THC vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

The times they are a-changin’. This is certainly true as it pertains to marijuana laws across the country. The more time passes, the more states join in on the rush of legalization that is happening all around the nation.

With this growing acceptance of cannabis, many people who haven’t tried such products before are beginning to look into them. If you’re new to this whole world, you might be curious: what’s the difference between THC vs CBD?

You certainly aren’t alone in your confusion. This is a distinction that many people new to these kinds of products don’t make, but it is an important one nonetheless. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you should know.

What’s The Big Difference?

CBD products are becoming popular around the country, even in places where marijuana hasn’t been legalized. If you live in any even moderately sized city, you’ve likely seen signs advertising CBD products pop up around town.

Where is all this attention coming from and what is CBD?

It might be easier to explain by starting with the similarities. THC and CBD are, after all, both from the same plant, cannabis. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, while CBD stands for cannabidiol.

THC, for reference, is the chemical compound that marijuana is rich in. It’s what creates the experience of being ‘high.’ It’s psychoactive and when it combines with receptors in the brain, it will create a significant feeling of euphoria.

Despite being from the same plant, the two compounds differ in many significant ways. Unlike THC, CBD does not have an intoxicating effect. This is actually why many people choose CBD products over more traditional marijuana products.

It’s also why many CBD products are legal across the country while THC-laden products are still banned in many areas.

CBD is more commonly used for the other benefits of marijuana use outside of the ‘high.’ Many people choose to use these products because they can help relieve pain, soothe nerves, and generally relax the body.

THC can do this as well, of course, but with the added drawback (or bonus, depending on your perspective) of intoxication.

Chemical Differences

Getting into the actual scientific reasons that CBD and THC are different can get a little complicated, but we can offer a brief summary.

It is true that both compounds share what is essentially the same chemical composition. However, the atomic arrangements between the two are different. The atoms in the compounds of both form a ring.

However, CBD has an open ring while THC has a closed ring. For this reason alone, the compounds end up interacting differently with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. The reaction our brains have to the compounds has everything to do with the distinction we make between them.

Conditions CBD Can Help With

CBD is used medicinally by people all over the world. The use of CBD for medicinal reasons is only increasing as more research is done. Due to its lack of THC, CBD can be used to target many of the issues medical marijuana was prescribed for but without the intoxicating factors.

Those who suffer from pain and inflammation in their joints can find great relief by applying CBD ointments. Those suffering from PTSD and anxiety can relax their brains a bit with the compound. Those who suffer from epilepsy and seizures can also look to CBD as a huge part of their support system.

Those looking for support in this way could purchase a CBD flower, which is a dried cannabis flower that has been cured to contain high levels of CBD and low levels of THC.

To date, no serious negative side effects of CBD have been found. Nausea, diarrhea, and similar mild issues could result just as they could with THC-laden products, however. These issues are not common.

CBD can even help to lessen the more extreme aspects of smoking marijuana. It tends to balance out THC. Someone using a THC-laden product could take one that has a high level of CBD for a more mellow experience overall.

Understanding THC vs CBD Laws

The other major distinction between the two chemical compounds, of course, is their role under the eyes of U.S. law. Despite many recent changes across the country, products that contain THC are still illegal in many locations.

In fact, the punishment for being caught with even a moderate amount of marijuana in many states is still quite severe.

Is this not the case with CBD products? No. At the end of 2018, industrial hemp became a legal agricultural commodity across every state in the nation. This was all passed under what became known as the Farm Bill.

Strictly speaking, the Drug Enforcement Association still considers CBD to be a Schedule I controlled substance, but the levels of CBD found in hemp stalks are not illegal.

Different states across the country have different rules about hemp-derived CBD and it is worth looking into local laws before purchasing any products.

At this point in time, there are several states that have operating and legal cannabis marketplaces. Laws continue to change and one should do their research prior to purchasing, transporting, or using any cannabis-related product.

Differences Between THC and CBD

There is a lot one might need to understand the differences between THC vs. CBD. If you’re not well versed in cannabis matters, it can be confusing to differentiate these two acronyms. The above information should prove helpful in understanding the key differences despite their similar source of origin.

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