Cannabis plants contain hundreds of active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to help treat or limit the effects of various conditions. Certain cannabinoids are also responsible for the euphoric “high” associated with smoking cannabis.
Although cannabis plants produce hundreds of cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most fundamental ones. These cannabinoids may have some similarities but affect the body in distinct ways. Different cannabis strains contain varying amounts of THC and CBD.
So, what’s the difference between CBD and THC?
To answer this question, we must first understand the nature of the two substances and how they interact with the human body. This information is incredibly crucial when starting a CBD brand or marijuana company. Similarly, it can help recreational and medical cannabis consumers make better choices when shopping for products.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive chemical in cannabis plants that produces the “high” sensation. Consequently, recreational cannabis, commonly referred to as marijuana or weed, is packed with THC to offer the best psychoactive effects. Nevertheless, THC also has some medical benefits, albeit not as much as CBD.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is another crucial active ingredient of cannabis plants. It can be extracted from hemp or cannabis and has numerous potential health benefits. CBD is available in different variations and products, including oils, gels, supplements, and more. Given CBD’s correlation with THC, many people new to cannabis often wonder, what’s the difference between CBD and weed?
CBD, unlike THC-rich weed, doesn’t induce a euphoric feeling when consumed. Therefore, CBD products provide the medicinal benefits of cannabis without getting users high. Even so, understanding how to store CBD is crucial for maintaining its medical benefits since it loses potency and degrades over time without proper storage.
Fortunately, you can find excellent CBD storage tips to help you keep your products fresh and effective for as long as possible. Although storing the products in a cool, dry place usually does the trick, sometimes freezing CBD products is the best option. Therefore, getting accurate information is vital for maximizing the lifespan of your products.
Now that we are familiar with THC and CBD, one question remains; how is CBD different from weed? Although CBD and THC have a lot in common, they also have several differences that dictate how people use them. These inherent distinctions also make the US legal system treat THC and CBD products differently. Here’s a look at the principal differences between the two cannabinoids.
The laws surrounding the legality of THC and CBD products are one of the key differences between the two chemical compounds. Although these rules keep changing as the industry evolves, cannabis is still illegal on a federal level.
Nevertheless, hemp-derived products, including CBD products, are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, provided they contain no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Still, each state has distinct guidelines for cultivating, distributing, and retailing hemp-derived CBD products. Hence, it would be best to conduct due diligence about CBD laws in your state.
On the other hand, cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC is federally illegal in the United States. Even so, 19 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
Although THC and CBD have similar chemical structures with 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms, there is a difference in how they are arranged. As a result, this gives the two compounds different chemical properties, causing THC and CBD to affect the body differently.
Both CBD and THC interact with various cannabinoid receptors in the human body. However, they have different effects. THC binds to the principal cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which control pain, mood, and other feelings. This is because it has a similar chemical structure as cannabinoids that the body produces naturally. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. For this reason, consumers won’t get high when they use CBD products.
In 2018, the FDA approved the first prescription medicine containing CBD, Epidiolex. People use this CBD-rich medicine to treat rare forms of epilepsy. Similarly, CBD has the potential to aid in controlling various other conditions, such as nausea, mental disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, anxiety, and much more. Nonetheless, the FDA has yet to authorize using CBD products to treat these conditions.
THC also has a few medical benefits. The FDA has authorized two synthetic formulations of THC to treat specific conditions. These include Nabilone for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and Dronabinol to stimulate appetite for patients with AIDS and anorexia. THC is also often used to help with pain, glaucoma, insomnia, and other conditions.
Although cannabis is gaining popularity across the United States as more jurisdictions legalize it, public information about it is still low. Consequently, many questions have emerged concerning cannabis and its components, like, is CBD marijuana? And what’s the difference between THC and CBD? Fortunately, the information provided here provides a roadmap to help cannabis fanatics understand THC and CBD.