Both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. They both belong to the class of over 60 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids bind to the body’s cell receptors after which, they begin to make their effects known.
Despite CBD and THC belonging to the same class of chemical compounds and having similar structures, there are some pretty significant differences one must consider. If you’re making the switch from THC to CBD, here’s what you should know.
CBD vs. THC: Psychoactive Effects
One of the defining characteristics of CBD is that it a non-psychoactive compound, quite unlike THC. The “high” you get from consuming marijuana is caused by THC. This is due to the fact that THC binds strongly with the brain’s cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. This creates a sense of euphoria. CBD, on the other hand, binds weakly to CB1 receptors, if it does at all.
In fact, according to a case study, the use of CBD was able to counter the effects and reduce the addictive use of marijuana in a patient diagnosed with long-standing bipolar disorder. The patient reported being less anxious, as well as settling into a regular sleeping pattern after using CBD oil medicinally. He also stopped using marijuana after starting CBD use and was able to maintain nonuse.
CBD vs. THC: Legality
Laws relating to cannabis are continually evolving in the United States. Under federal law, THC and marijuana come under controlled substances. However, many states have passed laws that make them legal.
Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal; however, many states have continually updating laws that aren’t always in line with federal regulations.
CBD vs. THC: Medical Use and Benefits
Both THC and CBD have similar medical benefits. They tend to provide relief for many of the same health conditions. With CBD, however, you won’t experience the disorienting “high” commonly associated with THC use. This alone makes CBD preferable to THC for many people.
In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a CBD oral solution, Epidiolex, to help treat severe epileptic disorders, namely Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
CBD is used with the following conditions:
- Anxiety disorders
- Mental disorders, such as psychosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
THC is used to help with the following conditions:
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite
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