As cannabis is now legal in Canada, more people are becoming curious about the terminology retailers use, with THC and CBD being two prominent terms.
What is THC and CBD?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are two naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. There are more than 85 cannabinoids in cannabis, yet THC and CBD are the two most prominent and understood of all cannabinoids.
While sharing many similarities, THC and CBD are notably different when consumed through cannabis, causing a variety of physical and mental effects. Most recreational cannabis has a higher concentration of THC compared to CBD, although you also get CBD products that feature little to no THC. There are also cannabis strains that have moderate amount of THC and CBD.
So, knowing the differences between THC and CBD is quite useful for anyone looking to try cannabis or cannabis products. Let’s take a closer look to see what the main differences are between THC and CBD.
Only THC is Psychoactive
The most notable difference between CBD and THC is that THC is psychoactive while CBD is not. That means that the high you get from smoking weed is all down to THC, which is why it’s featured so prominently on recreational cannabis products – the more THC present in the cannabis the higher you get.
Many people enjoy the high that THC produces. THC affects both the mind and body when consumed, offering a range of effects such as feeling relaxed, heightened senses like smell and taste, increased appetite, and sleepiness.
Because THC provides the high from cannabis, growers have been breeding cannabis strains with amounts of THC to make them more potent. You’ll find varying levels of THC on recreational cannabis products, with the highest THC content reaching around 30%.
The Different Side Effects of CBD and THC
THC and CBD have different side effects when consumed. For the most part, CBD has no negative side-effects as it is completely non-psychoactive, so you don’t get too high. In fact, CBD is shown to reduce anxiety.
THC has a variety of side-effects, which many cannabis users are very familiar with. Beyond the traditional cannabis high, THC causes various other side effects, including red eyes, dry-mouth, and reduced cognitive function.
Additionally, THC may exasperate anxiety and paranoia, although this is dependent on the user’s previous history with such conditions. Conversely, many people see reduced anxiety from THC.
Of course, there many positive side effects of THC – nobody would smoke weed if there wasn’t! For instance, it can be very relaxing, uplifting, and inspire creativity. It also increases appetite and generally improves the taste of most foods, making it a popular treatment for negative side-effects of chemotherapy and eating disorders.
CBD is also beneficial in a variety of ways. Studies indicate it’s a viable treatment for epileptic seizures, while it’s used to treat many other conditions, including chronic pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, and even depression.
THC offers its own medical benefits too, some of which differ from CBD, possibly helping with treatments for multiple sclerosis, AIDs/HIV, digestive problems, vomiting, muscle spasticity, and insomnia.