What is the Difference Between THC and CBD? Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two primary cannabinoids that occur naturally in the. There's a lot of confusion about the difference between the different components of the cannabis plant, especially with current laws. We'll take a look at two. There are plenty of differences between CBD vs. THC, such as how they are used and their legal status. TheStreet breaks it down for you with.
between CBD and Differences THC
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding these substances, propagated in part by interests that seek to promote one substance over the other. CBD and THC actually have the exact same chemical structure comprising 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. The only difference is a single atom.
THC contains a cyclic ring where CBD contains a hydroxyl group, referring to an oxygen atom bonded to a hydrogen atom. This single, seemingly insignificant molecular difference completely changes how the two affect your body. Due to this molecular difference, THC stimulates the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, resulting in its characteristic psychotropic effects. CBD instead alters the shape of the CB1 receptor, which is why it generally does not produce any psychoactive effects. As THC induces psychoactive effects, it is classified as an illegal substance in most countries throughout the world.
CBD walks a gray area. Furthermore, numerous state laws, which cannot be overruled by federal law, have allowed for the use of CBD products. Countrywide legality still remains a complex issue, but as more states become open to legalizing both THC and CBD in all forms, the federal government will have to take it into consideration.
The Farm Bill, which has been approved by the Senate as of this writing, would come with huge changes, most prominently the legalization of industrial hemp and CBD derived from hemp. The main difference is that THC naturally possesses psychoactive effects that can influence all aspects of your learning, memory, and general cognition.
CBD is completely non-psychoactive, meaning it does not come with the same effects to your cognition. Without venturing too deeply into technical terms, we can say that these receptors are responsible for transmitting signals within our bodies, causing different physiological effects.
Some cannabinoids are capable of clinically desirable effects they are beneficial to us. Currently, there are no documented studies that show undesirable effects from CBD, which is why this particular cannabinoid is legal worldwide. For example, CBD is currently used to treat symptoms of anxiety and certain cases of inflammation. It has also been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of other ailments. Despite its growing fame and recognition, there's still a lot of misinformation about cannabis, hemp, CBD oil, and the industry in general, which doesn't help its progress.
As the health editor at mindbodygreen and the author of the forthcoming book CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets , I know firsthand how important it is to get the facts straight so that more people can start getting access to and benefiting from cannabis. To begin, it's important to know that when we talk about CBD, hemp oil, marijuana, and THC, we're really talking about the cannabis plant and its derivates. Because while there are important legal differences between hemp and marijuana, when it comes to the science, hemp and marijuana are actually just two versions of the cannabis plant.
This causes a lot of confusion and it is, admittedly, confusing! Cannabinoid is a name that describes a ground of similar compounds that are found in the body called endocannabinoids , found naturally in plants called phytocannabinoids , and even made in a lab in this case they're called synthetic cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids interact with a larger system in the body called the endocannabinoid system ECS , which is often described as a major regulatory system. The ECS is responsible for the side effects good and bad of using cannabis—whether that be in the form of hemp oil, CBD oil, or smoking marijuana. The endocannabinoid system is composed of the endocannabinoids that the body produces naturally and also a family of receptors called cannabinoid receptors.
The two cannabinoid receptors to know about are CB1 and CB2, and they explain in large part why cannabis has so many healing properties and also why THC causes intoxication while CBD does not. Speaking of CBD and THC, it's important to know the difference between these two distinct compounds that interact with the body in very different ways.
THC directly binds to CB1 receptors in the body, which are mainly found in the brain and nervous system. Once you know this, it's no big surprise to learn that this CB1 receptor activation is responsible for the "high" from smoking cannabis and that CBD does not directly bind with that receptor. Instead, CBD interacts with other receptors and pathways in the body that explain many of its specific health benefits.
CBD and THC have been described as "sister molecules" and one of the most interesting aspects of cannabinoid science is the " entourage effect, " which says that cannabinoids are more effective together than they are alone in isolated preparations. This is part of the reason why when you're looking for cannabis products, experts recommend full-spectrum products which include some of the other cannabinoids and terpenes of the plant and to steer clear of isolates, which only contain the single compound and are generally less effective and more difficult to dose.
CBD and THC get a lot of the fame, but there are actually a bunch of cannabinoids worth learning about. Cannabinol CBN , which was actually the first cannabinoid to be discovered, is often used specifically for sleep. Other cannabinoids include cannabigerol CBG , cannabichromene CBC , and tetrahydrocannabivarin THCV , which are all of interest to doctors and researchers for their specific health benefits. Unfortunately, many of these cannabinoids have barely been studied.
Cannabinoids have a wide range of health benefits, ranging from THC's pain-relieving qualities to CBD's anti-anxiety properties. Other areas of research include cannabinoid therapy for PTSD, seizures, depression and anxiety , cancer and cancer-treatment-related symptoms , pain, and addiction especially to opioids.
Most of these areas of research are in the preliminary stages, although a CBD-derived pharmaceutical drug was just approved by the FDA for seizure disorders, and THC-based drugs have been available for pain and a few other conditions for quite some time. As research continues, we'll better understand cannabis and the health benefits of specific cannabinoids. Unfortunately, though, the way current laws are set up, it's extremely difficult to get approval to study cannabis and even more difficult and time-intensive to get high-quality plant materials to use in research.
Hopefully, as more patients ask their doctors about cannabis-based therapies and more states approve recreational and medicinal marijuana, that will change. The difference between CBD oil and hemp oil not to be confused with hemp seed oil, which is made from the sterilized seeds of the plant and doesn't have significant cannabinoid content can also be a source of confusion. Essentially, hemp oil is an extract from the whole plant and will contain a variety of cannabinoids—including CBD.
CBD is available on its own in a form commonly referred to as a CBD isolate , but hemp and cannabis experts don't typically recommend CBD isolates, as you miss out on the beneficial entourage effect.
What Is the Difference between CBD and THC?
The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most well known cannabinoid for a long time has been tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The Difference Between CBD and THC. If you didn't already know — CBD and THC have the exact same chemical makeup: 21 carbon atoms. Unveiling the myths around CBD and THC and why they can be good on their own, or even work well together for positive wellness benefits.