Key Differences between CBD and THC

Key Differences between CBD and THC

CBD & THC - Composition, Origin, Benefits

Over 120 different chemical compounds are present in Cannabis, but only two of its compounds are presently used to prepare medicines and other products. These are Cannabidiol and Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Both are primarily similar and categorized as cannabinoids, but it is important to understand the difference between CBD and THC. 

Structural Composition 

The first difference between CBD and THC is their structural composition. Essentially the molecular formula of both compounds is the same – that consists of 21 carbon atoms bonded with the help of 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. However, the difference is exhibited in the arrangement of these atoms, and it’s because of this, Cannabidiol and Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol deliver varied effects on our body. Their structure actually resembles the natural form of endocannabinoids present in our body that are the neurotransmitters acting on the body’s nervous system, including the brain. While both help in relieving pain, when we compare THC vs CBD, each takes a different path inside our body to affect us – to bind with different sets of receptors in our body. 

Source Of Origin

Source of Origin of CBD & THC

Whenever people talk of cannabis or weed, they mention CBD weed and THC extract. What’s the difference? 

CBD is extracted from hemp, while THC is extracted from marijuana. And both hemp and marijuana are two different names of the cannabis plant (Cannabaceae plant family). 

Hemp contains a significant amount of CBD and trace amounts of THC, while marijuana is high in THC content. Hemp plants that have a range greater than 0.3 % are classified as marijuana. CBD is available in the market in the form of gels, oils, supplements, gums, etc. THC extract is available in the form of edibles, tinctures, capsules, and oils or is consumed by smoking cannabis. Both have the opposite effect on the cannabinoid receptors present in the body because of their concentrations. THC extract is derived from marijuana, while CBD weed is derived from hemp.  

Effects Of THC and CBD On The Body 

Cannabis plants contain cannabinoids that specifically bind to two receptors in the body called CB1 and CB2. Both of these receptors are a part of the endocannabinoid system in the body that controls neurohormonal secretions. CB1 receptors are a part of the central nervous system and affect the brain as well as the spinal cord. Most of the CB2 receptors are present in the peripheral nervous system that affects other body parts – like working to reduce inflammation. THC binds strongly with CB1 receptors to  trigger a feeling of ‘high’. In contrast, CBD has a strong affinity for CB2 receptors. It reduces pain in body parts by controlling inflammation without causing any psychoactive effects. 

THC vs. CBD For Pain Relief 

THC vs. CBD For Pain Relief

THC produces psychoactive effects on the body, giving a person a feeling of ‘high’. CBD does not cause such euphoric effects and is used as healthcare for pain relief purposes. But both cannabinoids are a part of medicines because of their specific properties that can suit a variety of patients. If you ask which is better for pain relief in the THC vs. CBD debate it is CBD as it does not have side effects (i.e., lack of psychoactive influence).  

The major difference between CBD and THC is that THC is intoxicating while CBD is not. CBD does not cause any mental side effects and is not addictive, hence it is classified as ‘safe’, unlike THC. It is pertinent to note that THC, if consumed in desirable and low amounts does not result in an experience of ‘high’. THC is consequently illegal because of its intoxicating and psychoactive effects, in many states in the US; While CBD is legal but only if it has a THC concentration under the percentage of 0.3. 

Uses Of CBD And THC  

Benefits of CBD & THC

The difference between CBD and THC and how they react differently in our body leads to different medicinal usages of each.  

THC helps reduce nausea while stimulating the body’s natural appetite and is generally prescribed for cancer treatment. Spasm pain, tremors, and neuropathic pain are instantly released when therapeutic amounts of THC are consumed. THC can treat many conditions, from anxiety to glaucoma, provided the prescribed concentration is taken by the patient. An overdose of THC can be dangerous. Regular consumption of THC extract, especially by teenagers and pregnant women, can cause adverse mental side effects like anxiety and depression. 

CBD weed has been widely used in healthcare mainly because of its scientifically recognized benefits. Epidiolex is a CBD-derived oral solution that is known to treat two types of epilepsy. CBD also reduces the intensity of anxiety in patients suffering from mental or emotional imbalance. It is also known to help people with schizophrenia, and reduce psychosis – studies for which are underway to find conclusive scientific evidence. CBD is widely used to treat chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, seizures, and insomnia. It also works effectively as an anti-inflammatory drug with rare side effects. However, it could potentially affect the functioning of the liver if used over the long term in large amounts. 

Wrapping It Up! 

CBD and THC are both derived from natural sources; therefore, many mistakenly consider them to be harmless and without side effects. We must realize that while both have beneficial qualities, when consumed in excess or over the long term, each can indeed be harmful and have side-effects. Though CBD is not as psychoactive as THC is, its long-term use can be harmful and dangerous. The health impacts of both these compounds must be considered before consuming any of these cannabinoid-based drugs. 

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