General Health, THC

CBD vs. Tetrahydrocannabinol: Everything You Need to Know

Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, CBD, Differences

There are at least 113 cannabinoids that have been isolated to date, but two remain the most popular: CBD and THC. Because of this, a lot of people tend to believe they have the same main effects as both are extracted from the same plant family.

Not so fast, that’s not exactly true. It’s a mistake to believe that THC and CBD are essentially the same thing. The main difference between the two lies in the way they interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. In other words, one does, the other doesn’t.

A quick summary of their effects is this: THC gets you high, CBD does not. So if you’re taking CBD oil for nutritional and other purposes, you can tell your grandma to rest assured, you’re not getting high on a daily basis.

But the differences between the two go a lot deeper than that:

  1. Legality

An apparent difference between the two has to do with their legality. Leaving the state laws aside for a second, Marijuana and THC are on the list of controlled substances and therefore prohibited at a federal level. CBD is not, though it may still prove difficult to acquire in some states.

But more than 20 states have passed cannabis-related laws to make THC and other derivatives legal, as long as a doctor prescribes it. Others allow you to use it recreationally, though they do acknowledge that CBD has no recreational value, and you can purchase it for medical reasons.

  1. Medical Effects

Both CBD and THC share many of the same medical benefits, as they both can provide some degree of pain relief. Because CBD doesn’t have euphoric effects, it can be more widely used as a medicinal supplement than THC. Moreover, it’s possible some medication will even include it.

For instance, in June 2018 the FDA approved the drug Epidiolex, which contains CBD, as a medication to treat severe cases of epilepsy. It’s possible to see a lot more examples of this kind in the future.

Common CBD treatments include:

  • Inflammation;
  • Seizures;
  • Mental disorders;
  • Nausea;
  • Depression;

Common THC treatments:

  • Pain;
  • Muscle spasms;
  • Glaucoma;
  1. Side Effects

For starters, neither compound is fatal, nor do they present severe and long-term side effects. CBD is generally well tolerated, and research shows most side effects of the substance may be a result of its interaction with other medication.

On the other hand, since THC is a substance with psychoactive properties, it can have these common side effects:

  • Coordination issues;
  • Red eyes;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Slow reaction time;
  • Memory issues.
  1. Drug Testing

Both THC and CBD are stored in the body’s fat, so it’s possible they will show up during drug tests even several days after consumption.

However, CBD is generally harder to detect, unless you take a CBD-sensitive test. Most of these procedures look for THC or marijuana trances in the body, so CBD is often overlooked.

Keep in mind that other factors may come in. The manufacturing process of CBD may include mixtures with other cannabinoids, which will show up in most drug tests. Check this information before you start consuming CBD oils if you are routinely subjected to drug tests.

Final Thoughts

THC and CBD are closely related, but they aren’t the same substance. One is not better than the other, either. It’s more about personal preference than anything else, and the effects you want from consuming one of the substances.