What’s The Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are both widely known and widely used compounds. These two have a handful of similarities but have vastly different effects. Because they have so many similarities, THC and CBD are often confused for each other.

People who are interested in CBD are sometimes put off because they associate the compound with THC. While both of the compounds come from strains of cannabis, they are used for very different reasons. THC is often used recreationally due to its psychoactive properties.

CBD, on the other hand, is primarily used as a health and wellness compound. It does not have the same psychoactive effects as THC, but instead offers a completely unique set of benefits.

If you’ve heard of these compounds but aren’t quite sure how they differ, we’ve got you covered! In this article we aim to help you become more familiar with various types of cannabinoids, as well as their differences and effects.

The Different Types of Cannabis

To understand why THC and CBD often get confused, we need to understand their history. Marijuana is still widely illegal, but has been used throughout the country since it was popularized in the mid-1900s. Many people find its psychoactive effects to be enjoyable and use the plant recreationally.

These psychoactive effects stem directly from the interaction between THC and the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive cannabinoid that exists in high concentrations in Marijuana.

CBD is a cannabinoid that is present in both Cannabis-sativa (Hemp) and Cannabis-indica (Marijuana). This compound is typically extracted from hemp because the hemp plant naturally has a higher CBD content than Marijuana.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is both enjoyable to use and highly beneficial. It is more commonly used as a health and wellness product than it is recreationally. That being said, plenty of people use CBD because they find it enjoyable and relaxing. There are also a plethora of impressively delicious products to choose from.

An Introduction to Cannabinoids

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids. What are cannabinoids? They are compounds that exist in both the human body and in cannabis plants.

In the human body, cannabinoids are found in the endocannabinoid system. This system is made of retrograde neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors and influence both the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Phytocannabinoids exist in the cannabis plant. There are 113 known phytocannabinoids, but it is widely believed that there are more that have yet to be discovered. Each of these cannabinoids has its own unique effect on the human body.

Though THC interfaces with the CB1 receptor and is highly psychoactive, many believe that it has medicinal potential beyond its obvious recreational potential. CBD is unique in that it indirectly interfaces with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, causing unique effects in each person who uses it.

Cannabinoids are fascinating compounds. They have been outlawed in the U.S for nearly a century, but with advances in medical science and a more willing society, cannabinoids’ potential is being further realized everyday.

Psychoactive vs. Non-Psychoactive

One very important distinction between CBD and THC is that THC is psychoactive and CBD is not. What is psychoactive? Simply put, it’s when you get “high” or inebriated in some way from a compound. THC is a well known psychoactive compound that has been popularized through Marijuana use.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that has been popularized as a wellness product. One of the many things that people love about CBD products is that they get to experience all of the benefits that cannabinoids have to offer without suffering the hazy side-effects of Marijuana.

Are THC and CBD Illegal?

THC and CBD have both been through a prohibition era that lasted nearly a century. It’s widely believed that hemp and marijuana were outlawed because they were in direct competition with blossoming textile industries in the early 1900’s.

In 2018, industrial hemp was legalized thanks to the Farm Bill. This bill states that industrial hemp production is legal as long as the plants contain 0.3% THC or less. CBD is legal in almost every state in the country.

THC, being that it is psychoactive, is still outlawed in most of the country. Some states like California, Colorado, and Oregon have legalized recreational Marijuana use, but there’s still a long road ahead for the majority of the U.S.

Will CBD or THC Make Me Fail a Drug Test?

Cannabis-related drug tests were designed to recognize the use of Marijuana. The problem is that these tests are sensitive to all cannabinoids. Drug testing technology has not caught up with the CBD boom and cannot distinguish the difference between CBD and THC.

If you use THC, you’re pretty much guaranteed to fail a drug test. If you use CBD, there is still a possibility that you will falsely test positive. If you’re concerned about taking a drug test while using CBD, we highly recommend that you speak to your primary physician.

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