What’s the Main Difference Between THC and CBD?

CBD and THC have been all the rage ever since the 2018 farm bill that made CBD legal in all 50 states.

While CBD is perfectly legal countrywide, the same may not hold for its chemical counterpart, THC. Wait! But if THC and CBD are almost the same things, then why is one legal and the other illegal?

It’s still a surprise that in 2022, most cannabis enthusiasts still don’t know the difference between THC and CBD. If you just winced while reading that, worry not; we’re here to help you change that.

In today’s post, we’ll be highlighting the main differences between THC and CBD. That way, you can make sure you’re getting the right stuff the next time you hit the marijuana dispensary.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the major compounds found in the cannabis plant. It belongs to a group of chemicals known as cannabinoids that are also found in the cannabis plant.

In recent years, CBD has surged in popularity because of its numerous purported health benefits. In fact, these days, CBD shops are popping up everywhere and selling all kinds of CBD products. Some of these products include CBD oils, tinctures, confectionaries, and even gummies.

Although CBD seems to have tons of benefits, a little more research is necessary to ensure whether the benefits are true. That’s why the FDA strictly warns CBD companies against making unfounded health claims.

What Is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is also a compound in the cannabis plant. However, unlike CBD, THC has more psychoactive effects than its counterpart. THC is the compound responsible for getting you high when you light up a spliff.

Although CBD is legal in all states, the same doesn’t go for THC. Different states have different laws regarding the use and distribution of THC. This makes it all the more important to learn the difference between these two compounds before you end up behind bars.

What’s the Difference Between THC and CBD?

Now that you know everything you need to know about these compounds, let’s look at what makes them different. Here are a couple of differences between THC and CBD that you should be aware of:

The Chemical Structure

At a glance, both THC and CBD have the same chemical structure. That’s right, both compounds have 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. If they all have the same kind and number of atoms, then how can they be different?

Well, much of the difference between these compounds comes from how the atoms are arranged. Even though they are made of the same materials, the different atomic arrangements have different effects on the body.

It’s worth noting that both THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The interaction of these chemicals with the endocannabinoid system is what elicits their various effects. The endocannabinoid system will make neurotransmitters in your brain work in a different way to make your body do different things.

The Medical Benefits

Until recently, all we heard about marijuana was that it was a hippie drug and a menace to society. But now, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the medical benefits of CBD and THC. So what are these medical benefits and do they apply to both THC and CBD?

Although most of the medicinal compounds in THC and CBD are similar, CBD works better for certain conditions than THC. Here are a few conditions that CBD can help treat:

  • Inflammation and pain
  • Seizures
  • Mental disorders
  • Depression and anxiety

On the other hand, THC helps treat conditions like:

  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea 
  • Glaucoma
  • Lack of appetite

As mentioned earlier, CBD and THC distributors must be extra careful when advertising the health benefits of these compounds. That’s because research on these benefits isn’t too conclusive. The FDA might flag the companies for false advertising.

Interested buyers should also be careful to buy the right products for their needs. Don’t get CBD tinctures when what you really need is a little THC in your system.

That’s why we advise visiting a reputable marijuana dispensary for your CBD or THC needs. At least, you can get a proper prescription for what you need, depending on your condition. Don’t take THC when what you need is CBD.

Psychoactive Components

The major difference between CBD and THC is the psychoactive effects of the latter. Although CBD is psychoactive, it’s nowhere close to how psychoactive THC is. A slight buzz that’s almost unnoticeable, but THC will give you a full-blown high.

THC combines with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This results in a feeling of euphoria and mild light-headedness.

CBD also binds to CB1 receptors, but only very lightly. This means that it has very little, if any, psychoactive effect on the brain.

The Legality

The legality of CBD and THC is a murky and complicated subject. However, we’ll try to give you a brief overview of the entire situation.

The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal across all 50 states, provided it was derived from hemp. Keep in mind that hemp is marijuana that contains less than 0.3% THC. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the controlled substances act.

However, the DEA and FDA continue to categorize CBD as a schedule 1 drug; talk about the confusion! That said, 33 states allow CBD products with high levels of THC. However, you’ll probably need a prescription from a licensed physician.

States like Montana, Arizona, and New Jersey have legalized recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. There’s a lot of murkiness regarding CBD and THC jurisdiction. To be on the safe side, check your state-specific laws before making any purchase.

Choose the Compound That Works for You

Now that you know the difference between THC and CBD, we hope you’ll be more comfortable picking between CBD and THC products. Remember, THC is psychoactive, so you might want to tread softly with your THC consumption. Both compounds are immensely beneficial, so choose the one that works for your situation.

Contact us today and we’ll help you find the best CBD and THC products for your needs.