The Difference Between CBD and THC

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

As more states legalize the use of marijuana, the acceptance of CBD oil keeps growing, so much that it is estimated that by 2022, the Hemp-CBD market could hit $22 billion. As the legal use of cannabis products gains more ground, there is an increased curiosity among consumers as to what to use and what not to. Since the options are so numerous, everyone wants to make the best choice for themselves. Among these options are Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These are two natural components of the cannabis plant. Both these substances affect the cannabinoid receptors found in both the human brain and body. While they both stimulate the CB1 receptor in the brain, their effects are far different from one another.

The CBD substance is extracted from hemp plants or marijuana. Hemp plants are cannabis plants which contain less THC (specifically less than 0.3% THC), while marijuana plants have more THC concentration. Consequently, CBD gives you all the benefits of cannabis but does not get you high, as THC-rich marijuana would. This is because THC is the main psychoactive compound that gets one high. Both CBD and THC can be consumed in the form of flower, tinctures, concentrates, edibles, topicals, supplements, and more, but CBD gives you the benefits of cannabis without the "high" sensation associated with THC.

Uses of Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol can relieve pain

Dating all the way back to 2900 BC, marijuana was already being used for the treatment of pain. Recently, studies have shown that some components of marijuana, which includes CBD, are capable of analgesic effects and can help relieve pain.

Humans have a body that contains a specialized system, known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS), and this is involved in the regulation of several functions, like sleep, pain response, appetite, and the response of the immune system to changes. These endocannabinoids are produced in the body and are neurotransmitters which bind the cannabinoid receptors of the nervous system.

Studies have therefore proven that CBD can relieve chronic pain by affecting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, thereby reducing inflammation, as well as interacting with neurotransmitters.

Cannabidiol can reduce depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are common disorders of mental health that can both have devastating effects on human life. According to reports from the World Health Organization, the number one contributor to disability around the world is depression, with anxiety disorders ranking sixth.

Usually, anxiety and depression are treated with medications that can lead to a range of side effects including restlessness, drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and headaches. On top of the negative side effects, drugs such as benzodiazepines can be addictive and may even lead to drug abuse.

Cannabidiol has, however, shown promise to be a viable treatment for depression and anxiety, which has led many people with these disorders to take an interest in this natural, non-habit forming approach.

Cannabidiol can help relieve cancer symptoms

Cannabidiol may help in reducing cancer-related symptoms, as well as the side effects associated with the treatment of cancer, including vomiting, nausea, and pain.

One study examined the effects of CBD and THC on about 177 patients who had cancer-related pain that was not helped by their prescribed pain relief medications. Those who were treated with extracts containing both CBD and THC compounds showed a significant reduction in pain compared to those receiving only THC extracts.

Cannabidiol can also help relieve nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. These are among the most prevalent side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

CBD helps to reduce acne

Acne is one of the common skin challenges people face, and it affects about 9% of the population. This is thought to be due to factors such as genetics, underlying inflammation, bacteria, and overproduction of sebum, which is an oily secretion produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin.

According to recent scientific studies, cannabidiol has the potential to help cure acne because of its anti-inflammatory quality, and its ability to reduce the production of sebum.

Cannabidiol could have neuroprotective properties

Researchers believe CBD may be beneficial for people with neurological disorders due to its ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signal systems. Indeed, treatments of neurological disorders are one of the most important studies of the uses of CBD. It is believed to help disorders such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Although research in this field is quite new, some studies have shown positive results.

Why doesn’t CBD get you high while THC does?

The difference lies in the brain and body centers they react with. It is quite important to know that THC interacts with certain parts of your body, which gets you high, while CBD tends to interact with the other parts of your body that reduce inflammation, for example.

Researchers have been able to identify two human body receptors responsible for cannabis interaction with the body; they are the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 and CB2 receptors form a part of the endocannabinoid system that controls the secretion of hormones that influence appetite, energy, and mood.

How to get CBD?

CBD products can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. It is up to you to choose which of the numerous options fits your needs best, and what dose of CBD you should use. It may be best to start with a low dosage and move up from there if need be.

You can enjoy cannabidiol through tinctures. These are herbal extracts which are made by the infusion of plants in other essential oils. It is possible to consume this through a dropper under the tongue. Just ensure the liquid is not swished around your mouth, but absorbed, because it may impact the effect the CBD has on your body.

Vaping is one other way to enjoy your CBD, but ensure you’re not irritating your lungs with cheap carrier liquids. And check that the ingredients are not the same as nicotine vapes. You can also enjoy CBD through your skin with topical lotions or through adhesive patches. There are also many edibles like CBD gummies, and carrier oils like coconut oil, hemp seed oil, etc., containing cannabidiol or CBD oils.

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