, they interact with our body’s receptors differently, which is why they have diverse effects on the body.
Cannabidiol CBD, being non-psychoactive, will not give its user a “high” effect compared to THC. This is also the reason why natural and dietary supplements manufacturers use CBD rather than THC.
THC: What is it?
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabis’ psychoactive component. THC is what gets you “high” in recreational use of cannabis and makes it less acceptable for medical use.
THC has a chemical structure similar to 2-AG and anandamide, which are brain chemicals or neurotransmitters naturally produced by our body to help modulate pain perception, eating habits, sleeping, and other functions of the body.
Due to the similarity in structure, THC mimics these neurotransmitters effects to alter brain communication.
Common THC Effects
- Altered visual (sight), olfactory (smell) and auditory (hearing) senses
- Reduced aggression
THC Natural Benefits
Based on research studies, THC can help with:
- Chemotherapy Side Effects
- Chronic pain
- Digestive health
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nausea or vomiting
- Spinal Injury – THC can help lessen the tremors
CBD: What Is It?
CBD or cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound contained in cannabis. It exists in medical cannabis and agricultural hemp. The cannabis plant is the one and only known plant that contains CBD.
Unlike THC, CBD will not make you feel “stoned” or “high.” People use CBD because of its medical benefits that can relieve their discomfort with less or without any effect on the cognitive functions of your brain.
THC vs. CBD: CBD Medical Benefits
Based on research studies, CBD can help with:
- IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Mad Cow Disease
- ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Broken Bones
- Bacterial Infections
- Pain (cancer-related, chronic, neuropathic, etc.)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Substance Abuse or Withdrawal
- ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Heart Disease
THC vs. CBD: Pain Reliever
THC works well for cramp-related and muscle spasticity pain. CBD, on the other hand, works great for neuropathic pain and inflammation.
When taking THC as a pain reliever, do it in small dosage amounts. High THC doses can aggravate the symptom instead of relieving it. THC side effects might also be harder to manage, thus, rendering its benefits useless.
Experts, however, suggest that the entourage effect or a CBD and THC combination is ideal for combating pain.
When several different cannabis compounds combined together, they create a different psychological or physical impact on your body compared to a single cannabis compound on its own. This phenomenon is the entourage effect.
To give an example, a CBD-containing, whole-plant cannabis extract (100mg) works more effectively in relieving symptoms than an isolated CBD (100mg).
Many people argue that this is because, in the whole form, the plant provides all those necessary cofactors like terpenes and other cannabinoids for proper absorption.
The entourage effect is also the topic of the argument over CBD hemp oil vs. CBD cannabis oil. Hemp and marijuana (another name for cannabis) are two varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant family with different uses.
Compared to marijuana, hemp is more similar to the cannabis plant that naturally grows in the wilderness. Extracting CBD from hemp or industrial hemp is cost-effective and cheaper.
However, this oil has fewer benefits as it lacks significant terpenes level as well as other compounds that are abundant in marijuana with high-CBD.
On the other hand, marijuana with high CBD also has drawbacks on its uses as growers normally hybridize or do things to it to make it produce desirable compounds at the highest level.
There are different opinions about the entourage effect that still needs hard science support. It probably will get more complicated before it becomes clearer. Deciding which is the best option would actually depend on the user.
Why Do Natural Supplements Use CBD More Than THC?
Considered as an illegal substance in most countries, THC has long-term mental side effects such as impaired reasoning and thinking, reduced impulses control, decreased ability to organize and plan and altered ability to make decisions. Continuous THC use can also lead to brain and heart abnormalities.
CBD, on the other hand, does not have harmful effects on your cognitive functions. In fact, it can counteract THC’s psychoactive effects.
While cannabis plants with high-level THC and low-level CBD give a stronger “high” feeling, cannabis plants with low THC and more CBD can create a more relaxed feeling.
With medical cannabis’ rising popularity, breeders look for ways to create cannabis strains with high CBD than THC. Doing this would help minimize THC’s psychoactive effects.
Because of its effectiveness and lesser health risks, CBD is has proven to be a better natural supplement than THC… and it is used more.
THC vs CBD: The Conclusion
THC and CBD have many similarities as well as distinct differences. Both offer great health benefits, and either one or both of them can give you the relief you need.
Depending on the user’s needs, THC’s psychoactive effects can be a benefit rather than a negative side effect. For example, cancer patients use THC to combat the side effect of chemotherapy.
At this point, it is hard to say that one is better than the other. However, it is important to know the difference between THC and CBD as more countries legalize the medical use of marijuana.