CBD vs. THC
Cannabis is made up of hundreds of chemical substances. Over 100 of these substances are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are made and stored in the plant’s trichomes, which are the clear hairs that stick out from the plant’s flowers and leaves. Cannabinoids are diverse chemical compounds that attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors in our body’s cells and change how these cells behave and communicate with each other.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two primary and most researched cannabinoids that occur naturally in the Cannabis plant. CBD and THC have the exact same chemical makeup: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. What differentiates these two cannabinoids is the arrangement of a single atom.
Both CBD and THC interact with cannabinoid receptors, but they differ dramatically in their effects on the mind and body. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it produces no intoxicating effects on the user. Because of this attribute, CBD is more commonly found in dietary and natural supplements.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another critical cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant. The slight variance in atom arrangement marks the difference in the way THC an CBD effect the body. THC binds with the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce a sense of high or intoxication. CBD, however, forms a very weak bond with the CB1 receptors and can interfere with the binding of THC to reduce its psychoactive effects.
Research suggests that CBD may be useful in aiding with the symptoms and conditions associated with:
- Pain and inflammation
- Depression and anxiety
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Bacterial infections
Overall, the lower risks of CBD, combined with the medical benefits produced when it interacts with the body, make it an ideal candidate for natural applications.
What is THC?
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most researched cannabinoid and the main psychoactive component found in the Cannabis plant. THC is responsible for the way your brain and body respond to cannabis, including the high and intoxication experienced with recreational cannabis use. While THC has some therapeutic effects, it can also be harmful depending on its potency.
The potency (concentration) of THC in cannabis is often shown as a percentage of THC by weight (or by volume of an oil) and varies based on form. THC potency in dried cannabis can reach a potency of up to 30% as opposed to the 3% maximum found in cannabis oils. THC and CBD possess many of the same medical benefits and can provide relief from several conditions. However, the euphoric and psychoactive effects that come with THC use have made CBD a more popular choice for individuals seeking medical relief.
The temporary effects of THC include:
- Red eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Slower reaction times
- Altered senses of sight, smell, and hearing
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