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CBD vs THC: Differences & Similarities Explained

CBD vs THC: Differences & Similarities Explained


As the legal use of plants like Hemp and other cannabis plants grows, people are getting more curious to know their available options. This includes CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). These are the two natural compounds that are found in cannabis plants. So if we compare CBD vs THC, which one is the best?

Hemp and Cannabis come from a plant called Cannabis Sativa Plant. For Cannabis to be legal, it must contain 0.3% of THC or less. THC is the main psychoactive compound that produces a HIGH sensation. It can be consumed in different ways: smoking, capsules, supplements, edibles, tinctures.

CBD vs THC: Chemical Structure

If we are talking about the molecular level difference, you will hardly find any differences. Both CBD and THC have the molecular structure of 21 carbon, 30 hydrogen, and 2 oxygen atoms. 

There is only a slight difference in terms of atom arrangements. This different arrangement is what gives them their different affective properties.

Now, if we talk about in terms of endocannabinoids, both CBD and THC are chemically similar. Hence, they both react similarly to endocannabinoids.

When the interaction of these compounds takes place inside your body, it stimulates the nervous system.

CBD vs THC: Psychoactive Components

We have already read that both compounds have similar chemical structures; however, they do not have the same psychoactive effects. No, we are not saying CBD is not psychoactive; we just mean that they both have different psychoactive effects.

THC is very effective and is responsible for producing HIGH effects. However, CBD has a more soothing effect, and people calm their nerves, anxiety, and seizures.

THC binds itself with the CB1 receptors and creates a HIGH Effect. Whereas CBD Loosely binds itself with CB1 receptors. 

CBD vs THC: Legality

Cannabis is becoming popular in the world. Seeing how its popularity is rising every day, UNited States keeps on revamping cannabis-related laws. The reason is that Cannabis is still technically considered a scheduled I drug under federal laws.

Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act. But the Drug Enforcement Administration and Food And Drug Administration still consider Hemp a harmful substance.

Despite the federal government against Cannabis, 33 states have made Cannabis a legal substance that can be used for medical reasons. However, this will need to be prescribed by experienced physicians.

Before you think of buying Cannabis in your state, it is important that you get a hold of the laws regarding cannabis purchase. If you are caught consuming Cannabis without proper medication or prescription, you could face legal penalties.

CBD vs THC: Medical Benefits

If we compare CBD and THC, we will find that they both have the same medical benefits to some extent. They can offer relief from several same conditions. However, THC causes euphoric effects, which stand false for the CBD. This is the reason why most people prefer using CBD due to its lack of side effects.

Despite CBD being illegal in America, the FDA approved Epidiolex to be the first prescribed medication containing CBD. It is the hard-earned success of the Epidiolex and their hard work to treat rare epilepsies. 

CBD can also be used to treat the following conditions.

  • Inflammations.
  • Seizures.
  • Nauseous.
  • Migraine.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Mental disorder.

CBD vs THC: Side Effects

When it comes down to side effects, there are only a few side effects for both CBD and THC. In fact, CBD does not have any significant side effects. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is safe in large quantities.

Even if there are any side effects, it will affect the interaction with the other medication you are taking at the moment. However, a person consuming THC might face the following side effects.

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  • Red Eyes.
  • Dried Mouth.
  • Memory Loss.
  • General feeling Of being HIGH.
  • Increased Heart Rate.
  • Slower Response Time.

The HIGH feeling is more dominant in teenagers. This can be due to the reason that they still have a developing brain.

According to a study, consuming high amounts of THC on a regular basis will increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

The bottom line is neither THC nor CBD has any fatal side effects that are worth mentioning. In fact, neither of them holds any risk of developing an addiction to it.

CBD vs THC: Drug Testing

Cannabinoids are stored in body fats. Hence, they can easily be shown on drug testing ads. They remain in the body for several weeks. However, the accuracy of the test might depend on several factors.

While doing drug testing, most of the test focuses on finding components related to THC. In the same, Hemp can produce THC to some extent. So if a drug test happens, the test results might come positive even if you haven’t consumed any.

Hence, it is important to note that if a product claims to be THC-free might not actually be THC-free. 


CBD and THC are both cannabinoids that are found naturally in the Cannabis Sativa Plant (Marijuana). Despite being similar in natural components, they hold distinctive differences against each other. THC will make the person feel HIGH while CBD will not.

It is essential for the people to familiarize themselves with the local laws related to the CBD laws. For your kind information, both CBD and THC are illegal and are only approved by certified institutions to use for medical purposes.

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