Understanding the Difference Between THC and CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) & delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two substances extracted from plants in the genus Cannabis. Learn about their differences & potential applications.

Understanding the Difference Between THC and CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two substances that are extracted from several species of plants in the genus Cannabis. While they have a similar structure and can help treat certain conditions, the most important difference between them is that THC will cause a person to experience a high, while CBD will not. The molecular structure of THC adapts perfectly to CB1 receptors and mimics the effects of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which signals the brain to release dopamine, hence the euphoria. On the other hand, the atomic arrangement of CBD means that it does not bind well to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but its presence may counteract the presence of THC binding and influence the effectiveness of other neurotransmitters in the body.

Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has a lot of CBD. There's no way to differentiate between THC and CBD based on appearance, smell, taste, or texture. Buying products from reputable manufacturers and retailers can help ensure that you get the type of product you want. In one study, people who took a combination of CBD and THC experienced greater pain relief than those who took only THC.

Many patients find that a balance between CBD and THC offers the best symptom relief, since both work together synergistically and overlap in treatment, but THC is particularly effective in relieving certain symptoms and conditions. CBD that comes from marijuana may contain more THC, which may not be ideal for people trying to avoid it. They can interact with certain medications and cause physical health problems, so your healthcare provider should know if you use these substances. With more and more states legalizing their use, both THC and CBD have potential for medicinal and production applications.

Evidence indicates that THC can bind to the main cannabinoid receptors, since it has a chemical structure similar to that of anandamide. The molecular differences between CBD and THC directly contribute to their difference in effects on the body and the endocannabinoid system. In conclusion, while both CBD and THC come from the same plant, cannabis, they are very different. The main difference between them is that THC will cause a person to experience a high, while CBD will not. This traditional demand for THC has caused high-potency products to become oversaturated, although many consumers now prefer products that are less intense, low in THC and high in the non-intoxicating compound called CBD.