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Key Differences Between CBD and THC

Although both are derived from the cannabis plant, there are significant differences between CBD and THC. It’s important to understand the difference between these two cannabis compounds, especially if you’re using marijuana products to support your physical and mental well-being.

Potency is probably the biggest factor consumers should consider when purchasing cannabis. Strains with higher THC content produce more psychoactive effects, while the non-addictive effects of CBD are less immediate. When it comes to cannabis, there is no “one size fits all” potency. Both THC and CBD have their own unique elements and benefits. Everything from medicinal to recreational comes down to what you are looking for in a cannabis product. Let’s dig into the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between THC and CBD.

Exploring the endocannabinoid receptor system

Hemp and the cannabis plant are full of substances known as cannabinoids. The most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS) by stimulating receptors in the brain and throughout the body. In turn, this biological system helps regulate bodily functions such as sleep, movement, digestion, pain, mood, and energy levels. The human body produces endocannabinoids, and beneficial cannabinoids such as CBD and THC can provide useful supplements to this process.

At the molecular level, CBD and THC are virtually identical. They boast identical chemical formulas, each consisting of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. What sets them apart is the way their atoms are arranged. Differences in structure affect their ability to bind to various receptors discussed previously. In turn, this is a unique effect on the body.

What is invisible is how each of these compounds interacts with the body after being inhaled or ingested. THC primarily binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system and can target pain. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are located in the peripheral nervous system, especially on immune cells. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. Rather, it profoundly affects how cannabinoids interact with the ECS. CBD has the ability to counteract the intoxicating effects of THC by altering the binding capacity of its receptors while also preventing THC from being activated. In addition to THC, CBD has been found to target dozens of neurotransmitters and endocannabinoids that interact with the ECS, resulting in health benefits and effects discussed later.

How the Law Distinguishes CBD from THC

The Virgin Islands have legalized medical marijuana, which includes both CBD and THC products, to s19 of these states have fully legalized recreational marijuana extent. . That said, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level because it continues to be classified as a “Schedule I” drug. But in 2013, the Department of Justice agreed not to block state laws legalizing cannabis. In turn, states would have to agree to regulate underage sales, trafficking, and other cannabis-related activities.

A major gray area exists for CBD’s legal status. Although not psychoactive like THC, it is still derived from the cannabis plant. In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp and other cannabis-derived products with a cbd and delta 8 thc near me the concentration of less than 0.3%. Nonetheless, states continue to have the final say on whether cannabis products are legal within their borders, so it’s always best to check your state’s laws before purchasing.

Learn more about the potential effects and benefits of cannabis

As mentioned earlier, CBD and THC each have different properties that can provide lasting health benefits. Cannabis products are increasingly being used as treatments for numerous symptoms and conditions, both mild and severe. Some of the most common applications involving CBD have been to treat chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety. CBD in particular is known for its healing and restorative effects. This is due to CBD’s ability to interact with receptor systems found throughout the body that influence the presence and effectiveness of endocannabinoids and neurotransmitters. CBD can interact with opioid receptors, which are responsible for pain management, and dopamine receptors, which help regulate behavior and motivation.

Many researchers are currently excited about CBD’s ability to activate serotonin receptors, which may help reduce opioid dependence, depression, anxiety, and neuropathic pain.

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