CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are similar in some ways and very different in others. As more research is done on the cannabis plant and it is further decriminalized across the world, it’s not surprising that so many people are curious about THC vs CBD supplements. After all, it’s important to stay informed, especially if you’re considering using either cannabinoid for wellness purposes.
Discover what makes THC and CBD so similar, as well as what makes them so unique. That way you can make an educated decision on what’s right for you.
The Big Difference
The biggest difference between CBD and THC is that THC produces a “high” effect and CBD doesn’t. CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive properties associated with marijuana, and that’s the main reason why there are legal differences between the two substances. While marijuana does offer some medical and therapeutic benefits, it can also be used recreationally.
THC vs CBD: Both Cannabinoids
CBD and THC are both compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. Although CBD is also found in marijuana plants, it’s most commonly associated with the hemp plant. This is because most CBD products are extracted from hemp plants because they generally contain little to no THC.
On the other hand, marijuana plants contain CBD too, but the THC content makes them less than ideal for making pure CBD products. Extracting CBD from marijuana plants means the finished product will likely contain significant amounts of THC, making it psychoactive (and illegal in some places).
THC vs CBD: Molecular Structure
You may be surprised to learn that CBD and THC have the same exact chemical makeup, C21H30O2, which means they both are made of 21 carbon items, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.
The difference between the two cannabinoids is the placement of one single atom! While this might seem small, the truth is that one different atom causes these compounds to have drastically different properties.
Take water as an example. Water is made of H2O (two hydrogen and one oxygen molecules). Hydrogen peroxide is made of H2O2 (one additional oxygen molecule). That one extra oxygen molecule dramatically alters the chemical composition. You wouldn’t want to drink hydrogen peroxide, right?
How CBD and THC Interact with the Body
When it comes to THC vs CBD, that one altered molecule changes how both cannabinoids interact with your body, which is why they produce different effects. In order to understand why, first you need to know how and why cannabinoids affect the body and mind.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It’s a network of receptors that interact with cannabinoids, ensuring that essential functions in your body work properly. Scientists discovered the first cannabinoid receptor in 1988 and the second in 1993. They classified the receptors as CB1 and CBD2 receptors in 1995.
CB1 receptors are generally found throughout the brain, while CB2 receptors are found in the immune system and central nervous system. As you learn about THC vs CBD, it’s important that you realize that both cannabinoids interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, albeit in different (and some similar) ways.
As you might assume, when cannabinoids interact with CB1 receptors in the brain, the effects tend to be related to emotion, cognitive function, motor skills, memory, and other brain-related things.
On the other hand, when cannabinoids interact with CB2 receptors in the immune and central nervous systems, they have more physical-based effects such as reducing pain.
Remember that one different molecule? That’s what causes CBD and THC to produce unique effects, as well as some of the same. For example, the main difference between THC vs CBD is that CBD doesn’t get you high. At the same time, both CBD and marijuana can be used to reduce physical pain or improve sleep patterns.
Common Use Cases
Again, there is some overlap between how THC and CBD are used. Many CBD enthusiasts appreciate CBD because it delivers some of the same benefits as THC while still allowing them to enjoy their day clear-headed. THC is often consumed with the along with the cannabis plant, while CBD is more often consumed as CBD oil, or made into capsules.
It’s important to note that everyone’s body chemistry is unique, and THC and CBD may affect people in unique ways. It’s up to you to compare THC vs CBD so you can determine which option aligns most closely with your goals (as well as your local laws).
Here are the most commonly mentioned benefits associated with both cannabinoids:
CBD is commonly used for treating:
- Chronic and acute pain
- Lack of appetite
THC is commonly used for treating:
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle spasticity
As you can see, there’s definitely some crossover, as well as some differences. When it comes to comparing THC vs CBD, it’s important to consider your goals (as well as your doctor’s recommendations).
Which is Right for You?
If you’re considering using one or both of these cannabinoids, the biggest deciding factor is going to be whether or not you enjoy the psychoactive effects. Plenty of people use both CBD and THC, depending on their specific needs at the time. For instance, CBD is a better choice for coping with physical pain at work where you need to be clear-headed.
Try Medical-grade CBD
CBD is much more widely available, which is a big reason why it’s so popular among people weighing the benefits of THC vs CBD. Paradigm Peptides is proud to offer the highest quality CBD isolate made from 100% pure cannabidiol. We regularly send out our products for rigorous third-party testing to ensure purity, safety, potency, and overall quality.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you have any questions about the differences between CBD and THC, please feel free to contact us for further information. We’ll be happy to recommend a CBD product that aligns with your personal health goals. Shop premium CBD products online today, and see why so many people are adding CBD to their daily wellness regimens.