With advancements in plant-based medicine, the buzz surrounding cannabis and marijuana products grows louder every day. Two compounds found in these plants are attracting the most attention: CBD and THC. But can you tell the difference between CBD and THC without mixing up the facts?
Begum C is here to help you keep up with cannabinoids and learn about the three main differences between CBD vs. THC and cannabis so that you know exactly what is inside your CBD products!
What is Cannabis?
Have you been using the word cannabis interchangeably with CBD? If so, you might be surprised to find out that the two aren’t the same!
Cannabis is an umbrella term that refers to a group of three plants, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis indica.
Although cannabis is often used to treat conditions like anxiety, stress, and pain, it’s important to understand that it can have certain adverse effects on the body. The short-term effects reported by users include but are not limited to, relaxation, increased focus, and improved appetite. However, many also report long-term negative effects such as problems with coordination, heart rate, blood pressure, and an increase in nausea, lethargy, and anxiety.
This is where CBD comes in! Not only is CBD safe for consumption but its health benefits outweigh that of cannabis. If you’re looking for a therapeutic alternative with zero side effects and strong medicinal value, then CBD is just what you need.
CBD vs. THC
Cannabis contains more than 120 compounds that are called cannabinoids. Even though research has been unable to isolate the function of each separate cannabinoid, many studies have been successful in giving us a solid understanding of two cannabinoids – CBD and THC.
Both compounds, while found in the same plant, have distinct characteristics, structures, and functions. The three main differences between CBD vs THC are as follows:
Difference Between CBD and THC
- CBD vs. THC: Chemical Structure
CBD and THC are made up of the same number of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. At first glance, it looks like they have the same functions. Turns out that the difference between CBD and THC lies in the way these atoms are arranged!
Even though the chemical composition is the same (21 carbon, 2 oxygen, and 30 hydrogen atoms), the difference in structural formula for the two cannabinoids causes both compounds to have vastly different chemical interactions with our body’s systems.
Both compounds affect the body by interacting with receptors in the central nervous system that release neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that influence sleep, memory, mood, attention, and pain. The difference between CBD vs.THC lies in their short and long-term effects on the body.
- CBD vs. THC: Effects On The Body
So what’s the difference between CBD and THC when it comes to their effect on the body?
Unlike CBD, THC is the chief psychoactive component of cannabis because it affects the brain and the spinal cord. This is because it has a high affinity for a receptor known as CB1, which is located in the central nervous system. Since these receptors are connected to the brain and spinal cord, THC triggers a euphoric, ‘high-like’ feeling that is associated with intoxication.
On the other hand, CBD has a low affinity for CB1 receptors and is more likely to bind with the CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. CB2 receptors are prevalent in the peripheral nervous system and an interaction with CBD triggers them to alleviate chronic pain and inflammation. Since the CB2 receptors are not connected to the brain or spinal cord, you are not likely to experience any intoxication, loss of coordination, or hallucinations.
Bottomline: In the CBD vs. THC, there is a clear winner! CBD is safe for consumption because it is not psychoactive and does not have the ability to alter the functioning of your brain and spinal cord.
- CBD vs. THC: Medical Benefits
The medical benefits of CBD vs. THC all boil down to one important question: which of these cannabinoids is safe and has no long-term health risks or side-effects?
And because CBD does not intoxicate or interfere with the brain’s natural function, it’s the best way to start your plant-based medicine journey! Researchers have found that CBD’s healing power can be harnessed to reduce inflammation, lower anxiety levels, alleviate chronic pain, improve sleep quality, boost brain health, manage acne, and even inhibit tumor growth. If you want to focus on holistic wellness and free yourself from the stress of everyday life, then CBD is just what you need to get started on your new wellness routine!
Discover the 7 surprisingly health benefits of CBD here and find the answers to all your CBD FAQs!
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