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CBD vs. THC - What is The Difference? [Everything You Need to Know in 2021]

Since the popularity of marijuana has grown exponentially around the world in recent years, it has never been more important to understand the differences between CBD vs. THC, and exactly how they both affect the body. Most people know that smoking marijuana gets you high, but that is only one of the many things that cannabis provides.


Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp, which are very similar compounds with profoundly different effects.


What is CBD?


Cannabinoid, or CBD is a molecule naturally found in marijuana and hemp plants. CBD are non-psychoactive and will not get you high or produce euphoric feelings. On the contrary, the health and wellness benefits from CBD are felt gradually, over time.


Recently, CBD has grown in popularity as we have discovered some useful ways to utilize its effects. In fact, studies show that CBD can be successfully used to treat anxiety.


Moreover, a CBD based medication was recently approved for use in treating seizures in Epilepsy patients.





Medical marijuana doctors are using CBD as part of their patients’ treatment plans in cannabis-friendly states.


What Is THC?


Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is another molecule found only in marijuana plants. Hemp plants do not typically contain much THC, whatsoever. THC is the psychoactive part of cannabis that most people are the most familiar with. It is also a therapeutic part of marijuana because much of the relief that THC provides is within the uplifting, euphoric effects.


CBD vs. THC – What Are the Differences & Similarities?


As stated, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabinoid (CBD) are two of dozens of separate cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. These molecules are similar and have powerful effects in the human body. However, when you compare CBD vs. THC effects, they are completely different.


CBD works within the Endocannabinoid system and interacts with naturally occurring receptors called CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids (CBD) won’t get you high because they contain no psychoactive material. The health benefits from CBD oil take time and will be more subtle than the effects from THC.


In fact, CBD is known for its long-term health benefits that increase and improve over time. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, and many health and wellness benefits have been discovered through scientific studies.


Moreover, CBD can be extracted from hemp plants, unlike THC, which must come from marijuana plants.


CBD vs. THC – What is Legal?


This is where people can get a bit confused because THC, the psychoactive part of cannabis, is not legal everywhere. Places like California, Colorado, and Canada have legalized cannabis for recreational adult use. This makes buying some weed almost as easy as buying beer at the store.


You can purchase medical marijuana products legally, provided you are at, or over the legal age.


However, the states where marijuana is not legal, or only legal for medical use, you must have the proper credentials to have ‘Mary Jane’ in your possession. You must be approved by a physician who is certified in prescribing medical marijuana.


CBD is much different because it is free from mind-altering effects and is not regulated in the same way as THC. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp products, which includes CBD, provided it meets some stringent requirements. CBD oil for sale must have under .03% THC to be legal nationwide, under the new hemp laws.


CBD vs. THC – Health & Wellness Benefits


Research shows that the health and wellness benefits from taking CBD oil seem to grow every year. In recent years, there have been many studies by reputable institutions regarding CBD health benefits.


One study shows that CBD can reduce anxiety.


Another study shows that CBD can help reduce joint swelling and the pain associated with it.


Possibly the most compelling evidence comes in the form of actual patients’ testimonies describing their experiences with CBD oil, for example.


Many say they can give up opioids for long term pain management by using a combination of CBD and THC products to effectively manage their pain.


Some say that CBD has reduced their anxiety to manageable levels without feeling the side effects from traditional anti-anxiety medications which can be debilitating.


THC is known to reduce anxiety, as well. Many people use THC marijuana strains to manage depression symptoms, and as a sleep aid before bedtime.


Additionally, many people regularly use CBD and THC to relax recreationally, where it is legal to do so.


CBD vs. THC – What Are the Medical Applications?


The medical applications of CBD vs. THC are unfolding day by day. There are some ways that marijuana can provide health related benefits as follows:

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • PTSD symptoms

  • Epilepsy & seizures

  • Chron’s symptoms

  • MS

  • ALS

  • Inflammation & swelling

  • Pain

Plus, cannabis may help with many other physical, emotional, and mental conditions.

CBD vs. THC – Do They Cause Any Side Effects?


When you are talking about side effects connected to CBD vs. THC, there is a huge difference. CBD doesn’t have any negative side effects that we know about yet. It may make you hungry or sleepy, depending on what strain of CBD you’re taking.


On the other hand, THC has many side effects that you should be aware of and understand before you take a puff.


Indica strains of marijuana can have sedating effects, and may leave you feeling lethargic on the couch, after just a small amount. This would be considered very negative if you think about driving or doing anything else that requires your focus and full attention.

Plus, Sativa THC strains can produce anxiety in some people that can become severe if you’re prone to it.


The best way to start taking a new strain that you’re not familiar with is to start low and go slow. Just take a small dose to get started and then work your way up after you feel confident you like the effects.


As with any type of cannabis, you will surely get the munchies and you might need a nap at some point in the day.


Wrapping Everything Up!


Hopefully, you see that there is a huge difference between CBD and THC marijuana, even though both come directly from cannabis and work within the same receptors in the body.


The effects are very different.


Understanding how they both work will ensure that you maximize the health and wellness benefits you receive from both CBD and THC marijuana.


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