Now that recreational cannabis is legal in Canada, more people are looking to educate themselves on the various terminology used when selling cannabis.
It’s a good idea to do this, as the more you know about cannabis and its effects the better prepared you are for their effects. Knowing what to expect always makes for a better experience with cannabis, but with so many terms used by retailers. things can get confusing.
THC and CBD are perhaps the two most common terms you’ll come across when buying cannabis products. While similar in many ways, there are also many differences between CBD and THC, so it’s handy to know what each one does and their effects differ.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a type of cannabinoid, the naturally occurring compounds found within cannabis plants. Cannabinoids such as THC interact with the brain in a unique way, connecting to our CB1 receptors to produce a variety of mental and physical effects.
The most widely known effect of THC is that it is psychoactive. Basically, the high we experience when smoking weed is all down to THC. Not only do you get high, but a range of side-effects from this high occur in each person.
Because it gets you high, THC is viewed as a very desirable compound in a cannabis strain, leading many cultivators to breed strains with high THC content. The more THC the more prominent the high, so pay attention to this as it effects how high you’ll get.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another cannabinoid and the second most prominent in cannabis plants. One of the big differences between CBD and THC is that CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, so it doesn’t get you high if taken without THC.
This is due to the interaction between CBD and our endocannabinoid system. CBD interacts with the CB2 receptor in our brains, so it doesn’t cause the same effects on the mind and body as THC, most notably without any type of high.
Not only does CBD not get you high like THC, it also balances out the effects of the THC, meaning the higher the CBD to THC ratio the less intense the high is. Because of this, most recreational cannabis strains have little CBD and high amounts of THC, although balanced strains are also available, just not as widely as high THC strains.
Because THC gets you high there are various side-effects that aren’t produced by CBD. For instance, the high from weed increases feelings of relaxation and hunger, helps inspire creativity, and is often very uplifting and enjoyable.
Not all side-effects from THC are desirable, however. Some people feel a heightened sense of paranoia or anxiety, although previous history with these issues are usually a big factor for this. Also, you get red eyes, cotton mouth, and often lose cognitive sharpness.
CBD doesn’t really have of these side-effects. In fact, most of the side-effects are used for medical treatments, with CBD helping with conditions like anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and seizures.
THC also offers relief from various medical conditions, including nausea, vomiting, muscle spasticity, insomnia and sometimes anxiety – the last one differs from each person, however.