Although THC and CBD, both are obtained through cannabis species yet depict some major differences with respect to several aspects. In addition to the medicinal benefits, we come across some other points of difference while comparing THC and CBD. From chemical structure to legality, both of these compounds have different facets with unique properties. In light of such public curiosity, we have compiled analytical data to get a record of a comparison between the two. THC vs CBD is going to give you a bird’s eye view to judge both chemical compounds without any biased judgments.
Although a great proportion of the population uses these compounds in regular life yet there is a certain ambivalence over the knowledge regarding these. We at INSTANCE, believe that one should be aware of the real facts, with all the goods and bad, for a justified adjudication. To hear a rumor, believe it, and spread it on, was never the way and won’t ever be. Absconders can’t defend themselves amidst all the legal mess and physical manifestation. Thus, it’s always better to read a bit before jumping into something.
CBD and THC are the compounds produced by the cannabis plant with a list of other substances. But among that list, these two hold the top spot with all the attention of the public. The main difference is described as,
THC can make you feel all for which cannabis is famous. On the other hand, CBD’s effects cannot be felt.
CBD stands for “cannabidiol”, which is the name given to its chemical structure.
THC is the abbreviation for “tetrahydrocannabinol”. The arrangement of the atoms has rendered this change in name from CBD.
Chemical composition: THC vs CBD
“diol” in Cannabidiol, refers to the presence of two alcohol groups in the chemical structure moreover, two methyl groups with two benzene rings are also present. On the other hand, THC has 3 benzene rings, one free alcohol group, and 4 methyl groups.
Both CBD and THC have the same composition of elements with 30 Hydrogen atoms, 21 Carbon atoms, and 2 Oxygen atoms. But their orientation and the formation of the chemical structure are different. This gives different chemical properties to these compounds. Thus both of these are isomers in terms of chemistry.
Basic Mechanism: THC vs CBD
The chemical structure is important since the interaction at the molecular level actually determines the effect of any compound. The molecular structure of CBD and THC resembles endocannabinoids and thus interacts with respective cannabinoid receptors in the body. These chemicals stimulate the release of different neurotransmitters which in turn affect the body, one way or another.
The psychoactive effect produced by CBD and THC
THC produces a euphoria effect that isn’t associated with CBD. That’s the reason why most of the public these days prefer the products processed in such a way, as to have low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD.
THC binds and interacts with cannabinoid 1 receptors and releases neurotransmitters. On the other side, CBD binds quite loosely with these receptors and doesn’t produce equally sedation effects. It also controls the mood, feelings, and pain. All the intoxication is due to high doses of THC, while CBD doesn’t cause any intoxication and is purely famous for pain management and several other therapeutical uses.
Legalization of CBD and THC:
The legalization of marijuana and hemp has always captured the attention of common people. Archaic traditions are evolving with every passing day and the discovery of scientific knowledge. Since CBD is alleged to be a beneficial compound with many medicinal advantages, it has been declared legal in many states. While THC’s regulation is far more censored than CBD due to its psychoactive effects on the brain. Still some states and regions allow a certain concentration of THC in products due to its perks.
Also, Read our critical analysis of the legalization of CBD.
Being a mature and responsible citizen and tourist ALWAYS remembers to read out the legal laws regarding such stuff before using it. Even if you are medicinal marijuana, still the purchase and usage might be illegal in your state. You can use the state’s official site to reach such documents. For instance, US laws about the legal issues regarding marijuana can be reached here. For most of the states, 0.3 percent THC is alleged as legal. Do read the farm bill that legalized industrial hemp on the agricultural lands in all the states of America. Laws are different in other countries.
Medical uses: THC vs CBD
FDA has approved some of the CBD containing medicines regarding the treatment of some severe types of rare childhood epilepsy, where the brain signals are without control and regulation. Major health issues from which CBD reliefs one are as following:
- Trauma and related PTSD
- Dravet’s syndrome (understudy)
- Mental diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Seizures as in epilepsy
- Social anxiety disorder
- Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other psychological diseases
- Crohn’s disease
- Relaxing and Calming
Read more about the advantages of CBD in our article: Benefits of CBD
Although scientists are researching for detailed mechanism yet some of the CBD containing medicines are efficiently working against diseases. As far as THC is concerned, its list of advantages is also as long as the CBD. Some of the famous advantages of THC are as following:
- Provides sleep aid
- Chronic Pain (Nerve Pain)
- Lessens the tremors in the case of spinal injury
- Alleviate symptoms by stimulating appetite and eating in AIDS
- Side effects of chemotherapy
- Parkinson’s disease tremors
- Low appetite (THC increases appetite)
- Antiemetic (reliefs Nausea and vomiting)
- Muscle spasticity
Read more about the advantages of THC in our article: Benefits of THC
Moreover, some advantages are shared by both compounds. Those benefits are as following:
- Eases migraine
- Alzheimer’s disease
Side effects: THC vs CBD
According to WHO’s report on cannabidiol, CBD is tolerated even in large doses and the side effects usually manifest themselves due to the interaction of cannabidiol with several other drugs that might be present in the body of a few persons. Those drug-drug interactions result in those side effects. CBD can have the following possible effects:
- Appetite changes or loss
- Weight loss
- Low B.P
- Lightheaded feeling
Whereas, THC leads to the following side effects:
- Elevated heart rate
- Balance issues
- Dried mouth
- Short term Memory loss
- Red eyes
- Slower responses
None of these side effects is permanent. BUT, some of the cases have shown that abnormally high and increased amounts of THC without any regulation can lead to some longer mental issues i.e. Schizophrenia.
Drug Testing: THC vs CBD
Both of these compounds are stored in the fat tissues of the body and thus can manifest themselves in the tests even after days and weeks of usage. CBD is not usually shown in regular drug tests but CBD sensitive tests are available for that purpose.
Marijuana has a high amount of THC and low amounts of CBD. On the other hand, hemp has higher amounts of CBD as compared to THC. So if one has procured and consumed hemp he might still test positive for the THC because of the little amount of this compound in hemp as a side ingredient.
Taking CBD with THC lowers the high effect of THC that distorts the perception and sensing abilities for a time. It actually lowers the interaction of THC with CB1 receptors in the brain, and thus lessens the altering in their function.
High doses of CBD can produce a highly relaxing effect often equalized with the feel right after stepping out of the hot tub. The brain is more relaxed and clear.
Moreover, hemp and marijuana, are Cannabis Sativa but their physical appearance of plant bodies and compositions is different.
Changing trend: THC vs CBD
In earlier times, people used to prefer cannabis strain with more THC content as this was majorly used as a drug to get high on. Addicted people never regulated its use and instead of getting rid of the problems, they lost the liveliness as a whole.
Now preferred strain by the people is high on CBD with lower amounts of THC content. Such a strategy not only releases the stress but also ensures quality time spent, which also decreases the depression. A regulated strategy about the intake of hemp is one of the premium ways to spend the holidays as it works in a therapeutic manner.
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