CBD vs. THC | Fifth Ave Green House
Note: If THC is used in this article, it is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
As the use of hemp and other marijuana products increases, consumers become more and more curious about their properties. These include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in cannabis plants.
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What is CBD?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a chemical found in the U.S. cannabis plant.
It is a naturally occurring substance that is used in products such as oils and foods to provide a sense of calm and relaxation.
CBD can be obtained from hemp or cannabis.
Cannabis and hemp come from the cannabis sativa plant. Legal hemp must not contain more than 0.3% THC.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance that is used and sold in the form of gels, gums, oils, nutritional supplements, extracts, etc.
Unlike its cousin Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other main active ingredient in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive.
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What is THC?
THC stands for Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC). It is a cannabinoid molecule found in cannabis and has long been known as the main psychoactive ingredient. This substance makes people who use cannabis feel high.
THC can be consumed by smoking cannabis. It can also be used in oils, tinctures, capsules, foods, etc.
THC is just one of more than 400 different active ingredients and 60 different cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis, although THC is the best known. Another important cannabinoid molecule that has received a lot of attention is cannabidiol (CBD).
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CBD and THC: chemical structure
Both CBD and THC have the same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms.
Subtle differences in the arrangement of atoms determine the difference in the effect on the human body.
Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to the body’s own endocannabinoid. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages between cells and play an important role in pain, immune function, stress, and sleep, as well as many other functions.
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CBD and THC: Psychoactive Components
Despite their similar chemical structure, CBD and THC do not share the same psychoactivity.
CBD is psychoactive, just not like THC. It doesn’t produce the heady high associated with THC.
CBD has been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and seizures, among other things.
THC binds to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain.
It creates a sense of euphoria that we identify as the cannabis high.
CBD binds very weakly (if at all) to the CB1 receptor. With CBD, THC needs to bind to the CB1 receptor, which in turn can help reduce some of the adverse psychological effects of THC, such as euphoria or sedation.
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CBD and THC: Legal Attitude
Laws related to marijuana are evolving rapidly in the United States. Technically, CBD is still considered a class 1 drug under federal law.
Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to list CBD as a List 1 drug.
As of 2021, 36 states in the United States plus Washington, DC have a medical cannabis program on the books, and 16 states allow certain levels of recreational cannabis use.
Cannabis may need to be prescribed by a licensed doctor.
In states where marijuana is legal for recreational or medicinal use, you should be able to purchase CBD.
Before attempting to buy a product containing CBD or THC, it is important to research the laws in your state.
Since early pioneers like Colorado, Washington, and New England states saw millions of dollars in tax revenue, more U.S. states, even traditional red states, have changed their attitudes toward cannabis to take advantage of the tax breaks promised by legalization.
You can face legal sanctions if you own marijuana-related products in a state where it is illegal or if you do not have a prescription in a state where it is legal. Even in states where marijuana is legal, there are laws in place about how much you can take with you, keep in your home, grow, and carry.
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CBD and THC: Medicinal Benefits
CBD and THC share many of the same medicinal benefits. They can alleviate several of the same conditions. But CBD doesn’t cause the euphoria THC creates. Without this side effect, some people may prefer CBD.
In June 2018, the FDA received official approval as a trusted source for Epidiolex, the first prescription drug to contain CBD. It is used to treat a rare type of epilepsy that is difficult to control.
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CBD is commonly used to treat:
· Inflammatory and neuropathic pain
· Insanity or disorder
Inflammatory bowel disease
THC is commonly used to treat:
· Muscle spasm
· Loss of appetite
CBD and THC: side effects
CBD is well tolerated even at high doses. Studies from many trusted sources show that any side effects you experience when using CBD are most likely due to interactions between CBD and other medications you may be taking.
THC can cause temporary side effects such as:
· Increased heartbeat
· Coordination problems
· dry mouth
· Red eyes
· Response time is slower
· Memory loss
Side effects of CBD can include:
· Change in appetite
· Weight loss
These side effects are part of the compound’s psychoactivity.
None of the compounds are fatal. Heavy THC use, however, can be linked to long-term negative psychiatric effects. This is especially true of adolescents or minors whose brains are still developing and who consume large amounts of THC, although there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana use causes psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
CBD vs. THC: Drug Tests
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are lipophilic or fat-soluble, so they are stored in body fat.
They can show up in drug tests days or weeks after ingestion.
Not every drug test can detect CBD, but CBD-sensitive tests can be used. Most standard drug tests look for chemicals that are associated with THC so use of THC or cannabis in the screening may show up.
Hemp can produce some THC in addition to CBD. Even if you’re not using THC, the test can be positive.
It’s important to note that products that are purported to be THC-free may not be THC-free. Therefore, caution should be exercised when choosing products if you want to stay THC-free.
If THC and CBD are two different compounds, why is there talk about the THC content of CBD oil?
CBD and THC are the two most popular cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Both hemp and cannabis produce CBD and THC.
However, cannabis is high in THC. Hemp has a high concentration of CBD.
Cannabis strains contain around 12% THC on average, but they can vary, and potent strains of THC can contain around twice that.
CBD oil can contain a small amount of THC because it is found in very small amounts in the cannabis plant. At the federal level, CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Both CBD and THC have medicinal benefits. They are also considered safe, but take into account side effects and the possibility of interactions with other drugs you are taking.
If in doubt, consult your doctor or a qualified cannabis or CBD doctor before use.