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Differences between CBD and THC

As the laws regarding cannabis and marijuana products become softer, consumers are starting to get curious regarding the options that they have This includes the naturally occurring compounds present in cannabis, which are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

CBD can be derived from marijuana as well as hemp. Hemp plants contain THC levels lower than 0.3%. Meanwhile, marijuana plants possess higher THC concentrations. CBD products are available in various forms, such as CBD Bath Bombs, CBD Beauty Products, CBD Body Lotion, CBD Candy, CBD Capsules, CBD Flower, CBD Gummies, CBD Honey Sticks, CBD Products for Pets, CBD Soap, CBD Tinctures, CBD Vape Juice, and CBD Vape Pens & Cartridges.

THC is the psychoactive compound present in marijuana. It is known for its high sensation that people experience when people use THC products. Most people consume this compound through capsules, tinctures, edibles, oils, and smoking marijuana.

Both CBD and THC have different effects. They also have plenty of things in common, but there are a few key differences that dictate how people use them.

The Chemical Structure of CBD and THC

THC and CBD have similar molecular structures. They have two oxygen atoms, thirty hydrogen atoms, and twenty-one carbon atoms. There is a minor difference in the way the atoms in these compounds are arranged. It is why they have differing effects on the users.

CBD and THC also share numerous similarities with the endocannabinoids present in the human body. It allows interaction with our cannabinoid receptors. It impacts neurotransmitter release in the users’ brains. For those who are not aware, neurotransmitters are chemicals. They play a key part in relaying messages among cells, improving pain, stress, immune function, and sleep, among numerous other things.

Psychoactive Components of THC and CBD

Despite having similarities in their chemical structures, the psychoactive effects of THC and CBD are quite different. In fact, it would be fair to say that CBD is non-psychoactive, which means that it does not give off the same high as THC.

Tetrahydrocannabinol binds with our brain’s cannabinoid one receptors, which creates a sense of high or euphoria. CBD, on the other hand, does not bind with CB1 receptors very strongly. In fact, it could even potentially dampen the psychoactive effect caused by THC.


Cannabis laws in the United States evolve and change regularly. Products with high THC are considered controlled substances, which is why they are prohibited in federal law. That being said, some states have also legalized products with high THC levels. However, a licensed physician's prescription is still necessary for consumers looking to buy products with high THC.

Some states have even legalized the recreational use of THC and marijuana. Hemp-based CBD products with low THC, however, are legal everywhere. Consumers should find the cannabis laws of their particular states before they buy any CBD product.

The Medical Benefits

CBD and THC share several medical benefits. They are capable of providing relief from several conditions. The difference, however, is that CBD is free from THCs euphoric effects, which makes it a preferable option for users.

Here are some conditions that CBD can help you with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Mental disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Seizures

The Side Effects

Not everyone can tolerate the euphoric highs of THC. This side effect is a major reason why people prefer CBD hemp products with low THC levels. They have little to no side effects and have excellent potency. Most side effects that occur from CBD use are due to a preexisting medical condition or medication that the user might be taking. THC, on the other hand, does have some side effects. Here are some of them:

  • Memory loss
  • Slow reaction times
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Coordination issues
  • Elevated heart rate

Why Do Consumers Look at THC Levels in CBD if CBD and THC are Different Compounds

Marijuana and hemp produce both THC and CBD. Marijuana, however, contains a higher THC concentration. Meanwhile, hemp contains higher CBD concentration. CBD oil could contain traces of THC as it is also present in hemp plants. CBD should not have above 0.3 % THC levels. Otherwise, it is deemed as illegal federally.

Bottom Line

Although CBD and THC both have medical benefits, CBD products with low THC levels are considered safer. Users should consider side effects possibilities if they are taking any drugs and have a discussion with their doctor to clear things up.