CBD and THC are the two most talked about cannabinoids, and for good reason. Not only are they the two most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant—they’re also the most studied and best understood. While these cannabinoids have both gained a reputation for their therapeutic potential, there are some important differences between them. Here’s what you need to know about CBD vs. THC.
CBD vs. THC: What Is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid that is prized for its mind-altering and therapeutic effects. THC does not actually exist in the cannabis plant. Instead, it is made when THCA (the acidic precursor to THC) is exposed to heat. It’s believed that THC produces its effects by binding directly to protein cell receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
CBD vs. THC: What Is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid well-known for its therapeutic potential. Like THC, it does not naturally exist in the cannabis plant and is instead produced when its acidic precursor CBDA is exposed to heat. CBD does not work by binding directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC does. Instead, it works through the stimulation of various other receptors by affecting the binding ability of certain receptors, and by extending the lifespan of certain endocannabinoids—among other complex processes.
CBD vs. THC: Differences in the Effects
The effects of CBD vs. THC effects are what really set these two cannabinoids apart. THC and CBD are both made up of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms, yet they produce vastly different effects and benefits due to having different arrangements of atoms.
THC is known for the uplifting and euphoric mind-altering effects it produces. It does this by triggering the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter known for producing feelings of pleasure. Research indicates that THC may also have several therapeutic uses. Research findings have indicated that THC may be useful in managing a wide range of health conditions.
While THC is an intoxicating compound, CBD is not. Instead, CBD works undercover to produce effects throughout the body and brain without producing any noticeable euphoric feelings. For example, many people feel more relaxed after a dose of CBD, and CBD is also believed to minimize stress throughout the mind and body. Positive studies and anecdotal evidence on CBD also suggests a huge array of possible health benefits.
CBD vs. THC Effects: Side Effects
While these two compounds are considered to be generally safe, there are some possible side effects to keep in mind.
For some people, THC has been known to cause mild side effects including increased heart rate, dry mouth and dry eyes, loss of coordination, trouble concentrating, drowsiness, anxiety, paranoia, and poor short-term memory, among other things. Meanwhile, some reported side effects of CBD have included drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these side effects, lower your dosage. Any side effects tend to be very shortlived and can usually be resolved with a smaller dose next time. If you are experiencing side effects that bother you, you can stop consuming the cannabinoid altogether.
CBD And THC Together
Consuming these two cannabinoids together will produce different effects than only ingesting one or the other. Thanks to the entourage effect, these cannabinoids work together in synergy to produce different, and sometimes more complete, effects. For instance, if you feel that THC may be making you feel too euphoric, stimulated, or stressed, combining it with some CBD can tone down those aspects of the buzz. Additionally, many people recommend mixing just a little THC in their CBD can give it a boost and make it more effective.
Quality of THC and CBD Products
Low-quality cannabis products can be mislabeled or contain impurities. We always recommend getting to know the ethos behind your favorite cannabis products.
Our products have CBD and THC, are full spectrum, and provide the entourage effect. They are always tested and always clean. Check out our THC and our CBD Whole Plant Process to see how we ensure best-practice standards of quality for all our products.