Within the last few decades, we have seen unprecedented growth in the acceptance and usage of cannabis products. As the healing properties of cannabis come to light, more people are curious about what CBD oil is and how it can help them. Additionally, the study of cannabinoids has led to many discoveries about its possible healing abilities.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are hands-down two of the most well-known of the cannabinoid compounds. There are over 110 active cannabinoids that have been found in cannabis plants so far, and more are discovered every year. However, THC and CBD are spoken about the most owing to their healing properties and other effects.
While both these compounds come from the same cannabis plant family, they have numerous differences. In this article, we aim at understanding both the cannabinoids.
THC and its Uses
The cannabinoid THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Usually, marijuana plants are richer in THC than hemp plants. When we talk about the ‘high’ that marijuana causes, it is all because of the THC content of such plants. By mimicking how neurotransmitters like anandamide and 2-AG take effect in the body, THC causes many changes to your endocannabinoid system.
The effect of THC on the body is more than just psychoactive. It is known to be useful for regulating and modulating sleeping and eating patterns. THC has been known to help with pain perception as well as relaxation, fatigue, reducing aggression levels, and altering sensory perceptions.
Research and studies show that this cannabinoid is also useful in cases of multiple sclerosis, inflammation and chronic pain treatment. Additionally, those suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy or spinal injuries have experienced an improved quality of life with THC.
CBD and its Uses
Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in industrial hemp as well as in marijuana plants. Moreover, CBD’s chemical makeup is very similar to that of THC, with slight variations. While this may cause you to wonder if they have the same effect, this is not the case.
The slight variations present in the chemical structures of both these causes CBD to be non-psychoactive. Most importantly, these differences in the atom alignment of the cannabinoids make CBD very effective in bringing relief to many people suffering from a variety of medical ailments. Moreover, it does this without causing any impairment to your cognitive abilities or unwanted discomfort.
Like THC, even CBD is useful in treating cases of pain, especially neuropathic and cancer treatment-related pain. It is becoming popular as an agent against anxiety, with numerous cbd oil reviews being available. The other medicinal properties of CBD make it beneficial for people with epilepsy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, dyskinesia, ADHD, nausa, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, and many other diseases.
The Differences Between THC and CBD
As we mentioned above, the chemical structures of CBD and THC arent very different. This is the main reason why one is psychoactive and why the other won’t get you high.
The cannabinoid THC binds with CB1 receptors in your brain, and, as a result, a sense of euphoria is experienced. In short, you feel high because of how THC acts on CB1 receptors. On the other hand, CBD doesn’t really bind strongly with CB1 receptors. Moreover, some studies have found that CBD can put a damper on the psychoactive effects of TH on the body.
The legality of cannabis compounds THC and CBD have always been causes of confusion to many. In the case of the US, all CBD products that have less than 0.3% THC content are legal. This applies to all fifty states. On the other hand, in cases of states that haven’t legalized cannabis, CBD oil derived from marijuana is illegal. The main reason for this is that it exceeds the acceptable limits of THC content.
How, we must also note that over 20 states including Colorado and Washington D.C. have passed laws to make high-THC medical marijuana legal. Some states have completely legalized the recreational use of weed. In some cases, a prescription from a licensed medical professional is mandatory. Others might require you to have a medical license. In any case, it is always safer to look for the state’s laws before opting for THC-rich CBD products or using medical marijuana to prevent substantial penalties or incarceration.
Both THC and CBD are reasonably safe to use in the sense that you can’t possibly overdose on either of them. When compared to the effects of some pharmaceutical medications, this is undoubtedly a relief.
CBD is fairly well-tolerated by most people’s bodies. Even in large doses, this cannabinoid doesn’t cause any adverse effects. Some of the common side effects that people notice (nausea, drowsiness, fatigue, etc.) are usually produced as a result of taking large doses of CBD. Moreover, any untoward side effects of CBD are likely to be caused by drug-to-drug interactions between cannabidiol or any other medications you take.
On the other hand, THC can cause some temporary side effects. Depending on the originating plant, quantity and potency, people have known to experience some unpleasant effects. These include redness of eyes, dry mouth — increased heart rate, increased reaction time, and even memory loss. Most importantly, none of these cannabinoids will leave you with permanent side effects.
Still, high THC use is linked to long-term negative psychiatric effects. This is true in the case of adolescents and so it should be taken into consideration.
Both, THC and CBD are stored within the body’s many fat cells. While most employability drug tests aren’t looking for CBD metabolites, heavy use can lead to false-positive results. On the other hand, THC metabolites can cause you to fail drug tests. It is important to remember that metabolites of both these compounds can show up on drug tests for several days and even weeks after you use them.
If you live in a 420-friendly US state, your employer might excuse THC-COOH presence in your sample. However, if recreational weed is illegal in your state, the presence of THC in your body can be cause for concern.
CBD and THC may come from the same plant family, but they are both starkly different from each other. Although they are both considered safe to use, it is always best to consult a medical professional before you start with CBD as a supplement of an alternative healing option. Given how every person’s body is different, the effects of these cannabinoids will be different as well. Remember that having an open mind is the first step towards healing with cannabis.