With a long and ancient history of use, cannabis has always been considered a rich plant that has many health benefits. In recent years, its legalization in many countries worldwide has led to an increased demand in the market for cannabis-related products.

The need and curiosity to learn more about this plant and its varieties is also increasing every day. If you explore a little deeper into the cannabis plant, you will get to know that there are about 100 different cannabinoids. Among many cannabis compounds, two of them have gained great popularity recently:

1. Cannabidiol (CBD)
2. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

But, what exactly CBD and THC are? What are their healing properties? What makes them special and what is the difference between them?

Keep reading to learn more details.

CBD VS THC: What Is The Difference?

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids obtained from the cannabis plant, yet there are some crucial differences between these two.

One of the key differences between THC and CBD lies in their psychoactive effects. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a marijuana compound that is associated with the so-called "high" feeling. Meanwhile, Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from both; marijuana and hemp. The latter (hemp) is a plant that contains less THC, about 0.3 percent. This percentage is the reason why CBD extracted from hemp is already legal in many countries around the world, mostly because of its non-psychoactive effects.

The similarities between these two ingredients lie in the fact that both can be found in different forms in the market. CBD and THC can be both purchased as oils, lotions, gummies, capsules, etc. Additionally, the so-called endocannabinoid system is also something in common.

Although the effects they cause are quite different, both components interact with this system. Because CBD and THC are chemically similar to the body's endocannabinoids, interaction with cannabinoid receptors is possible. We have to mention here that THC binds with CB1 receptors in the brain, meanwhile CBD poorly or not at all.

Benefits of CBD and THC

The health benefits of CBD and THC are estimated to be numerous. However, CBD is preferred to be used at a higher level by users due to the lack of euphoric effect that is actually caused more by THC. CBD is mainly used to treat these conditions:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Acne
  • Pain

Good news is that since June 2018, Epidiolex is the first and only medication containing CBD to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The latter is used to treat seizures caused by two epilepsy forms; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Meanwhile, THC helps with conditions listed below:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Low Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Glaucoma
  • Digestion

CBD and THC Side Effects

Although none of them is considered fatal, you must be careful with the dose you use. Given the significant difference with THC, CBD can be used more often and is more tolerable. However, CBD is also associated with some side effects such as: fatigue, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, etc. As for THC, there are two main side effects: Paranoia and Anxiety.

Other THC side effects include:

  • Memory loss
  • Red Eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rates

Are CBD and THC Legal?

Laws on cannabis related products are constantly changing around the world due to the complexity of this plant. As for CBD, if it is derived from hemp and has less than 0.3 percent THC it is more likely to be legal in many countries. The opposite happens if it is obtained from marijuana, knowing that marijuana status is still illegal in many states. In the United States for instance, marijuana and THC are controlled, while CBD is freely available in various forms.