CBD and THC are two of the most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Both cannabis and hemp produce CBD and THC. However, cannabis has a higher concentration of THC. Hemp has a higher concentration of CBD.
CBD and THC have the same chemical makeup, 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The difference is that they don’t have the same chemical arrangement, and the body receives them as different compounds. These compounds bind to neurotransmitters in your brain and affect things like mood, pain, sleep, and memory.
A cannabis sativa plant can be classified according to its CBD and THC production potentials:
Type I cannabis sativa contains more than 0.3% THC and less than 0.5% CBD.
Type II cannabis sativa contains more than 0.3% THC and 0.5% CBD.
Type III cannabis sativa contains less than 0.3% THC and more than 0.5% CBD.
Type I and type II cannabis sativa are considered marijuana while type III is classified as hemp.
The THC compound is the one known most famously for the high sensation you get from it, a psychoactive response. And in many states, it is still illegal.
CBD, alternatively, is considered a “non-psychoactive” compound, meaning that you do not get that high that we associate with THC. Although CBD legally may have trace amounts of THC up to .3%, it is not enough to result in a psychoactive response.
CBD is known to have many of the promising health benefits, minus the psychoactive side effects.
Both compounds communicate with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). According to Norml ¹, the endocannabinoid system is, “perhaps the most important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.” It plays a role in regulating many functions and processes, including, sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility.
Although they both interact with the ECS system, they have separate properties with different medicinal benefits.
There are many health benefits associated with taking CBD oil. CBD connects to your body’s cannabinoid receptors, and people report that CBD helps with complex problems like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer treatment. Others use it to treat more mild everyday issues like skin health, sleep, anxiety, general pain, and brain health.
There are many ways to take CBD. CBD is available in capsule or oil tinctures , edibles, or you can even lather it on in cream form.
More than half of US states have made “medical marijuana” legal, which means in order to use it you must have a doctor’s prescription. The effects of THC have been known to offset many otherwise painful symptoms associated with chronic pain and nausea.
CBD rarely exhibits any noticeable side effects, even when taken in very large doses. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said in its research that, “CBD was tolerated in all patients, with no signs of toxicity or serious side effects.”
If side effects were detected, it was usually a result of CBD interacting with another drug the person took at the same time. Always consult a doctor, especially if you are considering taking CBD while taking other drugs.
THC, on the other hand, does have a few well-known side effects such as increased heart rate, coordination problems, dry mouth, red eyes, slower reaction time, and memory loss. These side effects are associated with the compound’s psychoactive properties.
Is CBD harmful? ²
“If you take pure CBD, it’s pretty safe,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Side effects in the Epidiolex trial included diarrhea, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, rash, decreased appetite and elevated liver enzymes. Also, the safe amount to consume in a day, or at all during pregnancy, is still not known.
Is CBD a scam or not?
A few drops of CBD oil in a mocha or smoothie are not likely to do anything, researchers contend. Doctors say another force may also be at play in people feeling good: the placebo effect. That’s when someone believes a drug is working and symptoms seem to improve.
“CBD is not a scam,” said Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai in New York City who led a double-blind study³ of 42 recovering heroin addicts and found that CBD reduced both cravings and cue-based anxiety, both of which can cycle people back into using. “It has a potential medicinal value, but when we are putting it into mascara and putting it into tampons, for God’s sake, to me, that’s a scam.”