Differences between THC and CBD

As the cannabis culture spreads around the world, people are starting their research to find out the main components of marijuana and how they can affect their bodies and minds. So far, the two most studied components of marijuana are the CBD or cannabidiol, and the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. And even though they share the same genetic structure, there are noticeable differences between THC and CBD that are worth analyzing.

Differences between THC and CBD:

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Even though both THC and CBD present the exact same molecular structure, they are fundamentally different in that while the CBD is extracted mainly from the hemp plant (plant with narrow leaves concentrated at the top), the THC is primarily found in the marijuana plant (broad leaves cover the plant and form a bush).  Both plants are cannabis species, yet the chemical makeup of hemp possesses only 0.3 % of THC, while marijuana contains between 5 and 35% of THC in its composition. Why is this important?  Because the effects that these chemicals have on our bodies and minds are completely different. Let’s see!

Differences between THC and CBD:

Effects on our bodies and minds

THC is the psychoactive component, i.e. the one that gets us “high”. THC binds with some endocannabinoid receptors called CB1- present in our brains and in our CNS, and others called CB2- present in our immune system. So, this is the cannabis plant component responsible for altering our behavior, our state of mind and our perception, especially of time. It can also affect our coordination and increase our heart rate, and it is the one that makes us feel hungry and sleepy.

Contrary to this, the CBD is a non-psychoactive component, and doesn’t affect our brain at all. It binds to other body receptors and helps the body relax without the “high” side-effect. In fact, at times CBD can cancel the binding of THC with CB1 receptors, thus lightening its psychoactive effect. CBD offers many medicinal benefits to its consumers.

Differences between THC and CBD:

Medicinal properties

Both THC and CBD are used to relieve different ailments, and when they are combined, their effect can be even better for the treatment of some maladies.

THC is preferred to relieve chronic pain and muscle spasticity, to reverse nausea and lack of appetite, to treat glaucoma, anxiety and insomnia.

CBD may also relieve minor pain, migraines and inflammation. It could also be the best option to treat serious anxiety disorders, psychosis and depression, and to improve seizures.

They can also be combined to strengthen their effect in cases of serious chronic pain and inflammation, for example.

Differences between THC and CBD:

What’s best for me?

This basically depends on what you want to use marijuana for, how your body reacts to each of the components, and your personal preference. If you want to relax, CBD tends to be the best option, while if your intention is to liven up to enjoy a party, THC is ideal. Now, if you‘re planning to use it for medical purposes, then you should consult your doctor first, however if your use is going to be recreational, you can always ask for your budtender’s advice on each cannabis product, its composition and effects, so that you select the one that fits your exact need.

Photo by: WeedPornDaily

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