What is the Difference Between THC and CBD? Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two primary cannabinoids that occur naturally in the. There's a lot of confusion about the difference between the different components of the cannabis plant, especially with current laws. We'll take a look at two. With a rising demand for natural medicines, cannabis compounds, comparison between the molecular structure of CBD vs THC reveals the exact opposite. Before we dive in, it's important to understand what cannabinoids.
Between Difference Understanding and the THC CBD
But even though more people are indulging in marijuana, not everyone understands its two main ingredients: These two compounds, known as cannabinoids , are the key to creating different strains of pot with different effects. Of these two cannabinoids, THC is the certainly the more famous. THC is the psychoactive element in cannabis, which makes it the ingredient that causes someone to get high.
While most marijuana sold on the street contains percent THC, certain strains of marijuana, including those sold in dispensaries , average percent THC, with some variety reaching up to 30 percent. Neurotransmitters send signals to the brain that impact the nervous system , hippocampus, and orbitofrontal cortex.
When THC binds to the receptor, it triggers the release of dopamine, causing the pleasurable feeling usually associated with getting high.
Because while there are important legal differences between hemp and marijuana, when it comes to the science, hemp and marijuana are actually just two versions of the cannabis plant. This causes a lot of confusion and it is, admittedly, confusing!
Cannabinoid is a name that describes a ground of similar compounds that are found in the body called endocannabinoids , found naturally in plants called phytocannabinoids , and even made in a lab in this case they're called synthetic cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids interact with a larger system in the body called the endocannabinoid system ECS , which is often described as a major regulatory system. The ECS is responsible for the side effects good and bad of using cannabis—whether that be in the form of hemp oil, CBD oil, or smoking marijuana. The endocannabinoid system is composed of the endocannabinoids that the body produces naturally and also a family of receptors called cannabinoid receptors.
The two cannabinoid receptors to know about are CB1 and CB2, and they explain in large part why cannabis has so many healing properties and also why THC causes intoxication while CBD does not.
Speaking of CBD and THC, it's important to know the difference between these two distinct compounds that interact with the body in very different ways. THC directly binds to CB1 receptors in the body, which are mainly found in the brain and nervous system. Once you know this, it's no big surprise to learn that this CB1 receptor activation is responsible for the "high" from smoking cannabis and that CBD does not directly bind with that receptor.
Instead, CBD interacts with other receptors and pathways in the body that explain many of its specific health benefits.
CBD and THC have been described as "sister molecules" and one of the most interesting aspects of cannabinoid science is the " entourage effect, " which says that cannabinoids are more effective together than they are alone in isolated preparations. This is part of the reason why when you're looking for cannabis products, experts recommend full-spectrum products which include some of the other cannabinoids and terpenes of the plant and to steer clear of isolates, which only contain the single compound and are generally less effective and more difficult to dose.
CBD and THC get a lot of the fame, but there are actually a bunch of cannabinoids worth learning about. Cannabinol CBN , which was actually the first cannabinoid to be discovered, is often used specifically for sleep. Other cannabinoids include cannabigerol CBG , cannabichromene CBC , and tetrahydrocannabivarin THCV , which are all of interest to doctors and researchers for their specific health benefits.
Unfortunately, many of these cannabinoids have barely been studied. Cannabinoids have a wide range of health benefits, ranging from THC's pain-relieving qualities to CBD's anti-anxiety properties. Other areas of research include cannabinoid therapy for PTSD, seizures, depression and anxiety , cancer and cancer-treatment-related symptoms , pain, and addiction especially to opioids. Most of these areas of research are in the preliminary stages, although a CBD-derived pharmaceutical drug was just approved by the FDA for seizure disorders, and THC-based drugs have been available for pain and a few other conditions for quite some time.
It is worth noting that sometimes high doses of THC can exacerbate pain symptoms. Meaning THC consumed in this capacity should be done in small amounts. Additionally, many individuals experience difficulty managing the side effects associated with THC, rendering useless any potential benefits. Some experts suggest that a combination of THC and CBD is the ideal way to approach pain, giving validity to something known as the entourage effect.
For example, mg of isolated CBD may be substantially less effective at alleviating symptoms than mgs of a whole-plant, CBD-containing cannabis extract. Many argue that consuming the plant in its whole form provides all the necessary cofactors to facilitate proper absorption.
This argument is at the heart of the debate over CBD oil from hemp vs. CBD oil from cannabis. While it may be cheaper and more cost-effective to extract CBD from industrial hemp, users may ultimately experience less benefit due to the absence of clinically significant levels of terpenes and other compounds which occur in abundance in high-CBD marijuana.
While high-CBD cultivars of cannabis do contain much higher levels of various cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.
Agricultural hemp is much closer to the kind of cannabis that one would find growing naturally in the wild, whereas high-CBD marijuana is hybridized and toyed with by growers to produce the highest levels of the desirable compounds. There is no hard science yet! It is up to each individual to decide which option is best for them.
THC is an illegal drug with considerable immediate and long-term cognitive side effects. These include impaired thinking and reasoning, a reduced ability to plan and organize, altered decision-making, and reduced control over impulses. Also, chronic use of THC correlates with significant abnormalities in the heart and brain. Given the increasing popularity of medical cannabis, breeders are currently creating strains with higher CBD to THC ratios to minimize the psychoactive side effects. Overall, the lower health risks of CBD, combined with its efficacy, make it a better candidate for natural applications than THC.
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What Is the Difference between CBD and THC?
But what is the difference between the two? The main difference between CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is that CBD. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, or chemical compounds derived the legal growing of hemp, understanding the nuances of cannabis. What's The Real Difference Between CBD & THC? . As research continues, we' ll better understand cannabis and the health benefits of specific cannabinoids.