CBD vs THC: What Is The Difference Between THC And CBD

One of the problems that newbie cannabis users struggle with is differentiating between THC and CBD products. This problem is not necessarily limited to newbies, there are those who have used cannabis oil products for quite some time but still don’t know key distinguishing characteristics between THC and CBD.

This article will explain most of the concepts about THC and CBD to orient you into the nitty-gritty of this niche.

Certainly, or so, one of the legislations that have benefited humanity in the wellness niche is the legalization of medical marijuana by the United States senate. Sadly, this legalization is enjoyed majorly by U. S residents because other countries have not come to terms with the hypothesized health benefits of marijuana.

One of the reasons limiting the legalization of medical marijuana in most of these countries is the lack of understanding about the essential difference between CBD and THC. Is THC and CBD oil the same?

Difference Between CBD and THC

What is the difference between THC and CBD? Most people who use CBD, especially first timers, argue that THC will get you high while CBD won’t get you high. Although this is right, the difference is quite more complicated than this.

And here is the complicated part:

THC gets you high by interacting with receptors found in parts of the brain that makes you high. CBD on the other hand tend to interact with receptors at inflammatory sites and help alleviate inflammatory symptoms.

Besides, THC is more abundant in marijuana while CBD is more abundant in the hemp plant. Albeit, binomial nomenclature doesn’t recognize marijuana and hemp as distinct plant species. They are just broad classifications of the cannabis that were adopted to suit this niche.

Read on and find out the individual comparisons between THC oil and CBD oil:

What Is THC Oil

To understand what THC oil is, first we need to clarify what THC means. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid extracted in abundance from marijuana.

It is a concentrated extract obtain by extraction from the dried leaves and flowers of skunk plants which have more THC than the regular hemp plants.

Under low scale production, oil extracted from these skunk plants will contain more THC but with several other cannabinoids, including CBD – though in small (even negligible) quantities.

However, commercially produced THC oil is more purified and the concentration of THC is well-controlled. This makes it easy when calculated dosages to administer if the prescription is THC.

What THC Does In The Body

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has two main receptors that are designated CB 1 and CB 2. They are not the only receptors, but are the major sites of interaction in the ECS o modulate hormonal influence on appetite, energy and mood.

CB 1 receptors are abundant in the central nervous system (CNS) and are the primary binding sites for THC. The CNS comprises the brain and the spinal cord. Here, THC induces psychoactive effects and triggers the euphoric feeling commonly termed as “being high.”

Unlike opioids, THC does not interfere with breathing or the functioning of the heart because it doesn’t act on the brain stem – the part of the brain which controls breathing and the functioning of the heart.

Benefits of THC

The use of medical marijuana, especially THC products is quite controversial. Nevertheless, studies have been done and they show that there are certain benefits of THC unknown to many.

In circumstances where dosing is highly controlled, the benefits can outweigh the possible side effects. Here is a list of THC benefits that you should know.

• Pain management
• Treatment of glaucoma
• Treatment of insomnia
• Improvement of appetite
• Alleviation of anxiety
• Prevention of nausea
• For recreational use due its euphoric effects

Most of the benefits listed above have been applied widely in medicine, particularly in countries where THC medical benefits are recognized. For instance, doctors in the Netherlands are allowed to prescribe THC for the management of pain in patients with painful conditions such as late stage HIV and cancer.

Also, recently, the State of California in the U.S became among the few states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana or THC.

THC Oil Side Effects

The side effects of THC are due to its ability to interact with receptors in the brain and alter some cognitive functions that manifest as neurologic symptoms. Most of these side effects are common with continuous usage while others are dose dependent. If yu take THC, you are likely to experience all or some of the following side effects:

• Dryness of the mouth
• Memory loss
• Problems with coordination
• Redness of eyes
• Slow reaction to external stimuli

THC OIL and the Law: Is THC Oil Legal?

Nowadays, products that claim to guarantee better health to people are tightly regulated. This applies to THC oil as well as other THC products.

This regulation is so serious that some countries only allow the sale of THC products under the condition that they are not marketed for their health benefits.

In the US, THC is illegal because it is still categorized under the controlled substances that are prohibited by the federal law.

However, some countries in Europe have legalized the medical used of cannabis extracts of which THC is one. Be it as it may, the laws governing THC are constantly changing, and hopefully THC oil will be legalized in the US.

Now, with the basics of THC taken care of, let us explore more about CBD oil – another potent cannabinoid which is shaping the world of medical marijuana in a manner heretofore not witnessed since it was first legalized for medical use.

What Is CBD Oil

What Does CBD Oil Do

CBD oil (cannabidiol) is an oil extract from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant.

The agricultural Act of 2018 which legalized the use of CBD in all 50 states of the United States defined hemp as any cannabis with less than 0.3% THC.

Unlike marijuana, hemp plant contains high amounts of CBD than THC. Basic oil extraction procedures from the hemp plant may not yield pure CBD, but commercially produced CBD is purified and contains regulated quantities of CBD with little to no impurities.

What Does CBD Do in the Body?

CBD bind to the CB 2 receptors of the ECS which are not found in the CNS but are found in specific sites of the immune system.

As a result, CBD is mainly involved in immune mediated mechanisms such inhibition of the inflammatory process and alleviation of disease symptoms. Since it does not work on the CNS, CBD is not psychoactive. The benefits of CBD that are listed below will open your eyes better to understanding how CBD works. Read on…

CBD Benefits

CBD oil benefits for skin

Over the past few years, studies have been done to explore the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD).

This has been made possible by better scientific developments and increased knowledge in medicine – especially in understanding how the endocannabinoid system works. CBD is beneficial in the management of conditions such as:

• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Allergies
• Autoimmune diseases
• Hepatitis
• Asthma
• Migraines
• Depression
• Mental disorders
• Convulsions

CBD Oil Side Effects

CBD Oil Side Effects On Body

Studies have shown that CBD is well tolerated by most people and there are usually fewer side effects. If side effects occur, it is because of drug-drug interaction where someone took CBD simultaneously with another medication prescribed by the doctor.

However, studies have shown that people are different, and although CBD has better site specificity for its benefits, some CBD users can still experience the following side effects:
• Dry mouth
• Drowsiness
• Lightheadedness
• Fall in blood pressure
• Change in appetite
• Diarrhea
• Slowing down of the thought process
• Slowing down physical movement, especially in people with movement disorders

Is CBD Legal

In the US, at least, the Agricultural Act of 2018 legalized all CBD products in all the 50 states. However, not every country of the world has legalized CBD.

For instance, since 2018, the UK has allowed the sale of CBD products provided that they contain no more than 0.2% THC and are not marketed for health benefits. Find out if CBD is legal in your state.

Effects of CBD VS THC: What They are Used For

Although both THC and CBD are cannabinoids, some of their mechanisms of action are different from each other.

In some cases, they may exhibit similar mechanisms of action. Here is a brief comparison of their potential health effects.

Is THC Or CBD Better for Pain

CBD Oil for Back Pain

When it comes to pain management, most people are always quick to ask: Does THC Or CBD Help with Pain? Which one is better?

For starters, pain is majorly an inflammatory sign, unless you have neurogenic pain – which falls under a different spectrum.

This means that CBD, which is anti-inflammatory works best for pain due to inflammatory conditions as well as chronic illnesses. THC also works for this kind of pain but it is not as effective as CBD.

Studies have also shown that CBD could be the go-to medication for managing difficult-to-treat pain – especially pain due to chronic and terminal conditions.

THC and CBD for Cancer, Which One is Better?

Cancer secretes inflammatory mediators which may cause inflammatory pain. When the disease is advanced, it can affect the nerves and cause neuropathic pain. For cancer, studies have shown that both THC and CBD are beneficial. Actually, using them together provides a holistic approach to pain management in these patients.

Is THC Or CBD Better for Nausea

Studies have shown that both CBD and THC work well to alleviate symptoms of nausea because the feeling of being nauseated is controlled partly by the brain and the rst of the body such as the gut.

CBD and THC will inhibit nausea centrally in the brain and peripherally in the gut.

THC and CBD for Headaches: Which one is Better?

CBD Oil for Migraines and Headaches

Studies have shown that there is an emerging role of cannabinoids in the management of migraines.

Most people have reported alleviation of their migraine symptoms after using both CBD and THC. Both of these cannabinoids work well when used to treat headache.

Is THC Or CBD Better for Depression

CBD is a potent antidepressant and can be used to manage depression and depressive disorders. THC on the other hand doesn’t have these effects and is not of significant benefit to those suffering from depression.

Does THC Or CBD Make You Hungry

CBD has no effect on the appetite center in the brain. As a result, it cannot make you hungry. THC on the other hand stimulates your appetite center and makes you hungrier. A pilot study on the effects of cannabinoids on appetite found out that cannabis increases hormonal stimulation of appetite.

More specifically, one study concluded that CBD has no effect on appetite stimulation. Therefore, the hunger effect of cannabis could be attributed to THC and not CBD.

Does THC and CBD Help with Anxiety

Is CBD Oil Good for Anxiety

Both CBD and THC are anxiolytic agents and can be used to manage any form of anxiety. Care should be taken not to overdose on THC.

Unlike CBD, THC has several side effects which may worsen your anxiety and most of these side effects are dose dependent.

THC And CBD For High Blood Pressure

Studies have linked CBD to a significant reduction in blood pressure. This makes it an essential medication for patients with high blood pressure and other disorders that may predispose them to increased blood pressure. THC on the other hand has no effect on blood pressure.

THC and/or CBD For Inflammation?

THC is not anti-inflammatory. It only works on the central nervous system. CBD on the other hand has immune mechanisms, especially in areas of inflammation. It suppresses the release of inflammatory mediators. This is the reason why it alleviates pain due to inflammation.

THC Or CBD For Nerve Pain

As mentioned previously, there are two categories of pain, inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is not caused by inflammation but is pain of the nervous system.

This kind of pain is better managed by THC. Patients with this type of pain may have acquired is as a complication of other underlying diseases or as a side effect of certain prescription medications.

Can THC And CBD Work Together?

Although THC works on CB 1 receptors while CBD works on CBD 2 receptors, this interaction Is not exclusive. In some cases, CBD can still bind on CB 1 receptors while THC can bind on CB 2 receptors making it easier for CBD oil and THC oil to work together.

Anecdotes on a possible synergistic effect of both CBD and THC have been reported by people who have used these products together. These people report that
they experienced less paranoia and anxiety.

In one study where participants were given CBD before taking THC, it was found out that these participants had less paranoia and less cognitive impairments compared to those who only received THC.

How Does THC And CBD Work Together

Scholars have argued that CBD, in some way, reduces the side effects of THC when they are taken together. Most of the effects occur at the molecular level where either the receptors can be transformed or can be activated differently since the binding of CBD and THC to their receptors are not exclusive.

Nevertheless, the concept of medical marijuana is still new and more studies are being done to evaluate the effects of these compound to the human body.

Benefits of CBD And THC Together

When CBD and THC are used together, the benefits include:
• Reduced paranoia
• Less euphoria
• Less cognitive impairment
• Low susceptibility to memory loss due to THC

Comparison Between CBD and THC

The table below summarizes the various differences and similarities of THC and CBD that you may have read in the previous texts to help you understand the relationship between CBD and THC.

Derived From HempYES*NO*
Derived From MarijuanaNO*YES*
Has Euphoric Effect (Makes You High)NOYES
Interact With The Endocannabinoid SystemYESYES
Side EffectsNonePsychotic side effects
Identifies on drug testsNot quiteYES
Relieves PainYESYES
Relieves NauseaYESYES
Eases MigrainesYESYES
Reduces AnxietyYESYES
Alleviates DepressionYESNO
Decreases Episodes Of ConvulsionsYESNO
For Neuropathic PainYESYES
Manages InsomniaYESYES
Treats PsychosisYESNO
Increases AppetiteNOYES
Essential In Managing Other ConditionsYESYES


There are several differences between CBD and THC majorly based on their activity in the human body and the receptors they interact with.

While studies have strived to distinguish the two, a lot is yet to be learnt about these compounds, as we anticipate the many countries of the world will eventually legalize the use of cannabis products – especially in medicine.

If you wich to learn more about CBD, check out our homepage.


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Other Sources:

  • medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325871.php
  • healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc
  • webmd.com/pain-management/cbd-thc-difference
  • medium.com/cbd-origin/cbd-vs-thc-the-difference-explained-b3cfc1da52f0
  • usa.inquirer.net/37937/cbd-vs-thc
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