What’s the Difference Between CBD & THC?

    As cannabis products continue to become mainstream ready and curious users are becoming more open to exploring their options. CBD and THC based products are available everywhere in every shape and form and the market doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

    Both CBD and THC occur naturally in the cannabis plant. However the way they affect users and their associated benefits differ greatly. CBD extracts from marijuana or hemp plants. Hemp plants are different from marijuana plants because they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD sells in various forms including extracts, oils, gels, supplements, gummies, and more.

    Marijuana plants, on the other hand, are cannabis plants that contain high concentrations of THC. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana; it is what gives users the sensation of being high. Burning or smoking activates THC, though, it can also be found in capsules, tinctures, oils, edibles, lotions, and more.

    There are some major similarities between THC and CBD. As mentioned earlier, they are both acquired naturally from the cannabis plant. Additionally, both affect the body when they react with the endocannabinoid system, but the effects they generate are glaringly different.


    There is CBD in almost everything these days. The green boom and decriminalization of cannabis across numerous states have resulted in the standardization of CBD and hemp-based products. As such, CBD now floods the market with products ranging from topical (suppositories, lubricants, gels, and creams) to ingestible (capsules, oils, gummies, and tinctures).

    Cannabis-related products have always been off-limits so there isn’t a whole lot of human research to back up CBD’s purported benefits. Why you ask? Despite its many benefits, the Controlled Substance Act still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.

    This means that researchers and scientists are unable to carry out legal studies of cannabis. Most benefits associated with CBD are anecdotal, meaning the entire wellness community must eagerly await clinical back up to what is already known.


    THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is what gives users a high. It affects the body in several ways including memory, concentration, pleasure, and coordination, as well as sensory and time perception. For these reasons, users are discouraged from using marijuana whenever they need to operate heavy machinery or complete tasks that require concentration such as driving.

    Although well-documented are the benefits of marijuana, a lot of stigmas still surround THC. Proven effective in treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and epilepsy, THC is also invaluable for pain management.

    THC vs CBD – Which Should You Use?

    Despite THC and CBD having almost an identical chemical composition, they affect the body rather differently. While THC may get you high, CBD can counteract those effects. THC might make you feel drowsier but CBD will make you feel upbeat and full of energy.

    You don’t have to decide which products to use between CBD based one and THC ones. As a matter of fact, you are likely to get your money’s worth if you combine the two. For instance, people suffering from anxiety and paranoia report feeling much better when they consume products containing both CBD and THC as opposed to products just containing one of the two.

    What About Terpenes? Do They Matter?

    Plants contain natural oils known as terpenes or terpenoids. In cannabis plants, terpenes are the elements that determine the type of high that one will experience depending on the strain of the marijuana plant ingested. Some terpenes provide a more relaxing anxiety-easing high while others offer the user a burst of creative energy.

    The cannabis world often classifies its THC in 2 broad categories: Sativa and Indica. Sativa is THC that offers users a more creative and energetic high while Indica offers the opposite, which is a more calming and soothing effect. Hybrid products are those that combine both the effects of Sativa and Indica.

    Terpenes are also responsible for the smell and taste offered by a cannabis plant. Different growers tinker and experiment with terpenes all the time when breeding cannabis plants so that they can offer users a more targeted high.

    We generally recommend checking two things before buying any THC or CBD based products; the CBD/THC ratio and the terpenes present. When THC and CBD come together, the result is pure magic.

    Are They Legal?

    The passing of the Farm Bill in December 2018 turned industrial hemp into a legal agricultural commodity in all 50 states. The legality of hemp-derived CBD products as well as THC, however, varies from state to state. As such, before you proceed to purchase any THC or CBD based product, you must check to see whether it is permitted in your state.

    Final Word

    As marijuana products become more accepted around the world the terms “THC” and “CBD” are more frequently and interchangeably used. But if you are going to become a partaker, you must first understand the differences between the two and how they can affect you.

    Compounds known as cannabinoids make up the structure of the cannabis plant. The plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids that cause a range of different reactions in the body. However, THC and CBD are the two most popular of these cannabinoids. THC is what allows users to get high. CBD on the other hand induces feelings of well-being by counteracting the effects of THC.

    THC binds with the body’s receptors to control mood, pain, and a range of other feelings. People consume CBD for all sorts of reasons including managing chronic pain, dealing with anxiety, depression, and insomnia, as well as managing pain.


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