As more countries and US states are legalizing the use of marijuana, so as the curiosity of consumers in expanding their options. Two of the most popular options are the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two natural compounds can be extracted from the cannabis plant.
CBD is primarily extracted from the hemp plant. It’s made into different products such as gels, supplements, and gummies.
THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive compound that can be taken by smoking marijuana. It’s also sold in various forms including edibles, capsules, and tinctures.
Both compounds have similar interaction with your body’s endocannabinoid system but give different effects. To know more about these compounds, here are their main differences.
The Chemical Structure
CBD has a molecular structure of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Interestingly, THC is also built with the same molecular structure. A little difference in the arrangement of atoms can give different effects on your body.
Both compounds are chemically the same to your body’s own endocannabinoids. This enables them to work with your cannabinoid receptors. The interaction allows the discharge of neurotransmitters in your brain. As we already know, neurotransmitters send messages between cells.
CBD has no psychoactive effects that THC does. That means CBD doesn’t give that “high” linked with THC.
THC ties with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain producing that high or sense of euphoria. CBD doesn’t bind well with CB1 receptors which is why it lessens the psychoactive effects.
CBD and THC have a lot similar medical benefits. They can relieve several similar conditions, such as pain, nausea, and anxiety. Using medical marijuana to treat diseases with these symptoms has proven successful in many states, like New Jersey. Patients can obtain a medical marijuana card online by speaking with certified doctors. However, CBD doesn’t give you a sense of euphoria that THC does. This lack of this side effect is the reason why some people prefer CBD over THC.
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first prescribed CBD medicine, called Epidiolex. This medicine is used to cure epilepsy. CBD is also known to relieve other types of conditions like inflammation, mental disorders, migraines, and depression.
THC is used to relieve several conditions, such as muscle spasticity, glaucoma, low appetite, and insomnia.
Side effects of CBD is tolerable, even in huge doses. According to research, any side effects that do happen with CBD use are likely due to the interactions of CBD with other medications you may be ingesting.
THC, on the other hand, causes temporary side effects because of its psychoactive properties. Such temporary side effects are memory loss, dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, and coordination issues.
Neither compound is deadly. However, high dosage of THC may be linked to long-term negative psychiatric problems, like schizophrenia.
Are They Legal?
The legality of CBD and THC in the US are developing regularly. All types of cannabis are illegal in some states. Marijuana and THC are deemed as controlled substances, so they’re banned under the federal law.
However, 21 states are legalizing the use of medical marijuana, including Washington D.C. This type of marijuana contains high levels of THC. To use, you need a prescription from a licensed doctor.
About 10 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and THC. Federally, it’s still illegal.
You should be able to purchase CBD legally if you belong in a state where marijuana is legal either for recreational or medical uses. Before you try to purchase either product, make sure that you know the laws of your state. You could face legal repercussions if you possess cannabis-related products in a place where they’re illegal.
Another common misconception is the difference between CBD and Hemp Oil.
Do They Affect The Drug Test Results?
Like any other cannabinoids, THC and CBD are deposited in the body’s fat. They can be detected for a couple of days or weeks after consuming them.
Unless the drug test is CBD sensitive, CBD can’t be detected. Most standard drug tests will only detect THC-related chemicals. Since hemp can generate some THC, a test could be positive for THC even if you’re using a CBD product.
Similar to marijuana, hemp can generate both CBD and THC. While marijuana contains a higher concentration of THC, hemp contains more CBD. Because hemp has more CBD than THC, it’s the best source for CBD oil.
There are about 12% of THC found in an average marijuana strain. For CBD, the THC content is limited to 0.3%. CBD oil may have a slight amount of THC because it’s included in the hemp plant.
Both THC and CBD have remarkable medical benefits. They’re also safe to use although they remain illegal to use in many US states. Before buying any of them, be aware of your state laws.
Also, consider the potential side effects and interaction with other medications you’re taking. Ask your physician if you have any concerns.
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