Joints, vapes, gummies, chocolates, capsules, brownies, cookies. Whichever way you consume cannabis, we know you love it. Among all these methods, we’re sure you’ve tried at least a few. But do you actually know what’s inside your weed? Two well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. While they are both natural elements of cannabis, they are extremely different when it comes to their effects on our bodies.
For a brief summary, THC is known for its psychoactive properties and is the reason for your highs. CBD on the other hand is a less invasive compound. CBD can offer more health benefits and is usually preferred by people who have a sensitivity to the effects of THC. For example, CBD oil has soared in popularity lately thanks to its properties that are known to have positive effects on the body.
But we want to dive into the deep end. We want to truly help you discover the differences between THC and CBD on a more detailed level. This way you can easily decide which one you want to use – or both. Staying informed about the properties of each cannabinoid is safer for your health, and it can help you understand how to use cannabis to your own advantage.
Simplifying the Science
Let’s get fancy for a minute. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants. They both affect one of your body’s biological pathways, known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? While specialists are still researching the ECS, we know that it regulates several functions including your mood, appetite, memory, and pain sensations.
Both CBD and THC reach the ECS receptors and alter their functions. To be extra-scientific, the molecular structures of each cannabinoid are almost identical, and they have the same molecular formula of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms, as noted by Healthline. Due to one very small difference within this formula, the effects that THC and CBD have on your body are completely different. One gets you high, one doesn’t.
CBD will have a non-intoxicating effect on your body, compared to THC which will give you a high. CBD is known to have various benefits for your health. It can help with pain management, lowering inflammation, reducing nausea, lessening depression and anxiety, and more. According to Harvard Medical School, a study was conducted by the European Journal of Pain about the effects of CBD for pain management. They found that CBD applied to the skin could lower pain levels and inflammation caused by arthritis, ultimately concluding that CBD can possibly help manage chronic pain.
Can You Use THC & CBD Together?
This is an interesting question, and it may have crossed your mind when you’ve heard these terms floating around. If one gets you high, and the other doesn’t, what does this mean if they’re used at the same time? Well, it’s probably what you’re thinking. CBD will cancel out the psychoactive effects of THC and reduce your high. AsapSCIENCE explains that due to the biochemical shape of CBD, it binds to one of the ECS receptors and makes it harder for THC to do its thing. You’ll feel less high, but it can relieve many types of pain, and it may even help you lose weight – there is a lot less research on this though, so consult a doctor before taking matters into your own hands.
However, THC can also reign supreme. If you vape marijuana using 25% THC and 0.1% CBD, you will get high. Increase the CBD to 12%, and you can say “bye-bye” to your high. It basically all depends on how you want to feel, or in other words, how high you want to be. Typically, the retailers that you buy weed from will tell you what percentage of THC and CBD are in the product. This will help you decide how much of an effect you want the product to have on yourself.
Which is Better?
You’ll have to decide this one for yourself. It greatly depends on what effect you want marijuana to have on your body. There is still a lot of research that must be done concerning THC and CBD, but we’ve certainly come a long way since the beginning.
The major differences that could determine which cannabinoid you’d like better are that THC can aggravate psychotic symptoms. CBD can help battle psychosis. There are several side-effects that you can obtain from THC, including a high heart rate, red eyes, impaired reactions, and memory loss. CBD, however, is very unlikely to give you any negative side effects – if any do occur. It would usually be due to a bad combination of CBD and another drug you may be taking at the same time. CBD is widely tolerated easier by consumers than THC.
If you’re still unsure which one you’d prefer, you can try both in small doses, but remember to always consult your doctor before trying anything. Each one will affect your body differently. The power is in your hands to be able to control how THC or CBD will influence your body’s deeper chemical structure, or in less fancy terms, whether you want to get high.
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