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Over the last few years, CBD has exploded in popularity. The growth in popularity of CBD has led to a shift in the way people look at cannabis. For many years, cannabis was looked at for its THC content due to its ability to cause intoxicating effects in the consumer.
Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids that are located in the cannabis plant. They both also happen to be the most abundant cannabinoids in the plant. In fact, they actually mirror cannabinoids that are naturally produced in your body. This is what allows CBD and THC to engage with receptors located in your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Though both CBD and THC are cannabinoids and interact with the ECS, their effects actually vary greatly. In this article, we are going to explore their differences so that you can walk away with the knowledge on how to best implement either or both in your life in a beneficial, safe manner.
In this section, we are merely providing you with a brief overview of CBD to help establish a foundation to be able to compare with THC. If you would like to read a more in depth overview of CBD, we recommend reading our article What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol. CBD is one of the 100+ chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not cause the consumer to get “high” whenever it is taken. It is the most abundant cannabinoid in the hemp plant. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states so long as the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC.
Once extracted from hemp, CBD can be turned into various products such as oils, gummies, capsules, topical creams/lotions, and much more. Regardless of the CBD product form, CBD can come in the form of full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate.
Full Spectrum CBD: If a CBD extract is full spectrum, this simply means that it contains all of the phytochemicals that occur in the plant naturally. This includes the CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).
Broad Spectrum CBD: Broad spectrum CBD, like full spectrum CBD, contains all phytochemicals that occur within the plant except for THC. After the initial extraction process is complete, the THC is completely removed.
CBD Isolate: This is simply just the CBD with no additional cannabinoids, terpenes, or anything else from the hemp plant.
CBD is considerably well researched and has been found to provide numerous health benefits. We will touch on these later in the article.
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is the main psychoactive cannabinoid. This simply means that when THC is consumed, it will cause intoxicating effects in the user. THC is responsible for the “marijuana high” that causes euphoria, analgesic effects, and stimulation throughout the mind and body.
THC is thought by many to be the only intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis. However, this is not true. What is true, however, is that it is the only cannabinoid that exists in high enough concentrations in nature to cause a user to get high.
This cannabinoid is typically thought by many to only have recreational properties. However, this is also not true. THC is actually well researched for various medicinal applications and is even prescribed for its medical capabilities in many states across the US. We will dive into these benefits in just a bit.
CBD possesses many significant therapeutic benefits. These therapeutic benefits have been concluded from extensive scientific research that has been conducted by many parties, including the US Government, as well as anecdotal accounting from physicians, patients, and general consumers.
CBD has been shown to aid in helping with several ailment such as, but not limited to:
Additionally, CBD is being extensively studied for its potential neuroprotective effects as well as anti-cancer benefits across several academic research centers in the United States and across the globe.
As you can see, the benefits of CBD are far ranging and this explains why it has been anecdotally reported to help with a host of ailments in the mind and body.
As mentioned earlier, while THC is most known for its recreational uses, research is showing how it also has medicinal and therapeutic properties. Researchers are studying THC to see its potential applications to help fight against Alzheimer's Disease. THC also contains some neuroprotective properties and these are most often associated with various mental health applications.
THC acts as a natural painkiller for many users and serves as a solid replacement for the more harmful and abusable prescription painkillers on the market. In lower doses, THC can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, in higher doses, THC can greatly increase anxiety and paranoia in consumers. THC is used to help individuals who suffer from insomnia find relief and establish a normal sleep cycle.
CBD is generally well tolerated by all individuals, regardless of how high or low the dose is. In fact, research suggests that most side effects experienced from CBD is due to CBD’s interaction with other medications users are taking. On the other hand, the side effects of THC are generally much more noticeable and can vary among individuals.
CBD side effects
THC Side Effects