CBD and THC: What’s the Difference?

As you know, CBD and THC are both cannabis derivatives that have powerful effects on the human body. And both are used for a variety of medical/recreational purposes. You may also know that the effects of CVD vs THC are very different.

What you may not know is exactly how they differ. That’s where we come in. In the following guide, we’re going to explain the effects, applications, and legality of both of these chemical compounds.

By reading this, you’ll understand how they work and determine which, if any, are helpful to you. To learn all about it, read this comprehensive comparison.

CBD and THC: How They Work

Molecularly, these two cannabinoids are almost identical. Both have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms in each molecule.

The only difference is the arrangement of these atoms within the molecule. This is why each compound affects the body in different ways.

CBD, THC, and Your Endocannabinoid System

Here’s how they work. You see, within your body is a system known as the endocannabinoid system.

This system regulates a large variety of your bodily functions. It does so by releasing neurotransmitters, which are basically chemical “messages,” into your brain.

The release of these neurotransmitters is triggered when your endocannabinoid receptors respond to certain stimuli. This tells the involuntary functions of your body what to do.

And this is also the same way that CBD and THC affect your body. Specifically, they’re extremely similar to the endocannabinoids that are already at work in your body. So, when you introduce THC or CBD, they interact with your endocannabinoid system, sending messages of their own.

The Effects of CBD

The main effects of CBD are improved mood and relief from pain and inflammation. Some anecdotal evidence suggests it can benefit concentration as well.

CBD can be taken internally by ingestion, vaping, or placing it under the tongue. This will administer its effects throughout the entire body. 

However, many people also use CBD topically in the form of oils or lotions. These topical products are especially effective at treating pain and inflammation in specific parts of the body.

Applications of CBD

Topical CBD is commonly used as a remedy for arthritis and sports injuries because of its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also good after a workout to relieve sore muscles, or in a bath to increase relaxation.

Internally-taken CBD products are used to alleviate anxiety and depressive symptoms. They can also be taken to treat chronic pain of many types, especially pain caused by inflammation.

Furthermore, there are still several studies being conducted about the effects and possible applications of CBD. For instance, it could possibly be beneficial against nausea, migraines, and even ADHD.

However, despite all these applications, there is only one that is approved as a medical treatment by the FDA. Namely, Epidiolex is a CBD-based medication that’s approved for the treatment of certain forms of epilepsy.

Side Effects of CBD

There are essentially no significant side effects of CBD whatsoever. In fact, its lack of side effects is one of its most noteworthy features.

Specifically, CBD is not intoxicating or impairing in any way, unlike THC and whole cannabis. Also, it has none of the unwanted side effects that plague most other pain relief drugs.

The Beneficial Effects of THC

While THC does offer a lot of medical benefits, its most notable effect is the intoxicating high that marijuana is famous for. Still, THC is very beneficial for easing chronic pain along with nausea, anxiety, and insomnia. It also relieves the symptoms of several specific medical conditions, which we’ll cover next.

Applications of THC

Now that THC is legal in some states, it’s most often used recreationally—that is, for getting high. And, although it can be used medically, this impairing effect often makes it impractical for treatment.

For example, those who use it for chronic pain won’t be able to take it at their place of work. At least, most employers don’t allow employees to be high while on the job. On the other hand, this might not be a problem for those who work at home.

Still, the FDA has approved THC for use in a number of medical treatments. For example, there are THC-based products used to relieve nausea in those who are undergoing chemotherapy. THC is also prescribed for other conditions, such as glaucoma, and it may be beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s.

Side Effects of THC

As mentioned, THC intoxicates and impairs the coordination/cognitive function of those who use it. You should never drive while under the influence of THC. It also causes red eyes, dry mouth, and increased heart rate.

If used over a long period of time, it could contribute to memory loss. It’s also habit-forming.

The Legality of CBD and THC

CBD is now legal in all 50 states. So, if you’re looking for a CBD bath bomb like this product line, you should have no reason to worry about legality.

That said, you still need to be careful about reading the label of any CBD product you use. Some of these products also contain THC. 

THC/whole cannabis is only legal in some states for recreational use. Where it’s not legal for recreation, though, THC may still be legal when prescribed for medical use.

CBD/THC and Drug Testing

If you have THC in your system, it will show up on a drug test. Thus, you do not want to take it on work days in case your employer decides to test you. 

If you take CBD regularly, let your employer know. CBD may show up as a false positive for THC use upon testing. In this case, there are more accurate tests that should be administered instead.

CBD vs THC: Which Is Right For You?

By now you should know whether CBD and/or THC are right for you. Please, share this post with others who might have questions about the difference between CBD and THC, too.

Next, do you want to learn about CBD products for pets? Or, would you like some tips on bodybuilding or relieving work stress? Find all these posts and more great content on our Lifestyle blog.

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