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THC vs. CBD: What You Need to Know
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If you have been involved in the cannabis community for a while, chances are you’ve heard about THC and CBD. Many people think of CBD and THC as essentially the same thing, except one gets you high. With current, accurate and evolving research we can debunk that statement. While THC and CBD are very similar plants, there are some essential differences that are important to know before trying either for yourself. If you are interested in trying these products for yourself or are simply thinking, “What is THC and CBD?,” then this article is for you.
What is CBD?
Cannibidol (CBD), is a chemical compound and member of the cannabinoid family. CBD is non-intoxicating, naturally occurs in the cannabis plant and works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD is isolated from hemp, which naturally has more CBD than cannabis. A really great characteristic of CBD is that it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects, but still provides all of the same medicinal benefits as cannabis. CBD is a great choice for individuals who want to experience the natural benefits of cannabis without the “high.” CBD can contain a small amount of THC due to its origins (usually less than 0.3%), which isn’t enough to induce psychoactive effects.
What is THC?
Tetrohydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in cannabis and is responsible for provoking psychoactive effects in its users. THC is derived from the cannabis plant. THC is one of over 480 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with the cannabinoid receptors in our brains. THC works by mimicking certain chemicals in our brains. For example, THC produces the same effects as the neurotransmitter anandamide, which is responsible for pleasure and the relief of depression and stress, by plugging itself into our cannabinoid receptors.
What are the Main Differences Between CBD and THC?
The biggest THC and CBD difference is effects they have in the body and how the compounds are derived. CBD and THC have the same chemical formula but interact with our endocannabinoid systems in different ways. CBD is typically derived from hemp plants as they contain more CBD than THC, whereas THC is derived from cannabis which contains more THC than CBD.
Medicinal Benefits: THC vs. CBD
Generally, CBD and THC have the same medicinal qualities. However, recent studies have shown that CBD may be the better choice in some situations, and vice versa. For pain management, if your pain is more inflammatory based, CBD may be a better option. However, ultimately for most pain, THC is the way to go. When it comes to sleep, CBD is the best choice. THC causes drowsiness and can induce sleep at a fast rate, but the quality of sleep is a different story. Studies show that THC may interact with REM sleep cycles, where CBD does not.
Overall, THC and CBD are two very similar, yet different compounds. They are derived from hemp and cannabis, which both contain certain amounts of THC and CBD. They both interact with our endocannabinoid systems in a similar manner. However, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects and contains less than 0.3% of THC. When it comes to medicinal benefits, both THC and CBD are wonderful choices. For most ailments and conditions, either compound will be a great choice. In terms of sleep, CBD may be a better choice as it doesn’t interact with your REM sleep cycle.