CBD vs THC
Two of the most well-known and studied cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – each has its distinct properties and effects on the human body. So, let’s learn about the differences between THC and CBD – from their benefits to their side effects.Shop CBD Oil
CBD vs THC: What are the main differences?
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not result in intoxication. It interacts with cannabinoid receptors differently, impacting the endocannabinoid system more indirectly.
On the other hand, THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid primarily responsible for the "high" experienced when consuming cannabis. It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, activating them and leading to various physiological and psychological effects.
CBD vs THC: Psychoactive effects explained
One of the critical distinctions between CBD vs THC lies in their psychoactive properties. CBD does not produce intoxicating or psychotropic effects, while THC induces euphoria and alters perception, leading to the characteristic "high" associated with cannabis use.
CBD vs THC: Medical applications
Although their applications differ significantly, CBD and THC have shown potential therapeutic value in various medical conditions.
CBD has gained recognition for its wide range of potential therapeutic uses, primarily being investigated for its anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory properties – potentially benefiting those with anxiety disorders, depression, and conditions like arthritis (1).
THC or medical cannabis is commonly prescribed for its pain-relieving properties, making it beneficial for individuals with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathic pain (2).
CBD vs THC: Are there any side effects
While CBD and THC are generally well-tolerated, they can produce side effects. THC consumption can impair short-term memory, impaired coordination, and altered judgement. It may also cause anxiety, paranoia, and increased heart rate in some individuals.
Conversely, CBD effects have a favourable safety profile, with most reported side effects being mild, such as fatigue, dry mouth, and changes in appetite or weight (3)
CBD vs THC: Legal status explained
The legal status of CBD and THC varies across different countries. CBD has seen a shift in legislation, with many countries legalising its use in cosmetics, vapes and food supplements, often with restrictions on THC content. CBD derived from hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC, is legal in many parts of the world. Conversely, in many cases, THC is classified as a controlled substance in many countries due to its psychoactive effects. However, some regions have legalised its medical or recreational use under specific circumstances.
CBD vs THCs synergistic effects: an in-depth review
CBD and THC usually coexist in cannabis plants, and their combined effects can differ from those of each cannabinoid individually.
The interaction between CBD and THC, as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes, is known as the entourage effect. CBD can modulate the effects of THC, potentially reducing its psychoactivity and counteracting some of its adverse effects. This interplay between the two cannabinoids highlights the importance of considering the entire chemical profile of cannabis when evaluating its effects and potential medical applications.
|Naturecan||THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)||CBD (Cannabidiol)|
|Psychoactivity||Psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants.||Non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis plants.|
|Effects on body||Produces a "high" sensation and alters perception.||Does not produce a "high" or alter perception.|
|Medical applications||Eases pain, reduces nausea, stimulates appetite.||Epidiolex is the only approved CBD medicinal product and is used to treat seizures|
|Legal status||Controlled substance in many countries.||Legal in many countries, subject to regulations.|
|Side effects||Can cause anxiety, paranoia, impaired memory, coordination, and addiction.||Generally well-tolerated, with few side effects.|
|Usage||Recreational and medicinal purposes.||Primarily used as a supplement in health and wellness.|
|Drug testing||Detected in drug tests –may result in positive test.||Does not typically show up in drug tests.|
|Source||Found in higher concentrations in marijuana.||Found in both marijuana and hemp plants.|
|Research||Extensively studied, but limitations due to legal restrictions.||Growing body of research as interest and popularity grows.|
What is CBD?
Wondering, what is CBD? CBD or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis, alongside THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use.
Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating and does not produce mind-altering effects. CBD gained significant attention due to its potential therapeutic properties. It is extracted from hemp plants, a variety of cannabis containing low THC levels. CBD products typically contain little to no THC, making them non-intoxicating and legal in many countries.
CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates various physiological processes such as pain sensation, mood, appetite, sleep, and immune response. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, primarily CB1 and CB2 receptors, although its mechanism of action is not fully understood.
CBD effects on body and mind explained
While research on CBD is still ongoing, several studies have suggested various effects of CBD on the human body, including
Pain relief: CBD has been found to have analgesic properties and may help alleviate both acute and chronic pain. A study published in the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD applied topically reduced pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis (10), while another study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced pain and inflammation in mice. (11)
More human studies are needed to truly determine its efficacy on our bodies.
Anxiety and depression: A study published in Neurotherapeutics indicated that CBD could reduce anxiety in individuals with social anxiety disorder. (12)
Another promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that CBD significantly improved anxiety and sleep scores in patients with anxiety and sleep disorders. (13)
Neuroprotective properties: CBD has also been studied for its potential neuroprotective effects and may help protect against diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that CBD could prevent the development of social recognition deficit (14), while another study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics showed that CBD assisted in protecting neurons in Parkinson's disease animal models. (15)
What is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It is the primary psychoactive component responsible for the "high" or intoxicating effects associated with cannabis use. THC interacts with specific brain and central nervous system receptors to produce various physiological and psychological effects.
THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the brain when consumed. There, it binds to CB1 receptors. This interaction alters the release of neurotransmitters, leading to the effects of THC.
Apart from its psychoactive effects, THC also has potential therapeutic applications. It can be used to alleviate different types of pain. Medical cannabis products with controlled amounts of THC are sometimes prescribed to patients with certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, multiple sclerosis, or epilepsy. (1,4)
It is important to note that THC is a controlled substance in many countries. Laws and regulations surrounding cannabis and THC can vary widely depending on the country.
THC effects on body and mind explained
Euphoria and relaxation: THC activates the brain's reward system, releasing dopamine for feelings of euphoria and relaxation. (5)
THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, including those involved in sensory processing, leading to alterations in perception and sensory enhancement. (6)
Cognitive effects: THC can impair short-term memory, attention, and cognitive function. It affects regions of the brain involved in learning and memory formation. (7)
Psychomotor impairment: THC can impair motor skills and reaction time, affecting tasks such as driving and operating machinery. (8)
Increased heart rate: THC can cause an increase in heart rate shortly after consumption. This effect may be more evident in individuals with pre-existing heart conditions. (9)
Dry mouth and red eyes: THC can cause dry mouth due to its interaction with saliva production. It can also lead to bloodshot or red eyes due to expanding the blood vessels. (6)
It's important to note that the effects of THC can vary depending on factors such as dosage, method of consumption, individual tolerance, and the strain of cannabis used.
What's the best way to take CBD for me?
The most common way to take CBD is orally. That’s because ingesting CBD capsules are a great place to start – it’s easy to manage your dosage and many people are used to taking tablets or capsules, so it feels completely familiar.
Dosage is really important when it comes to CBD usage too, and this option offers an accurate way to monitor how much you’re having each day.
Every person has different needs, and reacts to CBD strengths in different ways, so it’s important that you begin with a small dose before slowly increasing – simple to do with capsules. But remember, it can take 45 minutes for the CBD to become fully digested by your body, so don’t ever take more than the recommended amount. Overall, if you’re new to CBD, it’s definitely recommended you give capsules a try first.
Familiar with CBD? Or need a high-strength CBD Oil? It’s time to learn how to take CBD oil. For this, you simply place a few drops under your tongue and hold it there for around a minute. This is a quick and effective way to get the CBD into your bloodstream, and offers a more cost-effective solution for daily use.
The important point here is to watch your intake. With a pipette dispenser (which oils usually come with) it’s easy to take more (and we mean way more!) than you need. Oils come in different strengths so be sure to choose wisely, taking into consideration the amount of CBD you need and your reasons for taking it. For example, the CBD volume needed for restful sleep is much less than what’s needed to manage pain.
But what if you want to casually add CBD to your diet? Well, CBD edibles offer you a great (and usually delicious) way to introduce your body to CBD. And yes, we know you ingest these too, but when something comes in the form of a snack and has the power to satisfy your sweet tooth, too, it deserves a shout-out of its own.
If you can name it, it’s probably been infused with CBD. Chocolate, nut butters, cookies and brownies – some of your favourite snacks that not only feed those cravings but give you a dose of CBD, too.
However, if you’re trying to get a specific dosage from your CBD product, always check the nutritionals on these sweet treats as many won’t reach the level you require, with only a small amount (in most cases) added to each.
CBD Vapes are an effective way to absorb CBD into the body. The bioavailability is higher than other routes of administration such as sublingual oil drops and topical creams. This means that CBD can enter into the bloodstream faster and its effects can be felt sooner.
It is important to understand that vaping is still a fairly new phenomenon, and the industry is still in its infancy. However, it is well understood that when compared to smoking cigarettes, vape products produce far less of the harmful chemicals usually present in cigarettes.
Following an independent review, Public Health England concluded that” e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco (cigarettes)”. While vape products are seen as a reduced-risk alternative for smokers, we would not encourage non-smokers to take up vaping.
Finding your CBD dosage: What's the best dose for me?
Dosage differs with each person, depending on a range of factors such as weight, height, and reasons for taking CBD. If you’re unsure how to take CBD oil, we recommend taking 1-2 drops at first to see how your body reacts before increasing your amount.
The FSA recommends a maximum total daily CBD dose of 70mg. This includes any additional products, so please ensure that you never exceed this amount. While following this guidance, you can manage your daily dosage based on what works best for you, and combine various CBD products if desired.
To find your CBD dose, click on our Dosage Calculator below:
Benefits of CBD vs THC explained
CBD vs THC for anxiety
CBD is known for its potential anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties. It is believed to interact with serotonin receptors in the brain, which may help regulate mood and reduce anxiety. CBD does not cause intoxication or a "high" effect. Many people find that CBD can promote relaxation and calmness without impairing cognitive function.
THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for the "high" sensation. While some individuals may experience temporary relief from anxiety or stress when using THC, it can also exacerbate anxiety in others. THC's effects on anxiety can vary depending on the individual, the dosage, and the strain of cannabis used. High doses of THC or strains with high THC content may increase anxiety and induce paranoia.
It's important to note that the research on CBD and THC for anxiety is still evolving, and more studies are needed to understand their effects fully.
CBD vs THC for sleep
While both CBD and THC can potentially affect sleep, they have different mechanisms of action and produce distinct effects.
CBD is often associated with promoting relaxation and relieving anxiety, which can indirectly contribute to better sleep. It does not possess psychoactive properties, meaning it doesn't produce a "high" or alter one's state of mind. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates sleep, among other functions. It may help address underlying factors that could interfere with sleep, such as anxiety, chronic pain, or inflammation.
Conversely, THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is known for its sedative effects. It can potentially aid sleep by promoting drowsiness and reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. However, THC may also negatively affect sleep architecture, remarkably rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, essential for cognitive function and dreaming. Frequent use of THC can disrupt REM sleep and lead to daytime grogginess.
CBD vs THC for pain
As a result of some of the studies we discussed earlier, CBD is known for its potential analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating pain perception. Therefore, CBD may help reduce pain by inhibiting inflammatory responses from the brain.
imilarly to CBD, THC also interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system to affect how the body perceives pain signals sent to the brain. THC is also often used for pain relief in conditions like multiple sclerosis and certain types of neuropathic pain.
Differences in CBD products: Broad-spectrum vs isolate
CBD products come in various forms, and two common types are broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. The main difference between them lies in the composition of cannabinoids and other compounds in the product.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains a wide range of cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG, and others. It also includes various terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial plant compounds. The combination of these compounds creates what is known as the "entourage effect," where the different components work together synergistically to enhance the overall effects.
With enhanced therapeutic effects due to the entourage effect, this potentially provides a broader range of benefits due to the presence of various cannabinoids and other compounds.
Broad-spectrum CBD products may contain up to 0.3% THC, the legal limit in many countries.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD available as it is extracted from hemp and refined to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant compounds. It consists solely of CBD in an isolated form, typically in a crystalline or powder form, with no detectable THC.
Its Zero THC content makes it suitable for those who need to avoid THC altogether or undergo regular drug tests while being odourless and flavourless, making it easy to incorporate into various products.
However, the absence of other cannabinoids and compounds means missing out on the potential benefits of the entourage effect.
CBD vs THC: The roundup
In summary, understanding the differences between CBD vs THC is important for making informed decisions about cannabinoid use, managing potential side effects, considering legal implications, and choosing the appropriate cannabinoid for your specific therapeutic purposes.
It's important to remember that medical cannabis is only legal in some countries, and you must receive a medical cannabis prescription from a licensed doctor. On the other hand, CBD is legal in most countries and is often a safer alternative to assist in managing your symptoms.
Overall, in the battle of CBD vs THC, we would recommend our CBD Oil at Naturecan for all your needs.
All of our products are created using industry-leading technology and undergo rigorous testing practices with third parties in order to ensure product quality, customer safety and supply chain transparency.
Our CBD oil is a broad-spectrum distillate with non-detectable levels of THC (0.01%). It is derived exclusively from certified organic US-grown hemp plants. We never use isolates or any man-made synthetic material – only ever natural, plant-based CBD.
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