It can be easy to confuse CBD and THC, we get it. Both are derived from cannabis, and CBD and THC are commonly the most abundant active compounds found in the plant. In this article, we’ll dive into the differences between CBD and THC. Then you can make informed decisions when integrating products into your wellness routine that best suit your lifestyle and needs.
What’s the Difference between CBD and THC?
Here’s a simple way to think about the difference between CBD and THC: THC is defined by what cannabis makes you feel, while the effects of CBD aren’t necessarily “felt,” but rather experienced. And while there are overlapping potential therapeutic benefits of each cannabinoid, there are specific conditions and ailments where it’s important to have specific ratios — CBD-dominant, THC-dominant, or 1:1.
THC (aka Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound found in the marijuana and hemp plants. THC strongly binds to receptors in the brain, which is why those who consume it are more likely to report feeling euphoria, often described as feeling “high.”
CBD (aka cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis and hemp plants that is not associated with euphoric or “high” feelings. CBD is non-psychoactive but may create a mild feeling of relaxation.
The important distinction is that, unlike THC, CBD does not intoxicate you, so you can experience the potential benefits without the impairment caused by THC.
This does not mean that CBD, by itself, cannot offer potential therapeutic benefits. High doses of CBD often produce a profoundly relaxing experience. Like stepping out of a hot tub, your body may feel tingly and relaxed, and your brain may feel clearer.
Legal Differences between CBD and THC
In the US, cannabis-related laws are constantly evolving. Cannabis (marijuana) and THC are on the list of controlled substances, and they are still considered federally illegal. However, each state has the ability to construct its own legislature regarding cannabis.
The Farm Bill and Legalization of Hemp
With the passing of the Farm Bill in December 2018, industrial hemp became a legal agricultural commodity in the United States. The FDA is currently researching and evaluating the safety of CBD. In the meantime, its stance is that any product that adds CBD to food (like chocolate) or lists the item specifically as a “dietary supplement” is not available to be sold or transported across state lines.
CBD Legality Varies by State
Therefore, the legality of hemp-derived CBD products varies from state to state. Idaho and Iowa are the only two states currently where all cannabis-derived products, including hemp-derived CBD products, are illegal. In states like Alaska, Colorado, and Michigan, cannabis and related products are fully legalized; this means that as long as you meet minimum age requirements, you can easily access and purchase CBD and THC products.
If you are unsure of the legal differences between CBD and THC in your state, we recommend checking your state’s laws before purchasing hemp-derived CBD products. Leafly provides up-to-date information on the legality of CBD here: https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/is-cbd-legal-state.
Not All CBD Oils Are Created Equal
On a molecular level, CBD is the same compound regardless of whether it’s derived from cannabis (marijuana), hemp, or created artificially. However, there are many differences between the CBD and THC products available on the market today.
CBD products come in many formats, including but not limited to tinctures, topicals, capsules, and gummies. You’ve likely seen CBD bath bombs or sparkling water — it’s seemingly being added to just about anything and everything. One delivery method isn’t necessarily better than the other; it all depends on personal preferences and what your goals are with CBD.
CBD Extracts: Know the Difference
Another difference between CBD and THC products is whether something is created from full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate.
Talk to Your Doctor
When it comes to the medicinal difference between CBD and THC, talking to your doctor will be your best bet. While not all doctors are trained to provide information on CBD, depending on your state laws, they may be able to provide insight or recommend a specialist. Speak with your doctor before trying CBD, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking any medications.
If you had a total tl;dr moment and scrolled to the bottom, we’ll keep our recap about the difference between CBD and THC short and sweet. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids that come with many potential therapeutic benefits. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it will not invoke euphoria or the feeling of being high. THC is psychoactive. Think of it this way: THC is defined by what cannabis makes you feel, while the effects of CBD aren’t necessarily “felt,” but rather experienced.
The legalities around producing and purchasing hemp-derived CBD products vary by state. We recommend you check your state’s laws before making any moves. Not all CBD products are created equal, so it’s important to do your research before you buy. If you are unsure of how or where to start, your doctor may be a great starting point.
Questions about the difference between CBD and THC? We’d love to answer them. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org