You may be wondering why it is important to learn about the differences between CBD and THC. Well, because these two compounds dictate the results and the effects you may experience when you consume marijuana, including whether or not you’ll get high.
Knowing these aspects about these two elements can help you know which cannabis strains or which products are best suited for your own needs; and based on the effects they offer, you can easily know when, and in what surroundings you should use them.
CBD and THC are the two main natural elements found in the marijuana plant. CBD can be derived from both cannabis and hemp. THC is the psychoactive compound, which means that this element is what gets you “feeling high.”
You can find CBD and THC in a variety of different formats that offer you different ways of consuming them.
- Smoking or vaping
- Ingestion: tinctures, edibles, oils, coffee, gum, tea, capsules, pills, cannabutter, and more.
- Topical: lotions and creams.
You can also choose from a variety of different products that contain both CBD and THC equally; products that are CBD-dominant or THC-dominant, so they contain more of one compound and less of the other; or you can have products that contain only CBD or only THC.
THC and CBD can offer you different effects and health benefits, but one thing they have in common is that they both interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system.
THC Versus CBD: The Psychoactive Factor
CBD and THC have the same molecular structure (2 oxygen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 30 hydrogen atoms). Because they are both chemically similar to the body’s endocannabinoids, they are able to interact with them. This interaction impacts our neurotransmitters in the brain, which are responsible for functions such as pain, sleep, stress, and more.
But even though THC and CBD have similar chemical structures, their psychoactive components are the opposite. CBD does not offer the “high effect” that THC does.
THC, besides getting you high, is known to offer a variety of health benefits. These include, but are not limited to, a state of euphoria and happiness, increased creativity, or even increased focus in some cases. It can be energizing or body-numbing, depending on the cannabis strain. It can improve one’s mood significantly, making life much more interesting and enjoyable.
CBD has proven to help with depression, stress, anxiety, pain, and even seizures. It can alleviate pain caused by a variety of different factors, such as accidents or health conditions. These include neuropathic pain, nerve pain, muscle, joint pain, or pain caused by Parkinson’s disease.
When CBD and THC work together in combination, that is when they can offer the best of benefits. Plus, in some cases, CBD can even reduce some of the unwanted psychoactive properties of THC.
CBD And THC Health Properties: The Specifics
Both of these cannabis ingredients contain some of the same health effects. They can both offer the same effects in a variety of different medical conditions. But, one of the differences is that CBD doesn’t offer the same euphoric, mentally energizing, uplifting, and mood-boosting that THC does.
THC is oftentimes used to help with:
- Muscle spasticity
- Lack of appetite
CBD is used to health with conditions such as:
- Psychosis or mental disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Possible side effects are also worth mentioning. CBD is the one that is usually well-tolerated, regardless of the dosage. According to research, side effects usually take place as a result of a drug-to-drug interaction between CBD and other medications you may be using.
CBD may include side effects such as fatigue, changes in appetite, dizziness, diarrhea, or weight loss. THC may cause dry mouth, red eyes, anxiety, coordination difficulties, increased heart rate, or slower reaction times. These are temporary, but it is advised to be aware of them (especially when consuming THC-rich cannabis products).
Overall, both CBD and THC are considered safe. If you are consuming other prescribed medication and wish to start using cannabis at the same time, consider the possible interactions that might happen between the drugs. In this case, you should consider talking to your doctor, or a qualified cannabis healthcare provider, to find out which marijuana products might be best suited for your specific needs taking into consideration the effects of other medications you may be taking.