Natural medicines are seeing an increase in demand, and cannabis compounds like THC and CBD are starting to become more and more popular due to their wide array of different health benefits. Both compounds can be found in many marijuana strains and their close relationship has already led some users to assume that they both have the same impact on our bodies. This could not be further since the THC and CBD effects that we experience are all different.
This is backed up by research done to compare their molecular structures which further proved that THC and CBD are completely different from one another. But we really can’t blame those who think that these two are one and the same because both THC and CBD have the same chemical makeup. To be more precise, both compounds possess 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.
This type of chemical makeup almost makes the two of them seem like identical twins. However, what makes them different from one another is a single atom that has a different arrangement. Just think about it, an atom is a million times smaller than a strand of human hair, so we’re talking about a microscopic difference here.
Now you’re probably wondering how such a small difference could make THC so different from CBD. The short answer to this question is that they are very, very different from one another, but let’s look at some of the details, shall we?
The Main Difference
The main difference between CBD and THC is that the former does not induce a mental or physical high whereas THC does. Despite both compounds sharing the same molecular formula and mass, they react quite differently.
THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis and induces feelings of drowsiness, which is one of the more common effects of smoking marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, provides users with a boost of energy and helps keep them up. THC is also the compound responsible for inducing a physical and mental high whenever one smokes marijuana.
Since most marijuana strains have traces of both compounds in them, CBD counters the effects of THC by reducing stress, anxiety and other negative feelings. This is the reason why CBD is often extracted from cannabis for non-recreational and non-psychoactive purposes.
Getting to Know CBD
Cannabis has 400 compounds in it and CBD happens to be one of them and is responsible for counteracting the effects of THC. Even though CBD’s molecule is almost similar THC’s, it will not get you high. CBD on its own has already been proven to have many health benefits, and this includes treating depression, anxiety, stress, and epilepsy.
The compound’s non-psychoactive nature has helped it garner plenty of support from the medical community thanks to its many therapeutic benefits. These benefits have been further maximized by the medicinal and retail markets, with CBD products being sold in the form of oils, gummies, vapes, and even drinks. Cannabinoid oil is also another very popular product made from CBD.It has even been used to treat dogs suffering from conditions like anxiety, pain, mobility and heart disease. CBD products for dogs such as oils and dog treats have gained a lot of popularity over the years and are even being recommended by veterinarians. Its antibiotic properties have also been said to help fight off infections, but the research on this has produced mixed results.
Getting to Know THC
THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is marijuana’s psychoactive component. Like we mentioned earlier, THC’s molecule is closely similar to CBD’s, but unlike CBD this compound is responsible for getting you high. It is also the reason why THC is not as universally accepted in the medical field like CBD is.
This doesn’t mean that THC doesn’t have any benefits of its own to give. As a matter of fact, THC has been known to possess properties that can help treat asthma, nausea, pain, anxiety and anorexia nervosa just to name a few. While these are obviously great benefits, its psychoactive nature still makes its medicinal properties a subject of controversy.
CBD’s many health benefits have all been widely researched, and its non-psychoactive properties have also been attributed to helping known health problems such as epilepsy. This is something that has been claimed by the Anna Kabram, the Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration. Getting the backing of the USFDA makes it pretty clear that CBD’s positive health benefits are starting to become more uncovered as time goes on.
THC, despite being more controversial than CBD, brags quite a few positive benefits of its own. When used as cannabis oil, THC has been found to treat the symptoms of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. THC has also been known to be effective in alleviating pain and providing relief from multiple sclerosis.
With the increasing legalization of marijuana all over the world, perhaps it will only be a matter of time before people are finally able to realize that there are plenty of positive THC and CBD effects that can benefit their health. For now though, knowing the difference between the two compounds will prove to be useful as medicinal cannabis continues to become legal worldwide.