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CBD vs. THC: What is the difference?

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As more and more countries allow the use of cannabis and other cannabis products, the demand for cannabis products is increasing. These include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus;

Fundamental differences

CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC;

THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, giving a feeling of euphoria and lowering moods. These feelings can be achieved by smoking marijuana or by using it in food, while CBD is mainly taken in the form of oil or capsules;

Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system but have very different effects.

Common effects

Because they are almost the same chemical compounds, most of their health effects are identical. Both substances affect the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for transmitting messages between cells and play a large role in pain reduction, immune function, stress, or sleep quality;

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Effects on the psyche

Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC do not have the same psychoactive effects. CBD is actually a non-psychoactive compound. This means that it does not create euphoric states like THC does;

THC binds to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It produces laughter or euphoria;

CBD binds very weakly, if at all, to CB1 receptors. In fact, it can interfere with THC binding and dampen psychoactive effects, which is why products containing CBD, including cannabis itself, are perfectly legal in this country;

Health benefits

CBD and THC share many health and other benefits.

CBD is used to alleviate:

  • seizures;
  • inflammations
  • pain
  • psychosis or mental disorder;
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • nausea
  • Migration
  • depression
  • anxiety

THC helps with:

  • pain
  • diabetes
  • insomnia
  • low appetite
  • nausea
  • anxiety

Side effects

CBD is well tolerated, even in large doses. Research suggests that the side effects that occur when taking CBD are likely the result of drug interactions between CBD and other medications that people take;

THC causes temporary side effects such as:

  • increased heart rate
  • coordination problems
  • dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • slower reaction times
  • short-term memory loss

These side effects are part of the psychoactive properties of the compound.

However, high THC use may be associated with long-term negative psychiatric effects. This is especially true for adolescents who use large amounts of THC;

The effect on the brain is more profound for adolescents. Use of the compound increases the risk of certain psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia;


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