Cannabinoids, which are chemical components found in cannabis, number in the hundreds. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two cannabis-derived chemical materials. There has been a surge of attention on the possible medical effects and advantages of cannabis in recent times. Most of the focus has been on these 2 cannabinoids.

This popularity is expected to rise as more states legalize cannabis and marijuana goods. A variety of medicines containing CBD, THC, or both have arisen to alleviate conditions such as stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness. To comprehend these items’ adverse effects and possible advantages, it is necessary to first know the variations between CBD and THC. 

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the 2nd most common chemical ingredient discovered in cannabis. CBD, which was found in the 1940s, has lately gained popularity as a natural therapy for various diseases. It can be produced from hemp or marijuana. THC is still present in tiny levels in hemp-derived CBD, although marijuana-derived CBD may include more.

What Is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive element in cannabis. THC triggers the brain’s reward system by activating the brain’s chemical dopamine production, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that influences emotion and pleasure. THC induces feelings of bliss by causing a relatively high release of dopamine. THC is mostly ingested through marijuana smoking, although it can also be obtained as an element in capsules, edibles, and oils.

Chemical Structure

“From a chemistry viewpoint, THC and CBD are isomers, which means they have the same chemical formula (C21H30O2) but vary in their molecular structures.

“While CBD has two 6-membered rings, THC has an extra 6-membered ring created by the coupling of a carbon and an oxygen atom (named as ether bond).” As a result, CBD and THC interact with various receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. This regulates the central nervous system, synaptic plasticity (how neurons interact with one another), and the body’s reaction to external stresses.

CB1, which is primarily located in the brain and central nervous system, and CB2, mainly located in the immune system, are the two primary receptors in the endocannabinoid system. And at much lower levels in the central nervous system. THC has a high potential for both receptors, but CBD has a low response for one or the other.

How CBD and THC Affect the Body

THC is the more generally linked component with psychoactive properties, but CBD is not. Nevertheless, according to Monique McHenry, Ph.D., this is a “big misconception.”

Lauren Rudick, a member in the cannabis practice at the New York legal firm Hiller, PC, agrees with McHenry. “It’s a significant difference,” she argues. CBD still seems to be psychoactive, which means it affects the mind—simply, it’s not intoxicated or impairs function. THC produces a “high” via interacting with CB1 receptors. 

CBD does not generate the same intoxication impact as THC since it does not bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors. When CBD and THC are eaten together, CBD attaches to the receptors and prevents THC from connecting to them, lowering some of the THC’s impacts.

CBD vs. THC: Sources

While CBD can be produced either through hemp or marijuana, it is more commonly produced from hemp to prevent the inclusion of higher levels of THC. THC, in opposition, is a component of marijuana.

CBD derived from marijuana may include higher THC, which may not be optimal for those attempting to eliminate THC. For example, several CBD products derived from cannabis may carry more THC than the label indicates.

The Legality of CBD and THC

Cannabis laws are always changing. Many states permit the use of THC-containing medicinal marijuana for various purposes, but it remains illegal under federal law. Several states have legalized recreational marijuana containing THC for personal usage. 

However, it is also prohibited under US laws. In December 2018, Congress approved hemp as part of the Farm Bill. However, there are still restrictions on how and where CBD goods can be sold. For example, some products cannot be sold beyond state boundaries. 

If CBD items are offered with the claim of medicinal advantages, they are all unlawful. Before purchasing CBD or THC-containing products, check your state’s legislation.

Medical Benefits: CBD vs. THC

Most of the medicinal advantages of CBD and THC are the same. They can give relief from a variety of ailments. On the other hand, CBD does not provide the psychoactive effects that THC does. Because of the absence of this adverse effect, some consumers can opt to take CBD.

The FDA authorized Trusted Source Epidiolex, the first prescription medication containing CBD, in June 2018. It’s utilized to treat uncommon, difficult-to-control epileptic seizures. (At the moment, Epidiolex is not authorized for any of the other conditions listed below.)

CBD is used to treat a variety of medical ailments, including:

  • Seizures
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Psychosis or mental illness
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel illness)
  • Migraine 
  • Nausea 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety

THC is utilized to aid with the following conditions:

  • Pain 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Spasticity of the muscle 
  • Insomnia 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Anxiety 
  • Nausea 

Side Effects of CBD and THC

According to certain studies, CBD and THC are typically harmless and have minimal side effects. 

Although, just though these medications seem to be harmless do not indicate that you will not suffer any negative side effects. Some of the negative impacts that have been documented are described below.

THC can result in:

  • Memory loss
  • Concentration problems
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Balance

CBD can have the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Low Blood pressure
  • Crankiness
  • Drowsiness

Drug Testing of CBD and THC

THC and CBD are cannabinoids that are retained in the body’s fat. They can be detected in drug tests days or even weeks after usage. CBD cannot be detected by all drug tests. However, CBD-sensitive tests are available. 

Although many standard drug tests seek for compounds associated with THC, THC or marijuana usage might be detected during a test. Moreover, hemp can create THC in conjunction with CBD, so THC testing could be positive even if you haven’t consumed it.

Bottom Line

THC and CBD may have a lot of potential advantages. Still, you should definitely see your doctor before using any items, including these compounds. CBD and THC both show potential for relieving discomfort and even healing some physical and mental health disorders. But research in this field is still in its early stages, and more study is required. So, proceed with cautionand visit here for more CBD information!