The difference between CBD and THC is not as simple as most people think. The two compounds are actually molecularly different but have a lot of similarities in terms of how they work. The major distinction between the two is that CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, while THC has been shown to cause a high when consumed.
The purpose of both substances is to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system- a vast network that regulates everything from mood to appetite, memory to immune response, but with different results. The reason why some people on various cannabis business social networks say there’s no such thing as medical cannabis if it doesn’t get you high (i.e., if it’s all about CBD, where’s the fun?) is because of what scientists call “the entourage effect.”
The concept of the entourage effect was first introduced by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam in 1998, though it's largely based on work that began in the mid-1960s. The gist of this model is that cannabinoids work together to have a significant impact on the body. The best example of this is CBD's effect, which is greatly amplified if it's combined with THC, even though both are non-psychoactive on their own. However, the bigger question is whether or not cannabis needs THC at all to have an effect. The answer isn't as clear-cut as it would seem at first blush, with experts arguing for both sides.
The cannabis plant is the only species on the planet that has been used over millennia by practically every culture to treat everything from depression to pain relief. The reason why marijuana was banned along with opiates like morphine, cocaine, and heroin in the early 1900s is that the makers of these new wonder drugs (originally pharmaceutical companies) made sure that they were on top of the public's mind when it came to health.
The Difference in Effects
The most important difference between CBD and THC is how they make you feel. Both contain cannabinoids, but the two compounds work differently on your body. The psychoactive compound THC can give you a euphoric high or an anxiety-ridden panic attack.
The non-psychoactive compound CBD gives you a sense of calm without any intoxication. It’s considered to be therapeutic because it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help with pain relief, anxiety reduction, insomnia treatment, and even some forms of epilepsy or cancer prevention.
The Difference in Legalities
The CBD is legal to use, while THC isn't. The CBD can be used for medicinal purposes but not recreational. The only way you can get the THC is, if it's prescribed by a doctor, which makes it illegal to buy without a prescription on sites like Amazon or Walmart unless they are an approved dispensary. The FDA doesn't regulate either of these products because they are considered supplements, not drugs. That means that there aren't any federal regulations about what goes into them as long as they don't make health claims on their packaging.
The Differences in Side Effects
The side effects are one reason why so many people choose to use CBD over THC for medical purposes. It provides all the benefits without any unwanted side effects like paranoia or nausea. The biggest side effect of THC is that it can make you feel "stoned." The scientific name for this is cannabimodizaol.
The high from THC comes from the cannabinoid's effects on your endocannabinoid system, which releases dopamine and serotonin in your brain. This increases your heart rate and blood pressure gives you a dry mouth and can make you feel hungry or tired. The CBD doesn't cause this feeling because it doesn't interact with the endocannabinoid system as THC does. The other issue is that if you choose to go the THC route, there's a chance that it will be mixed with other harmful chemical additives.
The Differences in Potency Levels
The key to understanding the differences between CBD and THC is to understand their respective concentrations. The higher the concentration, the more potent it will be. The difference in potency levels can be seen when comparing marijuana varieties like Charlotte's Web (high-CBD), ACDC (high-THC), etc. Marijuana plants that are bred for high-THC content may have as much as 30% of that cannabinoid by weight, while plants bred for medicinal purposes usually have less than 2%. That means you need a lot less plant material to get your desired effect from high-CBD cannabis than you would if you were using a high-THC variety.
The Differences In Price Point
The difference in price point is one of the most important things to consider when choosing CBD oil. The higher the price, the better quality you can expect from your product. The cheaper products are often made with synthetic CBD, which isn't as good because it doesn't have as many healing properties and has more side effects. The best way to find out how much CBD a product has is by reading its label or contacting the company that produces it directly for information on its formula's potency and ingredients list.
Interested in learning more about CBD? Find out about the difference between CBD and CBG now.