Whether you’re buying strains, oils or other cannabis products, one thing consumers might want to take note of is the THC and CBD levels. Cannabis plants contain a wide range of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, each giving their own effects and medical benefits. However, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main cannabinoids which give off the effects users generally associate with cannabis.
Many users already know the difference between the two to some extent. Most notably, THC is the chemical compound which gives you the psychoactive effects of cannabis. In other words, it’s the cannabinoid that gets you high. While CBD’s effects are non-psychoactive and much more subtle, it gives a range of powerful medical benefits that take action on your body and mind.
Many products these days come with both THC and CBD. Strains also have their own ratios of THC and CBD. Of course, you can also get products such as oils and topicals with either pure THC or pure CBD. This gives users plenty of buying options, but it’s important to know what exactly you’re getting and which to choose. Here’s a guide on the differences between THC and CBD.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known by its abbreviation THC, is one of the main cannabinoids in cannabis plants. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in your body to give you a range of effects. This is the cannabinoid that’s known for getting you high and delivering the intoxicating effects of marijuana.
THC takes effect on the body in various ways. It can enhance pleasure, heighten your senses, alter your memory, and relax your body. All of these mechanisms together are what generally give you the traditional cannabis high you get from smoking, vaping or using other THC products.
THC products come in various forms today, including oils, topicals, and edibles. Many users look for high-THC strains and products for a strong recreational high. However, THC also has many medical benefits which also come in handy for many purposes.
What is CBD?
Next to THC, CBD or cannabidiol is the most commonly known and sought after cannabinoid. It can be extracted in high amounts from both cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make you high or give you any psychoactive effects. However, it still interacts with receptors in the body to give you a range of useful medical benefits.
CBD is commonly used in medical products. Things like CBD Oils, capsules, and edibles are becoming increasingly popular for therapeutic use. They can be used to treat all kinds of conditions and medical symptoms. It’s seen as something of a wonder drug for the effects it has on the body and brain.
Users often opt for CBD products when they’re looking to get the medical benefits of cannabis without getting high. Many places which can the use of cannabis still allow the use of CBD due to its powerful medical properties. It also offers some subtle relaxing effects, helping users relieve pains and aches, reduce anxiety, and improve their sleep. Some people use CBD products as a general health supplement for these benefits.
What Are The Effects of THC?
THC has many effects, both recreational and medical. THC attaches itself to receptors in the body which affect pleasure, memory, coordination, concentration, and time perception. This is why you’ll feel ‘high’ when you use THC.
Common effects of THC include feeling happy and euphoric. It can stimulate the mind, making you feel more alert and creative. It can also heighten your senses and make various activities more enjoyable. Meanwhile, it can have an intense relaxing effect on the body. It’s known to relieve pain and aches and make you feel tingly. It can also help reduce stress and make it easier to sleep at night.
There are some negative side effects to THC. Due to its effects on the mind, some users may experience increased anxiety and paranoia. In these cases, it’s best to use lower dosages or avoid THC. If you use too much, it can also give you dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
When used in small amounts, the only side effects you’re likely to experience are dry eyes, dry mouth, and hunger. This makes it an overall pleasant experience providing you use a sensible dosage.
What Are The Effects of CBD?
CBD also works by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the body. However, unlike THC, it won’t give you any psychoactive effects. CBD can make you feel more mentally and physically relaxed, but these effects are nothing like the effects of THC. However, CBD does have a wide range of positive medical effects which make it very beneficial to use.
CBD is very effective at treating pain. It’s often used for the relief of chronic pain, aches, strains, and all other kinds of physical discomfort. It acts on the body and brain fast to relieve inflammation and reduce the sensation of pain.
It’s also beneficial for the mind. Research shows that CBD can reduce anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, general anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD. Its mentally relieving properties can also be helpful in treating symptoms of depression and chronic stress. Unlike THC, which can sometimes exacerbate anxiety, paranoia, and other mental health issues, CBD actually has antipsychotic properties. This makes it extremely safe to use and also beneficial in treating mental health disorders.
It’s also used as a treatment for seizures. Scientific research shows that CBD can help with seizure control and reduce the frequency of seizures in various forms of epilepsy. With epilepsy often being hard to treat, CBD offers a safe and useful treatment for various sufferers.
What’s more, studies also show that CBD has neuroprotective qualities. It can help protect the brain against various neurological disorders. It can also improve brain health and function and help treat those who have suffered brain injuries.
It also has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. This makes CBD useful as both a treatment for various conditions and as a general health supplement. CBD has no negative side effects, no withdrawal symptoms, and no risk of addiction or overdose. This makes it especially helpful as an alternative to potentially harmful prescription medications and other forms of treatment.
THC vs. CBD: Which Should I Use?
When it comes to choosing between THC and CBD products, there are various things to consider. For instance, whether you’re looking for recreational or medical effects and what symptoms you’re trying to treat. Both have many benefits, but depending on your purposes, one might suit you better than the other.
If you’re looking to get high, then you should use THC. This is the cannabinoid that gives you effects such as euphoria, the giggles, heightened senses, and mental stimulation. THC also gives you a powerful relaxing body high, making it useful for unwinding in the evening.
If you want therapeutic treatment without any psychoactive effects, then CBD is for you. It won’t get you high, although it can help soothe you physically and mentally. It’s often used for reducing pain, anxiety, depression, and improving sleep.
When it comes to treating specific problems, the choice may be a little tougher. While CBD is known as a medical treatment, THC provides many of the same medical benefits. For instance, users looking to treat pain may enjoy the potent relaxing effects of THC.
There are also differences in how they treat mental symptoms. A 2018 WSU study found that low THC/high CBD cannabis was better for treating depression whereas high THC/low CBD cannabis was better for treating stress. THC can also worsen symptoms of anxiety in high dosages, which may make CBD the preferable choice for many.
There are also differences in how they treat sleep. Studies show that both cannabinoids can affect sleep. THC is known for its sedative properties, however, it may impair sleep quality in the long term. CBD was found to improve REM sleep and reduce daytime sleepiness. It was also found to reduce nightmares in PTSD patients.
CBD and THC often work best in unison. Cannabis strains generally contain both cannabinoids, and oils and edibles often contain a balanced dose of both THC and CBD. CBD can counteract THC’s negative side effects and add extra benefits, meaning users can get high and still get safe medical treatment for a range of issues.
How To Use THC
With the laws around cannabis becoming more relaxed, there are now many THC products available to buy and use. These can all give you the recreational and medical effects of THC in different forms- some more potent than others.
Consumers typically turn to cannabis strains for the effects of THC. You can smoke or vape different strains of flower cannabis to get the psychoactive effects of THC. Sativa strains usually have higher levels of THC, but there are also many high-THC indica strains and hybrid strains. All of these will get you high while also providing medical benefits to the body.
For the most potent THC high, buy edibles. When you consume THC in edible form, it’s digested into your body and converted into a stronger form in your liver. This results in much more potent THC effects that can last as long as 8 hours. This isn’t recommended for beginners, but experienced users looking for a stronger kick will enjoy edibles.
You can also use cannabis oils. Many oils come packed with both THC and CBD to give you the benefits of both. These are generally used by applying oil under the tongue using a dropper. However, oils are often infused in other products for ease of use. For instance, you can use CBD/THC capsules to absorb the cannabinoids directly into the body.
There are also THC Topicals. These products come in the form of skin products such as creams and balms. They take effect on the area you apply them to, offering fast relief for pain and inflammation. However, these products don’t reach the bloodstream (barring topical patches) meaning they only work on the body and not the brain. They can also be used for clearing up acne and skin conditions.
How To Use CBD
CBD also comes in many forms. CBD is extracted in high amounts from both cannabis and hemp plants and infused into products to use for medical relief. All of these can help with all kinds of health symptoms such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and seizures.
Some users get the benefits of CBD by smoking high-CBD cannabis strains. Strains such as MediHaze contain a higher level of CBD than THC. While they’ll still get you high, it’s much more manageable and much better for medical use.
Some edibles also come in pure CBD form. You can eat these products to get the pure medical benefits of cannabidiol without any psychoactive side effects. These are especially helpful for those who want medical effects only. Some edibles also come with both CBD and THC.
The same applies to oils. CBD Oils are especially popular and often come without any THC. These make for a quick and convenient way to absorb CBD into the bloodstream for its therapeutic effects. You can also use CBD Oil Capsules, although these also contain a level dose of THC.
Many dispensaries and health stores also sell CBD Topicals. Like THC Topicals, these deliver the medical effects of cannabinoids straight to your body without any psychoactive side effects. These are useful for relieving pain and inflammation and clearing up skin problems.
THC vs. CBD: What are the Differences?
The main difference between THC and CBD is that while THC will make you high, CBD won’t. Both also differ in their medical benefits. Both offer relief for pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, depression, and more. However, while THC may be more helpful for its pain relieving and depression-reducing effects, CBD is usually preferred for things like anxiety and seizures.
Both of these cannabinoids can be helpful and many products offer a mix of both, including many cannabis strains. The two compounds complement each other and give you all kinds of benefits. While those who want medical effects only will prefer CBD, THC is often preferred for its recreational uses and the additional medical benefits.