Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both natural compounds which are found in the cannabis plant. The chemical compositions of both elements might be the same, but to put it in the simplest form possible, THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not. This difference among many others has led to the mislabeling of THC as the "wrong" cannabinoid and the CBD as the "safe" cannabinoid. Things are very far from being this simple, and thro ugh this article, we will explain as detailed and as simple as we can the differences between the two compounds of the cannabis plant.
CBD and THC
When most people think of marijuana, they will probably jump right to the psychoactive effects of using it. Even if this is not entirely wrong and marijuana really is most commonly used for its mind-altering effects, you should be aware of the fast that it features other chemicals that cause different (and sometimes even opposite) effects. There are dozens of chemicals in the cannabis flower that have very different effects; some of them have no real effect, but others can, and we hope that they will change your perception on the way medical marijuana is used.
These two substances are the most popular known cannabinoids which form a group of chemical compounds that are naturally produced only by cannabis plants. Both CBD and THC exist in the crystalline resinous trichomes that cover the mature cannabis flower, and both are the cannabinoids that we find most abundantly in marijuana. But each strain produces different amounts of the compounds. They share the same chemical formula - with the only difference that their atoms are arranged in a variety of ways - but they have widely different effects on our body because they interact with our endocannabinoid system differently.
Like all other cannabinoids, these two compounds must be heated to convert the cannabinoid acid to the active cannabinoid. THC used in conjunction with CBD helps dampen the psycho-activity and more side effects that some people consider to be undesirable. Both compounds have an impressive list of ways that they support the human body.
What is THC?
THC is the main psychoactive component of the marijuana plant. In other words, THC is the primary agent responsible for creating the "high" feeling associated with marijuana use. This compound works by imitating the effects of anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced naturally by the human body to help modulate sleeping and eating habits, as well as the perception of pain.
The effects of THC include:
- Altered senses of sight, smell, and hearing
- Reduced aggression
What is CBD?
CBD has the same chemical formula as THC, but the atoms are arranged differently. This slight variance causes THC to create a psychoactive effect while CBD lacks such an influence.
CBD accounts for up to 40 percent of cannabis extract (3). Its plentiful nature, coupled with its failure to produce a "high" effect, make it a strong candidate for medical applications.
- The effects of CBD include (3):
- Reduction of psychotic symptoms
- Relief from convulsions and nausea
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased inflammation
THC vs. CBD: hоw do they rеаlly work?
Hоw CBD wоrkѕ?
Despite the fact that there are all kinds of studies and intense research is being performed about the ways that CBD works in the body, this is not entirely clear yet. What scientists do know for a fast is that CBD, just like THC, causes a broad range of effects in our bodies by interacting with the endocannabinoid system which includes two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors can be found in many areas of the brain, and they play an essential role in functions such as mood, memory, sleep, pain sensation, and appetite.
CB2 receptors are usually found in the immune system. They are responsible for marijuana's anti-inflammatory effects.
Endocannabinoids typically activate both CB1 and CB2 receptors, and the main endocannabinoids that are found in our body are anandamide and arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG)
THC mimics the effects of the body's endocannabinoids by also activating both CB1 and CB2 receptors. But, unlike THC, CBD doesn't seem to act directly on cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it works indirectly on cannabinoid receptors, and it boosts the levels of endocannabinoids in the body. CBD can stimulate the release of endocannabinoids, and it also interferes with their natural breakdown.
Hоw THC works?
When THC penetrates the brain, it stimulates the cells to release the substance called dopamine, and it also activates the cannabinoid receptors which affects the brain in various ways. The initial state will be a relaxed one combined with a mellow feeling. The eyes may dilate, and other senses will be enhanced. More reported effects include a mix of emotions such as happiness and elation, unease and anxiety, relaxation and rain relief.
THC will also change the way of thinking, the memory and the perception of time. It can cause hallucinations and delusions, and the immediate effects start within 10 to 30 minutes after THC consumption.
A Closer Look At THC Аnd Cаnnаbiѕ
Now that you understand what cannabinoids are and their potential positive effects on aiding your bodily systems, let’s examine cannabidiol oil produced from THC, not CBD. As we mentioned, THC oil works by binding to cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and central nervous system, but not throughout the body like CBD oils.
Since THC and Cannabis oils contain a higher percentage of THC, it still causes users euphoric and psychoactive reactions, similar to the feelings when people take marijuana recreationally. Besides the high that you experience, THC oil delivers a long list of short-term effects, which are similarly present when you smoke or ingest marijuana. Each person's reaction may vary in the symptoms it causes and their degree.
For instance, some people report a sense of calm and peace; others report increased anxiety levels and unpleasant sensations. The intensity of these symptoms will largely depend on an individual's body composition. In addition, marijuana strains feature different levels of THC oil concentration that also determines the intensity of the outcomes that a user feels after consumption. Some strains are recommended to produce less profound symptoms and reactions.
But when someone takes THC oil for its intended health benefits, they have no control over their reaction and the other symptoms they may experience. They want the health - not the high - but THC oil comes with the major drawback of sometimes inducing anxiety, ranis attacks, and paranoia.