CBD and THC are the natural compounds that are getting people’s attention lately due to their medicinal effects.
Not just any medicinal effects, but of intense usefulness which is making people preferring natural treatments over allopathic ones.
Some people cannot differentiate between THC and CBD as a matter of fact, there is a huge difference in terms of molecular structure and pharmacology.
Individuals who have been a cannabis user may prefer THC more than CBD because of its psychoactive effects.
But in recent days the saturation of THC products has caused many men and women to choose the non-intoxicating compound such as CBD.
A large number of people are asking online what’s the difference between CBD and THC.
We will define each of the chemicals separately for the better understanding which may be helpful in choosing any of them for the medical purpose.
- Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoid System
- What Is CBD?
- What Is THC?
- Structural Difference Between CBD and THC
- Chemical Difference Between CBD and THC
- Physiological Difference Between CBD and THC
- Legality Difference Between THC and CBD
- How to Use CBD and THC
- Using CBD and THC Together – Is It Harmful?
- THC Side Effects
- CBD Side Effects
Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoid System
Before understanding the science behind the THC and CBD mechanisms, it is important to know their role in the endocannabinoid system.
In Cannabis plant, there are about 85 known compounds available out of which only 2 are subject to human use i.e. THC and CBD.
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A cannabinoid is the compounds that interact with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system which operates the network of receptors that induce certain functions in our body.
In the endocannabinoid system, there are two main receptors.
- CB1 Receptors
- CB2 Receptors
The intensity at which THC and CBD interact with any of these receptors defines the health benefits such as the drop in anxiety, pain relief appetite, and mood elevation.
The structural difference between CBD and THC are slightly different which makes them interact with CBD receptors differently.
In some ways, CBD interacts in greater intensity while in some cases THC does cause intense effects.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol is the important compound in cannabis plant which is either present in the medical cannabis and agricultural hemp. Like THC, CBD works on the endocannabinoid system in the human body without the intoxicating effects.
This will make it an ideal candidate for pain relief, relieve from mental or physical discomfort and to improve the body immune system.
The compound poses no significant actions on the cognitive system of the human brain though.
The purpose of utilizing CBD in oil form is to ensure the bioavailability and to ease the absorption.
CBD Oil Benefits
There are a number of studies which indicate the use of CBD Oil can overcome the following conditions.
- Neuropathic pain
- Chronic or cancer-related pain
- Inflammation in the muscles
- Parkinson Diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Bacterial infection
- Multiple Sclerosis
- R.A (Rheumatoid Arthritis)
What Is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant which was introduced for the recreational purpose.
Later on, the compound showed a tremendous amount of health benefits which allowed doctors across the globe to prescribe this substance to their patients who are not affected by normal medications.
Scientifically, THC works by imitating the actions of 2 different neurotransmitters which are:
- 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (Agonist of CB1 Receptor)
These neurotransmitters are responsible for modifying sleeping patterns, eating habits and pain sensitivity.
You can say you are more likely to get the following effects after a single dose of THC.
- Enhanced sense of smell and hearing
- Marked reduction in aggression
THC Oil Benefits
THC benefits were elucidated before CBD oil, which has the following health benefits.
- To overcome the side effects of Chemotherapy
- Chronic pain
- Spinal injury
Structural Difference Between CBD and THC
Both THC and CBD are made by multiple Bi and tri-cyclic compounds found in the cannabis plant.
As you can see the structure of both compounds is almost the same with similar molecular mass.
The only difference is the addition of hydrogen ion in the CBD which makes it less psychoactive.
Perhaps the elimination of hydroxyl ion is the key to the CNS Stimulating effects of THC.
Chemical Difference Between CBD and THC
CBD and THC are made from the mixture of acidic forms which upon process like decarboxylation altered.
The solubility of THC and CBD are lower in water were in higher in the organic solvents such as alcohol.
THC formulas of preparations are kept in amber colored bottles with a slightly basic or organic solvent to avoid the degradation.
Physiological Difference Between CBD and THC
Both THC and CBD act on CB1 receptor which is basically G-coupled cannabinoid receptor located in the peripheral and central nervous system.
CB1 activates upon the endocannabinoid system with the help of neurotransmitters altered by THC.
THC stimulates this CB1 receptor and cause the intoxicating effects, this is where when you get high after smoking cannabis or taking THC Oil.
CBD Oil, on the other hand, has other effects on CB1 receptors, it does like CBD binds with it or not cause stimulation.
What CBD does alter the shape and size of this receptor without activating it which makes it hard for the agonists of CB1.
This is why CBD does not induce the psychotropic effects since it doesn’t bind with it.
Legality Difference Between THC and CBD
THC causes dazzling effects on human brain and because of this alluring effect THC comes under the illegal substance in many countries of the world, including many states of the united states.
The medicinal effects of CBD become prominent after no “high effects” but it comes in the same category as THC, however, its legality is kind of in the grey area.
CBD derived from the agricultural hemp is legal, stated by the federal law under the US Farm Bill of 2014.
This gets bewildering since they are banning the CBD derived from marijuana thinking it may have the same effects as THC.
There were many hopes from the US Farm Bill of 2018 that it might legalize the CBD across the US, but it’s still on pending while many jurors are still unclear about the difference between THC and CBD.
How to Use CBD and THC
The idea of smoking cannabis plant to get the desired effects is not only the way.
Some people hate smoking so how they should use THC, CBD or their hybrid?
With modern science, innovation, now you can consume THC and CBD in more than 1 form i.e smoking.
You can get the following products from the weed dispensary nearby or pharmacies if the CBD is legal in your state.
- CBD Oil
- CBD and THC creams, gels and ointments
- Sublingual spray
- Edibles candies
- E-liquid for e-cigarettes
- Chewing gum
Using CBD and THC Together – Is It Harmful?
Each of the compounds has a specific set of medicinal effects, but in combination, they can be used for so many therapeutic purposes.
Plant extracted terpenes are when combined with THC and CBD it can be used for healing purposes at the site of inflammation or pain.
Using the mixture of CBD and THC where CBD is 7.5% while THC 6%, individuals experienced fewer episodes of anxiety and depression who reportedly battling against cancer, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and nausea.
Some users take CBD for the exact medical action while THC to induce the euphoric effects which further ease their condition.
Other than that, a combination of THC and CBD acts as a neuroprotective agent which has positive effects on certain cognitive parts like creativity.
THC Side Effects
Some users reported side effects from THC use which are confusion, pain, loss of memory and focus. Individuals who had past psychological problems may be intensely depersonalized with THC.
As they can experience extreme paranoia, visual hallucinations, etc.
Hypotensive patients must beware before using THC as it causes lowering of the blood pressure which may cause dizziness, faintness, and light headed.
THC affects human lungs as the smoking does, but with minor intensity, some dangers posed to the lungs are bronchitis, lungs infection, cough and increased mucus density.
CBD Side Effects
Much of the scientific evidence was gathered to identify the adverse effects of CBD but there has been no presence of any dangerous side effects.
There are only short term side effects of CBD according to the scientific studies or diarrhea and change in appetite.
Using CBD and THC is overall beneficial for your health, at least they have a very much lesser degree of the side effects in comparison with other form pharmaceutical-grade medications.
However, some audience needs to be educated about the right use of CBD or THC in a specific health condition.
You don’t have to smoke the cannabis plant to get these two compounds, but various forms of products are available which delivers these compounds to induce desirable effects.