Differences between the CBD and THC Component of Hemp Plant

by | Apr 4, 2021

As the use of hemp and cannabis products is becoming legal in more and more states, a lot of consumers are now becoming curious about their options. The two compounds that are getting the most attention include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

These compounds- CBD and THC- are naturally found in hemp and cannabis, which come from the Cannabis sativa plant. However, there is a clear-cut difference between these two compounds. 

Cannabis is a plant full of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds are more than 100 in number, and they are seen to produce therapeutic effects in the body. 

CBD and THC are both found in hemp and marijuana. But hemp has more CBD than THC (legal hemp must contain 0.3 percent THC or less), while marijuana contains more THC than hemp. 

THC is the psychoactive compound present in cannabis that produces a “high” sensation. It is often consumed by smoking cannabis. But CBD is often used in the form of gummies, gels, supplements, oils, extracts, topicals, and more.

However, these two compounds have an effect on your endocannabinoid system, but in different ways. 

Read on to learn more about these two compounds:

Chemical structure

CBD and THC have the same chemical formula: 30 hydrogen atoms, 2 oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. The main difference in the effects on your body lies in how the atoms are arranged.

The chemical similarity, however, makes both CBD and THC interact with your cannabinoid receptors. This interaction causes a release of neurotransmitters in your brain, which help relay messages between cells. More so, these chemical substances released help boost immune function, relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve sleep to name a few. 

The Psychoactive effect

CBD and THC do not produce similar psychoactive effects despite their similar chemical structure. 

THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain and produces that feeling of “high.”

CBD on the other hand does not produce the high associated with THC. It is widely shown to help with pain, seizures, depression, and anxiety. 

CBD binds weakly, if at all, to CB1 receptors and it needs THC to bind to these receptors. In turn, it helps reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, such as sedation and euphoria. It also helps reduce inflammation, pain, depression and anxiety. 

What’s Legal?

Cannabis-related laws are evolving constantly in the United States. The legality of cannabinoid products in the U.S. is dependent on their source and concentration. 

CBD is legally allowed in the U.S., but it must be derived from high-CBD, low THC plants. More so, CBD is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, so it is legal in all 50 states, provided the CBD is not extracted from marijuana. 

CBD is illegal if derived from marijuana unless it is obtained in a state that permits the use of recreational marijuana or through a state-regulated medical marijuana program.  Our CBD products at Infinity Strains are extracted from the highest quality U.S grown hemp.  

THC and marijuana are both prohibited under federal law. They are both specifically listed in the U.S Controlled Substances Act. THC is classified as an illegal drug with long-term cognitive side effects, including reduced ability to think and plan and reduced control over impulses. 

However, Congress legalized hemp as part of the Farm Bill in December 2018. In fact, 33 states plus Washington, D.C have passed laws relating to cannabis, making it legal to use medical cannabis.

Hence, you can buy CBD in states where cannabis is legal for recreational or medical purposes. 

Medical Benefits

Both CBD and THC offer many health benefits; they provide relief from different conditions. However, CBD does not cause the euphoric effects associated with THC, and that’s why many people prefer to use it.

CBD products are used for treating different health ailments, including cases of arthritis, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. These products have also been shown to help with chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and some other conditions

THC on the other hand has been shown to ease things like nausea, nerve pain, insomnia, anxiety, low appetite, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, and many other conditions.

Based on side effects, CBD is well-tolerated, even in large doses. It rarely causes any noticeable side effects. The World Health Organization (WHO) showed in its research that, “CBD was tolerated perfectly in all patients, without any sign of toxicity or side effects.”

More so, CBD counters the psychoactive effect of THC both in the original form in the plant or the extract.

Studies suggest that anytime you notice a side effect with CBD, it is likely due to drug-to-drug interactions between CBD and other medications you’re using. So it is advisable to always consult a doctor if you intend to take CBD while on any medication.

However, the safety of CBD and its inability to cause the feeling of “high” makes it a preferred option for patients worried about feeling high. And when used in combination with lower doses of THC, CBD offers greater medical benefits. 

Some side effects of CBD include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

Some side effects of THC include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Increase heart rate
  • Coordination problem
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Slower reaction times

These side effects are often linked with the psychoactive properties of the compound. 

Drug Testing

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are contained in body fat, and they show up on drug tests even after using them for days or weeks. Most standard drug tests will look out for chemicals related to THC, so you can always expect THC to be seen on a screen. 

But do CBD products contain THC? Yes, they may contain a trace amount of THC (CBD products can have no more than 0.3 percent). Although such a small amount would never lead to any of the psychoactive side effects, it is still likely to be shown on a drug test. 

Final Remark

CBD and THC are both contained in hemp plants, but they have distinct properties that make them different from each other. CBD is safer in terms of the possibility of side effects, and it does not produce the characteristic “high” associated with THC. 

That’s why at Infinity Strains, we make superb products containing CBD obtained from the highest quality U.S grown hemp. Our products may be used to treat and alleviate a wide range of ailments and improve health and overall wellbeing. However, these products do not substitute orthodox treatment completely. You still need to check with your doctor for any health condition. 

Go through our store to see our range of CBD products, including flowers, oil tinctures, soft chews, topicals, Delta-8, and The Helping Friendly Salve


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