CBD Vs THC: How Do They Differ?
The use of cannabis, especially CBD and THC, is gaining popularity today for both medical and recreational purposes. While there are still negative opinions about it, several researchers are already claiming the health benefits that cannabis has to offer. However, if we were to compare CBD vs THC, which one would be better?
If you are new to cannabis, you might get confused about the terms used in this industry. Hence, it is wise to do some research about cannabis first as what you should do if you are trying something new. In this article, we will discuss the two most common compounds found in cannabis, CBD and THC. Everything that you needed to know about CBD vs THC will be tackled as you take a step further in the cannabis world.
Introduction To Cannabis Compounds
Before we begin our CBD vs THC comparison, let’s first discuss what exactly these two are. Cannabis is a plant containing more than a hundred compounds called cannabinoids. Out of all cannabinoids present, there are two compounds that researchers have a deep understanding of and are today considered to be important compounds for a cannabis plant: the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both contain psychoactive properties and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. However, both still have some key differences.
The molecular structure for CBD and THC is the same. They both contain 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, the key difference in their chemical structure is how the atoms are arranged. The arrangement of atoms produces different effects on the body, which is mainly the psychoactive effects. This leads us to the next CBD vs THC comparison about psychoactive properties.
Cannabis is not all about getting high. Rather, you may enjoy the medical benefits of cannabis without getting yourself high. This is the main difference when you compare CBD vs THC. While both contain psychoactive properties, CBD doesn’t make you high. So, if you want to enjoy the medical benefits of cannabis, such as alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, and helping with seizures, anxiety, and depression, CBD is the right choice. On the other hand, THC is the main psychoactive ingredient. If you want to get high and experience a sense of euphoria, THC is the answer.
The science behind the difference in psychoactive effects is that THC strongly binds with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain where CBD is weak at. CBD can only bind with the receptors through the help of THC.
Nevertheless, both have medical benefits that can help with a variety of medical conditions. The next CBD vs THC comparison will discuss these medical benefits.
Medical conditions that CBD can help with include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
On the other hand, medical conditions that THC can help with are:
- Muscle spasms
- Low appetite
Like any other drug or medication, CBD and THC also have side effects that you should be wary of. If you are a first-time cannabis user, it is best to educate yourself about these side effects so you won’t be surprised or be anxious when something happens to your body. These known side effects of taking CBD and THC are only temporary and are not serious or fatal. Research also pointed out that the addiction to these compounds is just minimal.
For CBD, there are no known side effects when it is taken alone. However, if you are taking other medications, it could have a drug-to-drug interaction that produces side effects that include:
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
For THC, side effects are reported even if taken alone. This is because it is the main psychoactive ingredient. Furthermore, side effects of THC include:
- Increased heart rate
- Slower reaction time
- Coordination problems
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Memory loss
To avoid or lessen side effects, you have to carefully follow the prescribed dosages and never consume large amounts in one sitting.
Another difference when comparing CBD vs THC is when you take a drug test. In a standard drug test, only the THC shows up on the screen. This is because these tests only look for chemicals that are related to THC. Be aware that cannabinoids are stored in the body’s fat so even if a few weeks have already passed since you used THC, it can still appear on your drug test.
On the other hand, CBD is not always detectable. A CBD-sensitive test must be carried out to show the results of CBD trace in the body. However, if you are thinking that you will be safe from drug tests if you only use CBD, then, you are wrong. It may be detectable if you consume CBD in large amounts. Furthermore, CBD products such as oils, edibles, tinctures, and vape products still contain a trace amount of THC, but it should not be more than 0.3%.
Still, this trace of THC can show up on your drug test results. Since CBD is not properly regulated, and even if the label says that it has the right amount of THC for a CBD-based product, it may still contain more THC than you expect. To avoid this, you should carefully study the market for CBD products and purchase only from reputable and trusted sources.
The main difference when comparing CBD vs THC is that THC is the main psychoactive ingredient. While both CBD and THC can give their respective medical benefits, THC has the side effect of making a person high.
In conclusion, if you want to use cannabis for recreational purposes, you might want to consider using THC. However, if you only want the medical benefits without the side effect of feeling stoned and high, CBD is the right choice for you. Choose what you want to take depending on the effects that you aim to gain. Furthermore, whichever you want to use, always take it in moderation and avoid consuming large quantities.