CBD vs. THC: What’s The Difference Between CBD And THC?

CBD and THC are the two main active ingredients in cannabis. But what are the differences between them? Read on to learn more about the key differences between CBD and THC, their pros and cons, and examples of each.
CBD vs. THC: 6 Key Differences, Pros & Cons, Examples

CBD vs. THC: are compounds obtained from different species of plants in the Cannabis genus. Whether both of these compounds are extracted from the same plant, they are different from each other. The main difference between CBD and THC is their different effect on the human body.

Let’s take a closer look at THC vs. CBD

Found inBoth are found in Cannabis plants
EffectsBoth compounds affect the  endocannabinoid system of the human body
StructureBoth have 21 Carbon atoms and 30 hydrogen atoms with different arrangements
LegalBoth products are legal in some states while illegal in other

What is CBD?

What is CBD? CBD, meaning Cannabidiol, is an extract that can be obtained from Cannabis or hemp. This hemp and Cannabis come from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is sold in many different forms, including supplements, oils, gummies, and gels. CBD can be derived from any kind of Sativa plant and does not produce high sensations linked with Cannabis. CBD is used for different medicinal purposes and has multiple mechanisms of action. It has been found to have an antiepileptic effect and helps reduce pain and inflammation. CBD is also considered to be decreasing psychotic symptoms, neuropathic pain, and anxiety symptoms. As it has an antidepressant effect.

CBD, meaning Cannabidiol, is an extract that can be obtained from Cannabis or hemp. This hemp and Cannabis come from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is sold in many different forms, including supplements, oils, gummies, and gels. CBD can be derived from any kind of Sativa plant and does not produce high sensations linked with Cannabis. CBD is used for different medicinal purposes and has multiple mechanisms of action. It has been found to have an antiepileptic effect and helps reduce pain and inflammation. CBD is also considered to be decreasing psychotic symptoms, neuropathic pain, and anxiety symptoms. As it has an antidepressant effect.

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What is THC?

What is THC? THC, meaning a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound found in Cannabis that can produce intense sensations. THC can be consumed by smoking Cannabis. But it is also available in the form of capsules, oils, edibles, tinctures, and more. THC greatly affects the human body and is used to treat various medical conditions like nerve pain, nausea, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis pain, and Parkinson's disease tremors. THC is legal in some states and used as medical marijuana, but laws are changing all the time. Some states have marijuana with THC legal for personal use while it is illegal under U.S law.

THC, meaning a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound found in Cannabis that can produce intense sensations. THC can be consumed by smoking Cannabis. But it is also available in the form of capsules, oils, edibles, tinctures, and more. THC greatly affects the human body and is used to treat various medical conditions like nerve pain, nausea, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis pain, and Parkinson’s disease tremors. THC is legal in some states and used as medical marijuana, but laws are changing all the time. Some states have marijuana with THC legal for personal use while it is illegal under U.S law.

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6 Key Differences Between CBD And THC

ComponentsCBDTHC
Chemical StructureCBD is considered to have a tetrahydro biphenyl skeleton, which is basically a bicyclic core that represents an adduct formed by p-cymene, monoterpene, and the alkylresorcinol derivative, olivetolTHC is a psychoactive compound of Cannabis, and the chemical formula of this compound describes multiple isomers. The term THC refers to Delta-9-THC isomer with the chemical name- trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol
Psychoactive ComponentsCBD is as psychoactive as THC. It binds weekly and needs THC to bind to CB1 receptors, reducing some of THC’s psychoactive effects, including sedation and euphoria.THC is a psychoactive compound that binds with the cannabinoid 1 receptors in the brain. Which results in a high sense of euphoria. Which may be greater when THC is inhaled instead of digested.
Medicinal BenefitsThe first prescription medication in which CBD was used was to treat epilepsy. It is also used for other situations like inflammation, pain, nausea, seizures, mental disorders, depression, and anxiety.THC is FDA approved to treat vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy drugs. It is also used to help with insomnia, muscle spasticity, pain, glaucoma, anxiety, nausea, and low appetite.
Side EffectsCBD is a well-tolerated compound, even in large doses, but it can interact with some other medications and cause side effects like fatigue, appetite changes,  dizziness, weight loss, sleepiness, drowsiness, and diarrheaTHC may cause some temporary side effects due to its high psychoactive effect. Some side effects include red eyes, anxiety, dry mouth, memory loss, increased heart rate, coordination problems, tiredness, distress, low blood pressure, and memory loss.
FormsCBD is available in many different forms like tinctures, capsules, oils, and gummies THC also comes in a variety of forms like oils, smokable products, edibles like brownies, and tinctures.
LegalityIn the United States, laws about Cannabis are regularly changing; it is considered a scheduled drug under federal law. In some states, cannabis medicines are illegal.There are 37 states which passed a law making Cannabis with a high level of THC legal. But then, Cannabis needs to be prescribed by a licensed physician or healthcare provider.

CBD vs. THC Similarities

  • Whether it is CBD or THC, Both are found and obtained from the same Cannabis Plants.
  • Both have the same structure with 21 carbon atoms and 30 hydrogen atoms
  • Both compounds affect the  endocannabinoid system of the human body
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CBD vs. THC Examples

CBD Examples

CBD is used in many different forms; examples are

  • CBD Oils
  • CBD-infused creams and lotions
  • Balms and tinctures
  • CBD topicals

THC Examples

There are the following examples through which THC can be used:

  • Inhaling the Vapor
  • THC-infused gummies and lemonades
  • THC tinctures

CBD vs. THC Pros and Cons

CBD Pros and Cons

CBD Pros and Cons

Pros of CBD

  • CBD is a well-tolerated drug with no significant side effects, even if it is used in large doses.
  • CBD can be used to treat some medical conditions like nausea, pain, mental disorders, depression, and anxiety.

Cons of CBD

  • CBD can easily interact with other medications and cause some side effects, including liver damage.
  • Some side effects of CBD can even lead to sudden weight loss, appetite change, and diarrhea.

THC Pros and Cons

THC Pros and Cons

Pros of THC

  • Synthetic formulations of THC, including Nabilone and Dronabinol, are approved by FDA and used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy drugs.
  • THC also treats various medical conditions like muscle spasticity, pain, glaucoma, and insomnia.

Cons of THC

  • The psychoactive property of THC can cause long-term negative psychiatric effects.
  • A higher dosage of THC can result in various side effects, including memory loss, depression, nausea, red eyes, dry mouth, and increased heart rate.

Comparison Chart

CBD and THC are the two main active ingredients in cannabis. But what are the differences between them? Read on to learn more about the key differences between CBD and THC, their pros and cons, and examples of each.

Comparison Video

Marijuana THC vs CBD, CBG, CBN: What’s the difference? What are health benefits of each?

Conclusion

CBD and THC are compounds obtained from the same cannabis plants. Both of these compounds can be very helpful in increasing relaxation, improving mood, and relieving pain and sleepiness. But if we talk about CBD vs. THC differences both are different in their effect on the human body and have different medicinal benefits. Moreover, if we compare CBD versus THC’s psychoactive properties, CBD does not have many of these properties. Both of these compounds are legal in some states but only available on a licensed physician’s prescription. 

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Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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