CBD vs THC: Learn The Benefits And The Differences

By November 16, 2020November 17th, 2020No Comments

You probably hear a lot about cannabis products lately, both online and in the news. This is all for a good reason, as more states are continuing to legalize CBD products. As a result, most consumers are curious about CBD vs THC and want to know more about them. It is okay to be inquisitive and want to familiarize yourself with information around these topics.

There are hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, CBD and THC are the most well-known. Both these two compounds can interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) but in very different ways. The differences are not just of their natural effects on the body, but also on their legal statuses.

Not many people are familiar with the differences between CBD and THC. Below, you will discover the resemblance and dissimilarities between these two compounds.

What CBD & THC Actually Stands For?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, while THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. These two are the primary compounds in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Moreover, they are the most understood components and most researched for now.

What Are The Chemical Structures In CBD & THC?

Both CBD and THC contain the same chemical structures: 30 hydrogen atoms, 2 oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. In short, these two are almost identical twins. However, what differentiates THC and CBD, is the arrangement of the atoms. Note that it is the disparity in the atoms’ arrangement, which results in different effects on the body.

Like all cannabinoids, both THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. The ECS is a network of receptors, which is responsible for a wide variety of functions. We might not be aware of all the ECS works, but what we know is that it balances cells’ communication in the body.

Besides, the body can create its own cannabinoids, which are known as endocannabinoids. These are neurotransmitters, which can interact with cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are abundant in different parts of the brain and are responsible for motor coordination, high cognition, memory, and emotions. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are mostly in the central nervous and immune systems.

These receptors then work together with the cannabinoids to give out the desired results. However, note that these two cannabinoids contain different molecular structures. Thus, they do not network with the receptors in the same way. Due to this, then the body will react differently with both CBD and THC.

How Do They Interact With The Human Body?

Despite their resemblance in the chemical structures, THC and CBD have different reactions. THC, for instance, connects with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it seems like tetrahydrocannabinol attracts CB1 receptors more than CB2 due to its molecular structure. When the binding occurs, this sends a signal to the brain, leading to the psychoactive effects.

On the other hand, research shows that CBD does not make a bond directly with CB1 like THC. What is more, the presence of cannabidiol can even reverse the connection between THC and the receptor. As a result, this neutralizes the ‘high’ effect caused by THC. Also, CBD suppresses other effects caused by other cannabinoids’ contact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Which Will Make You High?

The next big question most people ask is, which one between THC and CBD will make you high? Even though they are all cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, not both can cause psychoactive effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the one responsible for making you high. This is due to its direct interaction with the CB1 receptors found in the central nervous system and the brain. Thus, the intoxicating effects, which one experiences is because of THC activating CB1 receptors.

In contrast, CBD cannot make one high since it negates the CB1 activating qualities like tetrahydrocannabinol. So, you will not experience any psychoactive effects, no matter how much CBD you consume. Moreover, if the product contains both cannabidiol and THC, then the ‘smoked’ effect is reduced significantly by CBD.

The Benefits

People use CBD and THC products for different medical conditions, with the most commonly used being CBD creams for pain relief. Several studies show that these two can be helpful in certain health conditions. However, they each have their own benefits, which might be the same or dissimilar from the other.

For instance, cannabidiol can help treat the following:

  • Seizures
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer-related symptoms
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nausea
  • Mental Disorders
  • Opioids withdrawal
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Diabetes
  • ADHD
  • Heart Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

THC, conversely, can help with the following:

  • Glaucoma
  • Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low appetite
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease tremors

Even though THC is feared for its euphoric effects, it has important health benefits, just like CBD. Nonetheless, the use of these products can have side effects. For example, a person using tetrahydrocannabinol can experience red eyes, dry mouth, increase heart rate, or memory loss. The good news is that neither of the side effects can be fatal. You only need to ensure that you have taken the right dosage as prescribed. Moreover, you must check with your doctor before using any of the CBD or THC products.

Which Products Are Available In The Form Of Both CBD & THC?

Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol are not only diverse in the way they react with the body, but also in their products. Due to their high demand, there is a wide array of different products, such as capsules, oils, balms, etc. For instance, some surprising CBD items like tampons, bath salt, gum, and even pillows are also surprising.

However, Some Of The Products Come In The Form Of Both CBD And THC:

  • Edibles: This is the most common type of marijuana products. They mostly come as candy, gummies, chocolates, and brownies. Edibles are ideal for those who want to enjoy different flavors while benefiting from the medical values.
  • Vape products: These are like any other vaping product and come with a traditional vape pen. Different types of CBD vaping goods in the market, including disposable vape pens, cartridges, and vape oil.
  • Topicals: You do not just have to ingest or inhale cannabidiol or THC to enjoy its benefits. Instead, another alternative is topicals, which you can apply on the skin. This is especially perfect for relieving pain immediately when applied to the affected area.
  • Oil-based capsules: Another CBD oil for sale product are capsules. These are like pills, so you only need to swallow them. The capsules can come as either soft gels or regular pills. Besides, manufacturers tend to use different ingredients to enhance the taste of the capsules.
  • Tinctures: This is often known as CBD oil. It is an oil-based product, which comes in a bottle and has a dropper. You can place several drops under your tongue to receive maximum results. Besides, tinctures are mixed with carrying properties like flavored oils or alcohol. Tinctures act fasters than any other CBD product since its absorption goes directly into the bloodstream. Moreover, they are also very affordable for beginners and experts.

Other Than The Products Mentioned, You Are Likely To Meet Other CBD And THC Products As Follows:

  • CBD for pets: Your furry friends can also benefit from CBD products, which come in the form of treats, cookies, sprays, or tinctures. These products can increase the appetite of your animal as well as reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Suppositories: These are the least favored CBD products since they are inserted in the anus. However, their absorption levels are pretty high and can happen within 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Drinks: Cannabidiol does not mix with water, but thanks to advanced technologies, it is now available in water, energy drinks, and powdered drink mixes

Which One To Avoid & Are There Any Legal Concerns?

As per the Farm Bill of 2018, industrial hemp is legal across the US. However, when it comes to cannabis and its products, it is the work of individual states to control them. The legality of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol varies from state to state. Such states like Colorado have legalized the use of cannabis and its products. Besides, you must confirm with your state before you go for these goods.


In conclusion, in the breakdown of CBD vs THC, we have seen that they both have many similarities and differences. Both have their benefits, so none is better than the other is. However, if you are looking for a product with no intoxicating features, you should consider CBD. Either way, it all narrows down to the needs of an individual.