CBD vs THC: Difference Between The Two Cannabis Compounds

Posted by Erik Atherton on July 14, 2019

CBD and THC are the most prominent compounds in the cannabis plant. They have a wide range of health benefits. As a result, their popularity with consumers is rapidly increasing. Even though these two compounds have some similarities, they also have key differences.  The overview below outlines CBD vs THC, the differences between the two. 

CBD vs THC: Chemical Structure

The chemical structure of CBD vs THC is the same. They both contain 21 carbon atoms. 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. In terms of chemical structure, these two compounds are almost identical twins. However, the arrangement of a single atom is what sets them apart. 

CBD vs THC: How Each Affects the Body

Both THC and CBD bind to the CB2 receptor. However, they interact with these receptors uniquely. This is because both of them have unique properties. For instance, THC’s molecular structure allows it to bind the CB1 receptors directly. When this bond is formed, there is usually a reaction. So the receptors send signals to the brain. The resulting effect is psychoactive and it’s characterized by a “high” feeling. 

CBD, on the other hand, does not bond directly with the CB1 receptors. Its presence in the body can even negate the bond between THC and CB1 receptors. Note that CBD can effectively neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC. Although THC has a significant amount of benefits, it also has mind-altering effects. As a result, most people don’t prefer it. Alternatively, they use CBD. This is because it has the same benefits as THC but with its not psychoactive.  

CBD vs THC: Side Effects

Generally, CBD is a well-tolerated marijuana product. Even in large servings, its side effects are not usually pronounced. Generally, many of CBD side effects are as a result of drug interactions. However, CBD can still cause temporary side effects such as: 

  • Dry mouth and eyes. 
  • Coordination problems. 
  • Increased heart rate. 
  • Red eyes. 
  • Memory loss. 
  • Slow reaction times. 
  • Possible Liver Damage
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Vivid Dreams

Note that the use of THC may lead to pronounced psychoactive effects. It has been established that it can cause long-term negative psychiatric effects. Overall, the effects of THC is more profound in teens. Generally, using large amounts of THC may result in psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.  

Although the CBD vs THC effects may vary, they are not fatal. Either compound may cause negative reactions simply depending on how it interacts with your body. 

 

CBD vs THC: Drug Testing

These cannabinoids are normally stored in the body’s fat. So, they can show up on drug tests for several days or weeks after you use them. Although there are CBD-sensitive tests, not all drug test will detect CBD. Generally, most drug tests are conducted to test THC. This is because it’s mainly found in marijuana products. However, hemp can also produce both CBD and THC. So, even if you are using hemp-based CBD, the test could be positive for THC. 

 

THC Content in CBD Oil 

THC and CBD are two different compounds. They are the most prominent cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. Note that both marijuana and hemp produce CBD and THC. But THC is mostly found in higher concentrations in marijuana. On the other hand, hemp has high levels of CBDConversely, it has low THC content. So, it’s the most ideal source of CBD Oil.  

CBD oil may contain traces of THC. This is because this compound is also present in the hemp plant but in relatively small amountsGenerally, CBD can have no more than 0.3 percent THC to be legally sold in the U.S. The traces of THC content in CBD oil occurs because of contamination during the extraction process. 

CBD vs THC: Legality

 The legality of both these compounds is evolving in the US. All forms of cannabis are illegal in states that haven’t legalized it. Note that marijuana and THC are on the list of controlled substances. This means that they’re prohibited under federal law. 

Many states including Washington have passed cannabis-related laws. As a result, medical marijuana with high levels of THC is legal. Only a licensed physician should prescribe a marijuana product. Note that there are states which have legalized the use of marijuana and THC for recreational purposes. In these states, you should also be able to purchase CBD. Although the laws are changing, marijuana and THC are still illegal federally. So, it’s important to stay up to date with the law changes. 

Before you purchase a THC or CBD-based product, get information about your state’s laws. Possessing cannabis products in some states can result in legal penalties.  

Conclusion

To conclude, it’s evident that both THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system. However, the way they function is different. Although they can treat the same medical conditions, THC can alter the mind. As a result, most people prefer CBD. This is because it doesn’t alter the way the mind functions. Additionally, it has many health properties that are safe and natural. 

Sources 

https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140266/ 

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/cbd-oil-marijuana-health-benefits.html 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085