As the legality of hemp and cannabis products strengthens, people are curious to learn more about the different compounds they contain. CBD and THC are two natural substances found in the cannabis plant. These two substances have different effects on the body, and consumers are interested in discovering more about them.
Defining CBD and THC
CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana plants, both species of Cannabis Sativa. Hemp-derived CBD must have a THC concentration of 0.3 percent or less to be legally sold. CBD is available in many forms, including gels, gummies, oils, supplements, concentrates, and more. CBD does not give the user the feeling of being “high,” which is commonly associated with marijuana containing higher amounts of THC, over 0.3 %.
THC is the chemical aka cannabinoid in cannabis that gives off the psychoactive feeling. It can be consumed in numerous ways by smoking marijuana, vaping, eating it in food or drinks, or taking it in pill or tincture form. It produces a feeling of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.
Psychoactive Effects of CBD and THC
The major difference between CBD and THC lies in their psychoactive effects. While THC causes a high, CBD does not produce the same reaction. It has a psychoactive effect but not one that results in an intoxicating feeling.
THC is known to interact with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain, eliciting a feeling of euphoria and a sense of being high. Inhaling THC is believed to increase the intensity of these effects instead of consuming it.
CBD does not directly interact with the CB1 receptor, like THC does, but it does require THC to produce an effect. This relationship can help to reduce the potential for some of the undesired psychoactive results of THC, for example, the feeling of being high or overly relaxed which shouldn’t be classified as a negative.
Medical Benefits Offered By CBD and THC
CBD and THC are both known to offer medical benefits just like the other 160 + cannabinoids discovered, they all play a role in what they offer (CBN, CBDA, THCA, THCV, CBG to name a few). CBD does not create a high feeling, making it the preferred choice for some people who want to take advantage of the medical benefits without the euphoric effect. It is non-psychoactive and can be used to treat a wide range of ailments, from chronic pain to anxiety.
On the other hand, THC is typically used to benefit:
- Muscle spasm
- Weak appetite
The Legality of CBD and THC
The rules and regulations that govern cannabis in the US are constantly changing. The US government has taken hemp off the list of substances regulated by the Controlled Substances Act. However, the DEA and FDA still consider CBD a drug regulated under the Schedule I classification. The DEA definition of a Schedule 1 substance is:
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
Yet, the US Government has a US patent on CBD as a neuroprotectant, showing that it has medical benefits which is confusing as the DEA definition states. “no currently accepted medical use…”.
Many states have passed laws that permit the use of medical marijuana with high THC levels as long as it is recommended by a certified doctor. This legislation is in force in 37 states as well as the District of Columbia.
Cannabis is allowed to be purchased for either recreational, adult use (21 years or older) or medical use in places where it is legal, and this includes purchasing CBD products. It is essential to look into the regulations in your area before buying any items that contain CBD or THC. In states where cannabis products are not allowed or where you don’t have a recommendation from a medical doctor, owning and using marijuana-related items can lead to legal repercussions.
Here are some Safe and Tested CBD Brands:
CBD and THC are both substances found in cannabis plants that have medical benefits. Although they are generally considered safe, it is important to consult with a doctor or qualified cannabis/CBD medical professional before using either to ensure no potential side effects or interactions with other medications you may be taking.