Whether you use one of these cannabinoids or not, you’re probably familiar with CBD and THC. THC might be more well known, but CBD is now just as sought after. CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids, but how are they actually similar and different? Our experts will explain CBD vs. THC.
All plants contain different compounds and molecules; cannabinoids are compounds found specifically in the cannabis plant.
Dozens of cannabinoids have been identified. You’re probably most familiar with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is a cannabinoid known predominantly for its psychoactive effects, or the “high.” Right now, CBD (Cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid that’s making headlines for its ability to contribute to wellness without causing any psychoactive effects.
As research restrictions are lifted through legislation in the United States and worldwide, scientists continue to discover new cannabinoids. Right now, there are 85 documented cannabinoids. Here are a few that you may have heard of:
When individuals discuss cannabinoids, one critical question arises: How does the human body use cannabinoids? We know that they impact us, as seen through the “psychoactive” high caused by the consumption or inhalation of THC, but what mechanisms in our bodies facilitate these effects?
The endocannabinoid system is a system of receptors that react to cannabinoids. In the 1980s, scientists discovered the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which facilitate the pathways between cannabinoids and our body systems.
Additionally, a neurotransmitter, Anandamide, was discovered, which confirms that the human body creates cannabinoids.
Together, cannabinoids and receptors act to aid in regulatory functions throughout the central nervous systems, the digestive system, and many other body systems.
While they’re “cousins” and come from the same plant, these two cannabinoids have many other similarities and differences. In order to understand how CBD or THC may benefit you personally, having a scope of knowledge surrounding both of them is essential.
When individuals use THC, they expect a certain feeling. In contrast, CBD isn’t a cannabinoid that’s “felt.”
CBD has no psychoactive effects. This distinguishable “high” that THC produces does not occur with CBD. It’s important to note, as well, that while THC can “intoxicate” users, CBD does not. This distinction is important, especially for those seeking particular types of relief or effects.
Many people seek out CBD and THC’s potential benefits, hoping to tailor their use for a desired effect. While research is constantly expanding our understanding of these cannabinoids, more research is needed to understand the scope and efficacy of both CBD and THC for any kind of therapeutic or medical application.
Cannabidiol research has discovered that CBD may have potential in many different areas of an individuals life. Once again, CBD should not be used to treat, prevent, or cure any condition.
Research on THC has been fairly limited due to its legal status. Slowly but surely, THC is being examined in the scientific sphere.
In the United States, the legality of CBD and THC has changed quite rapidly. Additionally, it’s shifted on a state-to-state and national level.
CBD is extracted from hemp, but it wasn’t until the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that industrialized hemp (contains less than 0.3% THC) was distinguished from the cannabis plant.
Hemp-derived CBD falls into a legal grey area in some states. Always check your local laws before purchasing CBD.
It wasn’t until fairly recently that THC became legal in various capacities. Two levels of legality exist: medicinal and recreational. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize THC for medical uses. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize THC for recreational use.
Now (2020), 33 US states have medical programs, and 11 states have recreational programs. Before purchasing or consuming cannabis, remember to check your local and state laws.
When it comes to oils, CBD oils have quite a lot of variation, whereas THC oils do not.
For example, CBD oils come in three varieties:
On the other hand, THC oil isn’t broken up like this. Rather, THC oil comes in a variety of concentrated forms, like:
While we create CBD products, we are not ignorant of the role that they play in greater cannabis conversations. As leaders in the industry, we are dedicated to exploring, seeking out, and engaging with our community when it comes to discussing cannabinoids.