Anyone shopping for recreational cannabis products will have noticed two terms constantly being mentioned- CBD and THC. These are two vital components in any cannabis product, but their names are so interchangeable that it often gets confusing understanding what each one actually does.
Both CBD and THC effect the mind and body but in completely different ways. Cannabis products usually contain both, but some only have one or the other, while most products have a much higher percentage of THC compared to CBD.
Knowing the differences seems difficult but it is quite easy to grasp once you know the main differences between CBD and THC. Let’s take a closer look.
THC, CBD, and the Endocannabinoid System
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBD) are the two main cannabinoids naturally occurring in cannabis. Cannabinoids are compounds that react with endocannabinoid system found in the brain, with each one causing different effects on the mind and body when interacting with our cannabinoid receptors.
CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant – there are 85 cannabinoids! However, THC and CBD are the two most prominent in any cannabis plant, with their effects the most studied and understood.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC interacts with the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system, with the reaction sending all kinds of signals to the brain, literally causing the high we feel whenever consuming cannabis.
As the main psychoactive compound of cannabis, it causes various effects on the mind and body that are very noticeable, mainly because it stimulates the same part of the brain that produces dopamine.
What are the Effects of THC?
Anyone that has tried cannabis is familiar with these pleasurable effects, which includes feelings of euphoria, happiness, and relaxation, while things like food and drink feel incredibly enjoyable when high. That’s not all either, as THC is known for its potent effects on the body too, which is why medical cannabis became so prominent in recent decades.
For example, it’s known to be a potent painkiller, being widely prescribed to treat various types of chronic pain. THC is also an effective treatment for the side effects of chemotherapy, namely nausea and vomiting.
However, THC often effects people differently. Not everyone experiences a pleasurable high from THC, especially in high doses, with some experiencing feelings of paranoia and anxiety. These effects often replace feelings of well-being that many other experience, It’s important to know THC may affect everyone differently!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the other main cannabinoid present in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD interacts with the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, causing it to react very differently, most notably being non-psychoactive.
As a result, CBD mainly effects the body, although it does offer benefits to the mind too, but these aren’t experienced like the typical high you expect from cannabis.
What are the Effects of CBD?
CBD has many positive effects on the mind and body, much of which has only recently been studied. Because of these promising effects, CBD has become a popular medical treatment for all types of issues, ranging from anxiety to inflammation. Of course, one of the most notable effects of CBD, or lack of effects, is that there is no high.
However, it offers much more than just this. It is known as an effective treatment for various types of pains in the body, including chronic pain, cancer-related pain, inflammation, broken bones, and even Parkinson’s disease.
For the mind, you can experience general feelings of well-being but with absolutely no high to come with it (unlike what you experience with THC), while it’s also thought to be an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and possibly even ADHD.