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cbd vs thc

CBD vs THC | Difference Between These Powerful Cannabinoids

Oftentimes, when discussing anything related to cannabis, people immediately think of THC. There is more than cannabis then this psychoactive component though, which we’ve seen with the emergence of a flourishing CBD industry. While CBD and THC are surely related in some capacity, they are not the same. For once and for all, let’s get to the bottom of CBD vs THC.

CBD and THC Are Both Cannabinoids

The cannabis plant (indica or sativa) contains numerous cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds within the cannabis plant, but they can be found in our organisms as well. There are over 100 distinct cannabinoids, and more are discovered as cannabis research progresses.

In 1895, the first cannabinoid was isolated, making CBN the first cannabinoid to be discovered. Since then, more and more research has been conducted to isolate the hundreds of cannabinoids we now know of.

While CBD was discovered in 1940, THC was discovered in 1942.

What is THC?

THC is perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that was discovered in the early 1940’s. Long before then, however, people were smoking weed and feeling the effects of THC.

In the 1960’s the war on drugs focused on THC (and other substances), claiming that society, and mostly youth, were being negatively affected. The movement put forth legislation that would forever impact the way society views cannabis. For example, THC (marijuana) remains on the Schedule I substances list, which is set forth by the federal government.

In more recent years, a handful of US states have passed laws that allow their citizens to access THC for medicinal and recreational reasons. 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, with many more states having legalized just medical.

Progress is progress. Especially when research demonstrates the abilities of THC. More so than ever before, our society is talking about THC. From regular news stories to political debates, it’s clear that THC isn’t going anywhere.

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid that is also found in the cannabis plant. CBD is found alongside other cannabinoids, like THC. Unlike its more well-known cousin, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. If you consume CBD, you won’t ever feel high.

Recently, CBD has grown in popularity. CBD found its way into the news when we heard about the story of Charlotte Figi, a young girl with a seizure disorder, who found relief with hemp. Since then, many industries, including the cannabis community have had a growing interest in CBD.

Did you know, hemp has higher concentrations of Cannabidiol? This has allowed many companies to get around the Schedule I regulation that marijuana holds. This has made it available in almost every state.

Like THC, research has found that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. From daily use, to use for specific conditions, it’s becoming evident that CBD has increasingly profound potential. With very few (if any) side effects, CBD is becoming an integral part of the cannabis community.

CBD and THC Have Been Studied

Contrary to popular belief, both CBD and THC have been studied.

While opponents of all things cannabis refute this, there is a depth of research, which has been conducted over decades. In fact, Israel is the epicenter of cannabis research. Who knew, right?

This is why numerous pharmaceutical companies have set up research centers in the country, hoping to cash in on research in anticipation that the US might decide to view cannabis more favorably on the federal level.

While there are numerous studies, here is a good place to start if you’re interested in learning more about cannabis research.


While CBD and THC are derived from the same plant, they are very different cannabinoids.

CBD has been at the forefront of many discussions in the cannabis, health, and research communities. Its non-psychoactive effects and evidence-based effects are truly intriguing.

On the other hand, THC continues to face scrutiny under federal law but has certainly helped patients find results through legal state-run cannabis programs.

While people will always associate CBD and THC with one another, their differences are clear.

• December 28, 2017