Though the title of this article seems to set the stage for a battle of, well, molecular proportions, we don’t intend to say that THC or CBD is any better than the other.
In reality, they’re too different to directly compare.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, and it’s the plant compound responsible for cannabis-induced euphoria.
CBD, on the other hand, has emerged into mainstream awareness a little more recently thanks to an incredible array of purported health benefits. What’s the compound all about, exactly, and why are so many people now preferring CBD over THC? We’re glad you asked.
|Mental Effects||Strong, Immediate||Subtle, Indirect|
Reducedperception of stress
Safer carbohydrate metabolism
Improved fat metabolism
|Modes of Action||
CB2, GPCR 55, TRPV1
Different Plants, Different Effects
THC and CBD come from different species of the same plant family, so it’s only natural that they can be taken in many of the same ways. Both compounds can be smoked, vaped, ingested, or even applied topically.
In today’s market, there’s something for everybody! Getting the cannabinoid you want is really just a question of source:
THC comes from high-THC cannabis, which is oftentimes called ‘marijuana’. Various strains of cannabis have different cannabinoid and terpene levels, so some will have stronger effects than others.
CBD comes from industrial hemp, which is really just cannabis with a low amount of THC. Indeed, cannabis has to contain .3% THC or less to be considered industrial hem and with this classification, it’s legal nationwide. This low-THC limit also ensures that hemp definitely won’t be getting anyone high.
THC from cannabis quickly produces euphoria and other highly psychotropic impressions. That’s because it binds directly to CB1-type endocannabinoid receptors, which the brain is absolutely full of. Areas like the hippocampus, which oversees memory formation, are ‘hit’ especially hard. This may explain why THC can be useful for those with chronic anxiety or even PTSD.
CBD from hemp, on the other hand, doesn’t produce euphoria. Instead CBD may gently uplift one’s mood by boosting the production of internal cannabinoids like anandamide. It can also cause changes in the body’s CB1 receptors shape and size, which tends to have a modulating effect on THC and other cannabinoids.
Overall, CBD simply helps the endocannabinoid system to work more effectively, resulting in a happier, healthier you
So far we’ve talked a lot about how different CBD and THC are. And that’s true — they are! — but it’s important to appreciate the amazing similarities between them as well.
Here’s a practical similarity we haven’t mentioned yet: regardless of whether you take CBD or THC, you can take steps to ensure that whatever product you choose is pure and high-quality.
When it comes to CBD, it’s important to check your product for 3rd-party lab testing. Sometimes companies obtain their hemp from dubious sources, so be wary of any product or brand that doesn’t cite their test results.
It’s also a good idea to look into full spectrum CBD, which simply refers to CBD that’s been extracted along with the other cannabinoids and terpenes it comes with in nature. Full spectrum CBD may contain as many as a hundred other unique plant compounds, which synergize together to become stronger than the sum of their parts. Scientists call it the entourage effect.
For those on a quest to find the best THC products, the path looks a little different.
And since determining what’s best can be tricky, we’d encourage you to consult with your doctor or another health professional before using either type of cannabis. It’d also be a good idea to do some diligent research on your State’s laws. THC-rich cannabis may not be legal where you live, but stay updated, as cannabis-related laws are constantly changing!