As the number of legal users of marijuana and cannabis is growing, the active substances of these plants are becoming more and more interesting. These include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These are two natural ingredients that have been found in plants from the genus Cannabis. But is CBD the same as THC? Let’s follow through their main features and find out.
Chemistry Cocktail: The Difference Between CBD And THC
Without going into scientific details, CBD and THC can have the same chemical composition, but their atomic structures are different. Both of these components have the same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in the arrangement of these atoms significantly affects the effect that each of the substances produces on our body.
One and the other considered cyclic compounds, which means that one or more atoms in the compounds join to form a ring. Cannabidiol has an open ring, while tetrahydrocannabinol has a closed one. Why is it important? It is the arrangement that shows that they interact differently with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
Psychotropic Substances: Difference Between THC and CBD
Cannabidiol has no psychoactive properties, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, but it has healing properties. Although there is still not so much data on how CBD has a healing effect on the body, scientists still have some ideas on this subject. Surprisingly, cannabidiol does not bind to the active sites of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, as THC does. But it interacts with the GPR55 protein, which is released in the brain and peripheral organs. Researchers believe that this determines its antispasmodic effect. In the brain, cannabidiol regulates the synaptic transmission process, during which signaling molecules are transmitted from one neuron to another. The connections between these brain cells grow stronger when GPR55 is activated. Convulsions occur when neurons become too active in signaling, flashing more often than necessary. Cannabidiol blocks the GPR55 protein, thus preventing overload of the synaptic transmission system.
Finally, this substance interacts with the transport channel of adenosine, an anticonvulsant substance produced by the body.
Medical Properties: CBD And THC Difference
CBD and THC have many similar medical properties. They can help with many diseases. But unlike CBD, THC has the euphoria effect. Many people prefer to use the first one because it does not have such a side effect.
Cannabidiol suppresses seizures, mainly due to its effect on adenosine, but more experiments are needed to confirm this hypothesis. Such a wide range of areas in which cannabidiol is proactive allows scientists to suggest that this substance may also be useful in the treatment of motor disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. And the interaction with serotonin receptors implies that cannabidiol can be used to treat depression, anxiety, and psychotic stages of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Cannabidiol can reduce feelings of anxiety. Tetrahydrocannabinol may worsen this condition. Thanks to its principles of action, CBD can help with social anxiety and panic attacks. Tetrahydrocannabinol, conversely, can exacerbate anxiety and increased paranoia in some people. This is because when using recreational marijuana, its active components are aimed at enhancing our current state. Thus, if at the time of smoking, you are in an uplifted and relaxed mood, then it will intensify. But, if you feel anxiety or fear – most likely, it will unfold into a stronger emotion. However, some studies have shown that when THC is used in combination with CBD, the negative effects are reduced.
Spillovers: CBD THC Difference
The cannabinoid is well tolerated even in large doses. Any side effects may be caused by the interaction of CBD and other medicines or drugs. While THC may have the following side effects:
- increase in heart rate;
- coordination problems;
- dry mouth
- red eyes;
- delayed reaction;
- memory loss.
These spillovers are part of the action of psychotropic substances. But none of them is fatal.
To Smoke Or Not To Smoke: CBD Oil vs. Weed
Talking about weed-based products, you may wonder whether you can get high on cannabinoid oil or not. It should not be forgotten that marijuana and cultivated hemp are two different plants. Although they have both CBD and THC in their composition, the concentration of these substances is pretty different. Marijuana has a high concentration of THC (up to 35%), and cultivated hemp has a high concentration of CBD (the THC level is not more than 1%). Medium quality marijuana contains approximately 12% of THC. In some types of cannabis, the tetrahydrocannabinol content increases to a maximum, which leads to more potent intoxicating effects. Based on all of the above, it is easy to conclude that today’s popular food additives and other CBD concentrates are made from cultivated hemp. Such CBD oils have no more than 0.3 percent THC, which is evidently not enough to give a feeling of euphoria or get you high.
CBD vs. THC Oil
Many may wonder, “What is the difference between CBD and THC oil?” The main contrast is that they come from different parts of the cannabis plant. Cannabinoid oil uses the whole plant, while hemp oil comes from its seeds.
The difference between THC and CBD oil is also in their usage. Cannabinoid oil is mainly used in medicine or in an alternative wellness space to help balance the body’s internal systems, while hemp oil is mainly used in foods and skincare products. Let’s go back to the question of what’s THC responsible for? You may find it surprising, but hemp oil is widely used in the cosmetics industry. It is a crucial ingredient in products such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps, as the content of fatty acids helps protect our skin and retain moisture. You can also find it in some paints, plastics, and lubricants as a substitute for petroleum-based oils. As you can see, in simile THC vs. CBD oil, the reasoning would be similar to finding the answer to “what is the difference between THC and CBD?” Keep in mind these features, and this will help clarify the distinction and will not allow you to make a mistake when choosing the desired product.