With the popularity of cannabis increasing every year, it’s important that consumers clearly know the differences between CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD and THC are both found in plants of the cannabis genus, but there are clear differences between the two.
In this article we will highlight the similarities and differences as well as the benefits of each compound. After reading, you will know when to take CBD vs THC, and why you should make that decision.
Overview; How are CBD and THC often related mistakenly?
CBD and THC both effect your body, but the effects on your body differ between these two compounds. Both CBD and THC (generally) have more positive than negative sensations.
THC is the compound that gives you the feeling of being “high” and is traditionally the more popular choice. However, CBD has slowly been gaining popularity despite not getting you high because of it’s powerful medicinal effects.
The Benefits of CBD; What makes CBD a better choice?
- Seizures: CBD can be used to treat a variety of different ailments, but it is especially potent at treating seizures. There have been several studies conducted that show how CBD can reduce the amount of seizures when taken regularly.
In fact, studies indicate that CBD can be effective even when other leading medications are unable to treat the frequency of seizures in some patients.
- Pain: CBD has differing effects on each individual, but many users report that CBD has helped them lower or even remove pain in their body. With the dangers of opiates, CBD is a safer non-addictive alternative to treat persistent pain. CBD seems most effective at removing pain in the lower back and fighting arthritis.
- Nausea: Interestingly, CBD can actually help you with your nausea if you suffer from motion sickness or an easily upset stomach. This is because CBD effects the neurotransmitters within your brain, and some studies suggest that CBD helps slow the brain activity in the area responsible for vomiting and nausea.
- Migraines: Migraines range from being a slight annoyance to a serious medical condition. Migraines can pop out of nowhere and it’s important to have a solution on-hand if you feel a migraine coming. CBD can help people who suffer from Migraines and headaches, and some swear by it as a powerful remedy. This makes sense as CBD is not psychoactive, but still effects the neurotransmitters within the brain. However, we highly suggest consulting with a doctor before using CBD to relieve your migraines.
- Depression: Depression does not discriminate, and effects people in every race and social class. Luckily, with the spread of mental health awareness and advancements in anti-depressant medication we are collectively fighting against depression as a society. However, there have been recent studies suggesting that CBD may act as an antidepressant from testing in animal models. While the human trials for CBD as an antidepressant have not started yet, there is hopeful evidence that CBD could be a fast acting antidepressant that can help in the short and long term.
- Anxiety: Anxiety is the sister of depression that can be equally debilitating. Anti-anxiety medications are especially tricky because some of these medications can be easily abused and highly addictive. In some research conducted in the last year, CBD seems to also be a promising anti-anxiety medication that lowers stress levels in the individual. Having a solution that is not addictive and fast acting would be much preferred over dangerously powerful medications like xanax.
- Opiod Cravings: CBD is shown to reduce cravings in some people who abuse opiods by lowering their cue-induced cravings and anxiety. Many opioid users are drawn to opiods and relapse because they fall back into old patterns and routines. CBD has the effect of inhibiting that craving and allowing you to function without the anxiety of needing opiods in your life.
The Effects of THC: Why People Use THC?
- Anxiety: THC is also a potential treatment to anxiety and has been shown to relieve stress. This is one of the reasons smoking weed is a powerful social lubricant because it can help lower social anxiety. However, there is a minor percentage of users who report increased anxiety after smoking weed. As with all drugs, it’s important to remember that each person will react slightly differently to the same compound.
- Low Appetite: THC is notorious for increasing your appetite after using. Many refer to this as the “Munchies”, and this can actually help underweight individuals who want to gain more weight. If you are lacking an appetite or simply want to consume more calories, smoking weed could be an easy way to help you do so.
- Nausea: Like CBD, THC is also a compound that effects the neurotransmitters in the brain. Nausea is a feeling that can persist for hours, especially if you are someone who gets easily nauseous. Ingesting/smoking THC is a fast acting solution that may help you lower your nausea.
- Insomnia: THC has been shown to help individuals who suffer from insomnia. Insomniacs have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, but THC can help them get back to a healthy sleeping schedule. There are actually a few competing schools of thought when it comes to THC and sleep. Some claim that THC is a great solution to those who have trouble sleeping because it can help you get to sleep faster. Others have pointed out that THC also can lower the amount of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep that you get, which is important for feeling well-rested the next day. It’s important that users of THC make decisions on a case by case basis, THC may be right for you but not as great for others.
The Side Effects of CBD vs THC; Why the should be taken with care?
The side effects of CBD are not as well documented as THC, but there seems to be very little adverse effects. The few negative side effects of CBD seem to exclusively appear when CBD is taken with other drugs. However, mixing drugs is always strongly advised against whether it’s CBD or any other drug.
One interesting aspect of CBD is that it also seems very difficult to overdose. The human body seems to be able to handle CBD relatively well, even in very large doses.
THC, unlike CBD, has psychoactive components and that is responsible for some of the negative side effects that may occur while using.
- Heart Rate: THC has the potential to increase your heart rate, which could also lead to increased anxiety if you are unaware of why that is happening.
- Spatial Awareness: THC can effect your vision and coordination if have too much THC is in your system.
- Dry Mouth: Dry mouth can lead to bad breath, difficulty swallowing, and discomfort.
- Red Eyes: THC can redden eyes and irritate them.
- Memory Loss: When a large amount of THC is taken, it can sometimes lead to partial or total memory loss.
Similarities of CBD and THC; How are they not different?
Uses of CBD vs THC
- Anxiety: Both compounds can potentially treat anxiety. If you prefer the psychoactive components of THC, you can lean towards THC as a treatment. If you prefer not feeling the “high” that comes with THC, you can use CBD as a potential treatment.
- Nausea: If you are easily nauseous and you need fast acting solutions, both THC and CBD are used to suppress nausea.
- Pain: Both CBD and THC can be used to treat mild to medium pain. However, CBD can be applied as an ointment on parts of your body that are especially tight or painful.
Both CBD and THC do have some side effects, but neither have side effects that are fatal. For the most part, CBD and THC are drugs that are safer than most alternatives.
Both CBD and THC can be used in a variety of different ways. The way you take these compounds can effect the speed of delivery, potency, and duration of effects. Both can be taken as oils, edibles, capsules, and gummies to name a few.
Please check your local laws regarding THC and CBD. However, most states in the United States have THC and CBD legalized. Although THC has been illegal on the federal level, states have been legalizing marijuana on the state level at a rapid pace. CBD on the other hand has not been illegal federally so long as the THC levels within CBD is lower than 0.3%. This means that after reading this article, you can go out and try both CBD and THC to see which effects you prefer. Once again, please double check the legal status of both compounds in your area before doing so.
Differences between CBD and THC; Know them ALL!
Uses of CBD and THC
CBD and THC can be used to treat different ailments, as you have read in the previous sections. While both compounds effect neurotransmitters, the differences come mainly from the psychoactive components that are within THC. The “high” feeling that you receive from THC is not the only difference, and knowing the differences can help you make the most informed decision on what to take, when to take it, and why.
THC does seem to have more negative side effects overall than CBD. The psychoactive components in THC can cause potentially serious side effects like lack of coordination and memory loss. However, most of these side effects seem to appear only when the user takes a large amount of THC or have never used THC before.
There are overlapping ways of consumption between CBD and THC, but there are also unique ways of consumption specific to each. For example, smoking is the most popular way of partaking in THC while only a very small minority of CBD users smoke the CBD. In terms of CBD, there is a sizable percentage who use a CBD cream and apply the CBD to the spots on their body that are tense or in pain. THC creams are not as popular and is not as effective as CBD creams.
THC and CBD may be the same in terms of practicality, but THC is still illegal on a federal level. This means that carrying THC while traveling across state lines or across borders could potentially get you in a lot of trouble. The legal differences between CBD and THC are present, and knowing those details could prevent you from getting in trouble with the law.
CBD and THC both can have positive effects on your body and wellbeing. We hope that after reading you have a better understanding of when to use CBD vs THC. If you have any questions feel free to let us know, and we would love to answer them for you. As with everything related to drugs and medicine, please consult a doctor before medicating yourself or your loved ones.