Cannabis contains more than 113 different chemical compounds known as “cannabinoids,” which interact with our bodies through the endocannabinoid system that binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain (CB1 and CB2). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most well-known cannabinoids found in marijuana.
Let’s explore the significant differences between THC and CBD:
The Psychological High
THC is considered the most well-known compound in pot because of the “high” it provides, resulting in the euphoric, mind-altering effects of the cannabis plant. The reason this occurs is because THC attaches to CB1 receptors, changing how the brain functions and causing a euphoric high. Potential side effects include giddiness, anxiousness, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion, heightened sensations, dizziness, and increased heart rate.
By contrast, CBD doesn’t bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning that it lacks the same psychoactive effect as THC. CBD won’t directly alter your consciousness, perception, or mood. Rather, it functions as an antipsychotic because of how it interacts with the relevant brain receptors.
Both compounds have a wide variety of benefits and uses. THC is typically used for its euphoric, relaxing, and pain-relieving effects, while CBD can be used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, and even psychosis in some cases.
The following are the medicinal benefits of THC:
- Muscle relaxant
- Anti-tremor and anti-spasm
- Appetite stimulant
- Hypotension (lowers blood pressure)
The medical benefits of CBD include:
- Immune system boosting
THC and the plant itself are both specifically listed in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which makes them illegal according to federal law. However, 29 states and Washington D.C. have passed their own marijuana laws which permit the use of medical marijuana with high levels of THC, upon recommendation from a licensed physician. Furthermore, eight of those states and Washington D.C. have legalized the recreational use of cannabis and THC.
On the other hand, CBD can be legally used in all states since it is not specifically listed under the Controlled Substances Act. But it needs to be derived from imported high-CBD, low-THC hemp--not extracted from cannabis. If derived on marijuana, however, CBD is illegal unless it is obtained through a state-regulated medical cannabis program or in state which allows recreational use.
For more information, contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine today.