CBD vs. THC
CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?
CBD and THC are both found in cannabis plants, but the way they interact with your body is different.
As the legal use of hemp and other cannabis products grows, consumers are becoming more curious about their options. This includes cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus.
Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, but they have very different effects.
Read on to learn more about these compounds. While they may have a lot in common, they have some key differences that determine how they’re used.
CBD can be extracted from hemp or cannabis. Hemp and cannabis come from the Cannabis sativa plant. Legal hemp must contain
CBD does not produce the high sensation associated with cannabis.
THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high sensation. It can be consumed by smoking cannabis. It’s also available in oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more.
Both CBD and THC have the same molecular structure:
Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain, immune function, stress, and sleep, to name a few.
Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. CBD is psychoactive, just not in the same manner as THC. It doesn’t produce the high associated with THC.
THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It produces a high or a sense of euphoria. This high may be greater if the THC is inhaled rather than ingested, according to
CBD binds very weakly, if at all, to CB1 receptors. CBD needs THC to bind to the CB1 receptor and, in turn, can help reduce some of the unwanted psychoactive effects of THC, such as euphoria or sedation.
In the United States, cannabis-related laws are evolving regularly. Technically, CBD is still considered a Schedule I drug under federal law.
Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still classify CBD as a Schedule I drug.
However, 37 states, plus Washington, D.C., have passed cannabis-related laws, making medical cannabis with high levels of THC legal. The cannabis may need to be prescribed by a licensed physician.
In addition, 19 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have made adult recreational use of cannabis and THC legal.
In states where cannabis is legal for recreational or medical purposes, you should be able to buy CBD.
Before you try to buy products with CBD or THC, it’s important to research your state’s laws.
If you possess cannabis-related products in a state where they’re illegal or don’t have a medical prescription in states where the products are legal for medical treatment, you could face legal penalties.