CBD and THC are two prominent terms that appear on recreational or medical cannabis products but not everyone knows what they are.
These are names of two naturally occurring compounds in cannabis called cannabinoids which are responsible for the various effects cannabis has on the mind and body. CBD and THC content are always clearly labelled on cannabis products – but what exactly does it mean?
What is THC?
Let’s start with an explanation of the best-known cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most famous cannabinoid for one obvious reason – it’s responsible for the mind-altering high you get from smoking weed.
This is because THC has a psychoactive effect when it interacts with our brains. Cannabinoids like THC react with part of the brain known as the endocannabinoid system, causing a variety of effects such as the psychoactive high.
THC interacts what part of the endocannabinoid system called CB1 receptors. When attaching to these receptors, the brain sends various signals throughout the body that result in mind-altering effects, as well as some other physical effects too.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prominent cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. The biggest difference between CBD and THC is that only THC is psychoactive. Consuming just CBD, such as from a CBD oil, results in no mind-altering effects. Additionally, CBD balances out the psychoactive effects, reducing the overall intensity and duration of the high.
Because of this, the most popular and famous cannabis strains tend to have little to no CBD and high THC content. However, with more medical benefits of CBD being understood, it’s become more prominent, with cultivators producing cannabis strains with high CBD and with balanced THC and CBD content.
The Main Differences Between CBD and THC
We already touched on the biggest difference between THC and CBD – one gets you high while the other doesn’t. But there are a few other notable differences between these two cannabinoids.
THC is psychoactive, which results in various mind-altering effects when consumed that you don’t get from CBD. For instance, THC is typically very relaxing, uplifting, increases your appetite, and alters your sense of smell, light, and even hearing.
It’s known to be such a powerful relaxant that people often feel tired and fatigued easier, making it a popular treatment for sleep-related problems.
However, sometimes THC’s side-effects are quite unwelcome. For example, it causes red eyes that are quite apparent, while it may increase dryness in the mouth and can even exasperate anxiety and paranoia. The latter two issues often depend on the individual, with those that have suffered from anxiety often finding it’s made worst when smoking weed with high amounts of THC.
Conversely, CBD has very little in the way of negative side effects. Because it’s non-psychoactive, you won’t ever feel high from the effects it brings, meaning no paranoia, fatigue, or dry mouth. In fact, CBD is proven to reduce anxiety!
It also provides a range of natural benefits when consumed. THC does this too, but there are some differences in the type of benefits produced by each.
For instance, CBD oil is known to be an effective treatment for seizures and related conditions such as epilepsy. It shares various benefits with THC too, such as reducing inflammation, pain relief, and lowering anxiety, while THC’s appetite-inducing effects are used as a treatment for side-effects of chemotherapy.