As cannabis and its extracts are now becoming legal in different states, everyone must have heard of the plant’s two chemical compounds, CBD and THC. These two play essential roles in various legalization movements in different corners of the world.


The cannabis plant produces a dense material rich in substances such as cannabinoids. It contains over 100 of these chemicals, most of which have drug-like effects on the body. CBD, cannabidiol, and THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, are the two popular compounds of the plant.


CBD and THC are chemically similar, with 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The distinction is that they do not share the same molecular composition and are known by the body as distinct substances. These compounds bind to neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting pain, memory, mood, and sleep. Listed are the topics to help you distinguish the differences between these two compounds.

  • Differences Between CBD and THC
  • Chemical Structure
  • Benefits and Side Effects
  • Legality


Differences Between CBD and THC

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids obtained from the cannabis plant, but they vary in various respects that could affect the next dispensary purchase.


To put it plainly, THC is characterized by how cannabis makes you feel, while CBD’s effects cannot be sensed. The main difference is that, unlike THC, CBD would not make you high. It also tackles one of the most important reasons people use CBD, pain relief.


CBD can also mitigate any of THC’s intoxicating effects. It prevents THC from activating cannabinoid receptors by binding to them. This results in a less severe psychoactive reaction, which is why drugs involving a mixture of CBD and THC are suitable for first-time users.


This is not to suggest that CBD cannot have an impact of its own. CBD in high doses will also produce a profoundly calming effect. Your body can feel tingly and calm, similar to getting out of a hot tub, and your mind may be calm.


Chemical Structure

The THC compound is best known for producing a strong feeling, also known as a psychoactive reaction. It is still illegal in many jurisdictions. On the other hand, CBD is classified as a “non-psychoactive” compound, which means it does not produce the high that we associate with THC.


While CBD may contain trace amounts of THC up to.3 percent legally, it is not enough to trigger a psychoactive reaction. CBD has been shown to have several promising health advantages without psychoactive side effects.


Benefits and Side Effects

CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body, and users say that it deals with complex issues such as asthma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer care. Others use it to address minor problems such as skin wellbeing, sleep, insomnia, general discomfort, and brain health. CBD is present as capsule or oil tinctures, edibles, and cream to lather over.


On the other hand, more than half of US states have approved medical marijuana, including a doctor’s prescription to use. THC has been shown to relieve specific otherwise debilitating effects associated with chronic pain and nausea.


Even at extremely high doses, CBD hardly causes any significant side effects. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “CBD was accepted in all patients, with no evidence of toxicity or adverse side effects.” If side effects were observed, it was normally due to CBD interfering with another medication that the individual was taking simultaneously. Always consult a doctor before using CBD, particularly if you are taking other medications.


On the other hand, THC has several well-known side effects, including higher heart rate, balance issues, dry mouth, red eyes, sluggish response time, and memory loss. The psychoactive properties of the compound were responsible for these side effects.



Commercial hemp became a legal agricultural product in all 50 states with the Farm Bill’s enactment in December 2018. While the DEA continues to classify CBD as a Schedule I controlled drug, the agency explained in a memo that small quantities of CBD contained in weed stalks or seeds are safe.


However, hemp-derived CBD regulation varies by jurisdiction, so review your state’s laws before stocking up on hemp-derived CBD items. Cannabis variants with a high CBD:THC ratio is only permitted in states with authorized, controlled cannabis businesses.


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