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THC vs. CBD
Cannabis culture is infiltrating society.
Everyone is talking about CBD and THC, two compounds sourced from the plant.
You can waltz into a health store and legally purchase CBD oil; you can order infused edibles and creams online. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the 33 states with a recreational or medical cannabis market, you can legally purchase THC.
But what, exactly, are CBD and THC? And why are people so interested?
This guide will answer these questions. Ready to get started? We have a lot to cover.
You can’t understand CBD or THC without knowing what cannabinoids are. A cannabinoid is a compound found solely in cannabis plants. They interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, triggering the release of neurotransmitters in your brain.
That’s why cannabis is so powerful. It exerts a strong effect on the body.
CBD and THC share the same molecular structure. However, the atoms are arranged differently.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is completely non-intoxicating. You can consume an entire bottle of CBD oil and still be fit to go to work. The substance won’t get you high but it might soothe your anxiety and boost your health.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the star of the cannabis plant. It’s the main psychoactive cannabinoid and the most popular one. Consumer demand is causing legal growers to focus on THC-rich strains.
Like CBD, THC is associated with serious pain-relieving effects. THC is far more controversial, however. Most of the prohibitions against cannabis arose because people were nervous about the effects of THC.
There are a few ways modern scientists and cannabis manufacturers can source CBD. It’s derived from cannabis plants but there are a few different breeds.
Regular cannabis plants are saturated with CBD and THC. A technician working in laboratory setting can isolate both cannabinoids.
CBD is also found in hemp plants. Hemp is a special breed of cannabis that has a very low THC content. Its main commercial value is actually in the tough fibers of its stalk rather than the flowers.
Most of the CBD sold in America is sourced from hemp. This is good news if you’re interested in CBD but don’t want to experience any intoxicating effects.
The Legal Difference
Until recently, both CBD and THC were demonized by federal and state governments. The landscape has changed dramatically in the last few years. Cannabis legalization efforts are sweeping across the nation.
The federal government lists cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. However, legislators have agreed to essentially make it a state matter. States that have opened legal markets have done so without being molested.
33 states have legalized medical or recreational cannabis. If you live in a state where this has not happened, THC is not legal.
CBD is a little different. In December, Congress passed the Farm Bill. The measure legalized hemp nationwide, allowing farmers to come out of hiding. The decision was glorious news for the CBD industry.
Hemp-derived CBD is now legal across America. CBD that’s derived from regular cannabis is only legal in areas where cannabis is legal.
Consumers should feel safe buying CBD. Manufacturers should be careful that they’re eyeing their sources.
Because CBD is non-intoxicating, it’s legal to give it to children.
The Personal Difference
CBD and THC product very different sensations. Both cannabinoids are associated with a long list of health benefits including pain relief. Consumers are very interested in both.
Consuming a large amount of THC can make you feel very intoxicated. In some cases, this is what you want. Dispensary guests clamor for strains and products loaded with THC. Medical patients and recreational consumers both love THC.
CBD appeals to a different group. Some people want the health benefits but want to remain clear-headed. You don’t want to get stoned before going to work or an important meeting. Or you might not enjoy getting high.
Some people report that CBD makes them feel more relaxed. However, you won’t feel any major emotional changes.
Scientists are interested in both CBD and THC. Although there have been studies looking at the effects of different cannabinoids, they’ve been limited in scope. More research needs to be done.
As a consumer, pay attention to what you want. If you’re searching for a euphoria-like feeling, then THC is what you need. If you want a more mellow experience, go for CBD.
There are nearly endless ways to consume both CBD and THC. Perhaps the most natural is to consume the flower itself. The buds can be smoked or vaped. Although most strains prioritize THC, there are a few CBD-heavy strains on the market now.
If you choose to smoke cannabis, you’ll probably consume at least a little bit of THC.
You can also eat an infused edible, try a lotion or cream, use a tincture, etc. There’s been an explosion in the amount of CBD products for sale recently. This makes it very easy for first time or inexperienced users to find out what they like.
There are products that contain absolutely no THC. There are also products that don’t contain any CBD. Just make sure that you’re buying from a reputable source. The quality of your CBD matters.
Because there have been so few studies, it’s not clear what’s the most effective way to ingest CBD or THC. If you’re interested in starting a regimen, you need to be willing to experiment.
The effects of CBD can be very subtle. Some people don’t feel anything at all.
Everyone reacts to THC, although there’s no guarantee that your experience will resemble anyone else’s.