In recent studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it has been concluded that marijuana and CBD have the same effects as cannabis. CBD is the only non-psychoactive component in marijuana and has no psychoactivity. The compound was originally found to be beneficial for people with epilepsy and the same can be said of cannabis.
Marijuana does contain both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). The former has more medicinal and psychological benefits, while the latter is a stimulant that will increase your physical and mental energy.
The major distinction between the two is the concentration of the compounds within them. With CBD, it is much easier for your body to absorb it, which is why so many doctors recommend it. But with marijuana, you must consume it in higher doses. The result of this is that the human body tends to produce an abundance of the chemicals in marijuana. In order to have the most benefit from it, you will want to avoid marijuana altogether if you are looking to reduce your dependency on the drug.
It is also important to note that smoking marijuana is not necessarily bad for your health. While it may create a very intense high, it is often used as a way to induce a state of relaxation. And the chemicals contained within marijuana are not known to cause harm to the brain or to cause addiction in its users.
However, there are some possible side effects that are associated with marijuana. Among them are headaches, respiratory problems, stomach irritation and constipation. In rare cases, the use of marijuana can cause psychosis and anxiety.
What are CBD and THC?
Both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are phytocannabinoids. They cause various effects within our bodies as a result of interacting with certain cells, particularly those in our brains.
As cannabinoids, they both have their similarities. For starters, they are the two most abundant cannabinoids that you could find naturally in hemp. On top of this, the various applications they could be used for at a molecular level are quite similar. Such resemblances are so strong that, until recently, the scientific community actually believed they were the same substance.
But this hypothesis has since been proven false. Nowadays, we know that THC is a psychotropic drug controlled by various government authorities, whereas CBD is considered safe and is used legally across the world. However, none of this has stopped a steady stream of misinformation being produced about the two. Time to set the record straight. So what are the differences between CBD and THC?
The obvious and visible difference between THC and CBD is that THC can get you high, while CBD cannot. Both are known to have healing properties, but high amounts of THC are less likely to be tolerated by patients, while CBD is known to be tolerable even at high doses.
CBD vs THC: Health benefits
There has been extensive research into the benefits of THC. This research suggests that THC has many therapeutic properties which can be utilised in a myriad of clinical applications.
On the other hand, research into the benefits of CBD are still in their infancy. Initial studies suggest CBD has many of the same therapeutic properties as THC, but without the high and other adverse side effects associated with THC. In fact, CBD can actually protect against the more derogatory effects of THC.
CBD vs THC: Chemical structure
Both CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing impacts on your body.
Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s own endocannabinoid system. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors. The interaction impacts the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells.
CBD vs THC: Psychoactive components
Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD is a non psychoactive compound. That means it doesn’t produce the “high” associated with THC.
THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It produces a high or sense of euphoria.
CBD doesn’t binds to CB1 receptors, this is why it does not produce a “high” in users. In fact, it can interfere with the binding of THC and dampen the psychoactive effects.
CBD vs THC: The scientific view
As you must have guessed by now, it’s more-or-less universally accepted within the scientific community that CBD is safer than THC.
Studies showing correlations between using THC over a long period of time and showing symptoms of particular psychiatric disorders – such as psychosis, schizophrenia and depression – have supported these views. However, we have to be clear that correlation doesn’t always mean causation – the source of the problem may be something else.
On top of that, there’s still a lot of research to be done on CBD and – with early results looking positive already – scientists, on the whole, are hoping that even more beneficial applications are yet to be found.
CBD vs THC: Legality
Due to the psychoactive properties of THC it is classed as a controlled substance in the UK, and therefore illegal. In fact, this is also the case in most parts of the world although changes are slowly occurring as the therapeutic properties of THC are becoming more widely accepted.
CBD, on the other hand, is non psychoactive and therefore it won’t get you high. It is 100% legal in the UK and many other countries around the world. CBD oil food supplement is sold in the UK, just the same as the vitamins and minerals supplements you buy. To make sure you are buying a safe and legal CBD product, please only purchase from a reputable company.