What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

Probably one of the first things you should know about weed before you consume it—whether you’re smoking or eating it—is the difference between CBD and THC.

Both are chemical compounds that occur in cannabis, and even though they’re both similar in chemical structure to your body’s endocannabinoids, they have vastly different effects on the human body. Let’s break it down.

The Effects of CBD vs. THC

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in weed that creates the psychoactive effects that are most popularly seen on movies and TV shows. (Pineapple Express, anyone?)

High THC strains are the ones that’ll give you that euphoric high/buzz//stoned sensation. Typically, medical marijuana generally has comparatively low THC levels because, well, its focus is not on getting you high, but on relieving whatever discomforts or ailments you might have. However, THC still has therapeutic uses because of its mood-altering effects. They’re just a little… hazier compared to CBD.

CBD, or cannabidiol, on the other hand, is what offers much of the health benefits that people turn to medical cannabis for. One of its biggest perks is its ability to block pain receptors, hence its popularity as a pain management option. Most importantly, it’s non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. Which is great, if you have to get stuff done during the day or night.

Marijuana strains that have high levels of CBD, like ACDC and Cannatonic, are known for their positive effects on anxiety and pain.

The Health Benefits of CBD

CBD’s health benefits are beginning to be studied more enthusiastically (about time), but they range from relieving pain to reducing inflammation to helping you sleep better at night. That’s the CBD difference.

In fact, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the researcher who first isolated and identified THC in 1964, believe that “post-traumatic stress disorder, certain phobias and forms of chronic pain as human situations which are conditioned” can be treated by CBD.

In other words, we’re barely scratching the surface of discovering CBD’s health benefits.

What to Remember When Looking at THC vs. CBD

You can’t use a strain’s indica vs. sativa ratio to determine how much THC or CBD it has! It’s a common assumption that people make, but it’s just not accurate. The effects of different strains of cannabis are determined by their THC and CBD content—which are not the same as indica and sativa proportions.

Last word of advice: When choosing a strain of cannabis, try to think of it not so much as “THC vs. CBD,” but how THC and CBD can work together. Often, people like balancing out the effects of one with the other (CBD can soften the psychoactive effects of THC), so try to find the balance that works for you.

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