The cannabis plant has become a new sensation in the world after scientists discovered its incredible health benefitting properties. Cannabis plant is an amalgamate of hundreds of compounds, and the most famous of them are THC and CBD, also known as Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol. Both of these cannabinoids have different but extremely potent effects. The first and the most noticeable difference is that THC will get you high while pure CBD is completely non-intoxicating. CBD is usually extracted from the hemp plant to ensure the least quantity of THC. There are some major differences between THC and CBD. Their chemical formula is same but the arrangement of atoms makes them different. Let’s take a detailed look at them.
Hemp & Cannabis – What’s the Difference?
Hemp and Cannabis are variants of the same marijuana plant. Hemp or Indica contains less than 0.3% THC, which is why it is legal and safe to sell and purchase. In Cannabis, however, the quantity of THC is much higher, which can be trouble of your part of the world has not legalized medical and recreational marijuana.
Both these variants have a substantial effect on the endocannabinoid system of the human body. The endocannabinoid system has a series of receptors that interact with the endocannabinoids produced in the body. The interaction is essential for a number of vital functions such as managing pain, sleep, and appetite. Although there are other beneficial cannabinoids, such as terpenes and flavonoids, they exist in minimal quantities. THC and CBD are abundant and very well researched.
People who don’t know much about these cannabinoids think that Cannabis will always get you high. However, that is not the case. Its only THC that causes intoxication. Hemp and cannabis plants are used to extract CBD and THC, which are available in different forms and used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Let’s take a detailed look at both of these.
What is THC & How Does It Work?
THC is the primary and the most famous compound of the cannabis plant. Its psychoactive properties can alter your state of mind, which is why THC rich strains are widely used for recreational use. However, THC has some potential medical benefits as well.
When THC penetrates your brain, it stimulates the cells and results in dopamine release. THC also activates your cannabinoid receptors, which have an impact on your mind in many ways.
Some THC strains are famous for giving bursts of energy, while others can cause an overall high. Its effect is shown within 10 minutes of intake.
People use THC rich cannabis for the following purpose:
Increase in appetite
The Euphoric effect of Cannabis occurs when THC binds to the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. Unlike CBD, THC binds strongly with the CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and the nervous system and the brain. The shape of the THC molecule fits the receptors perfectly. As soon as the THC molecules bind to the CB1 receptors, it starts to alter the state of the brain.
Moreover, THC can also mimic the action of an important cannabinoid called anandamide. It is also known as the ‘blissful molecule.’ Its resemblance means that whenever it binds to the CB1 receptors, it produces the same beneficial effects produced by anandamide.
CBD is not a good fit for the CB1 receptor due to its chemical structure. Not only this, but it also suppresses the qualities of THC. CBD can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, so it is used to treat cannabis addiction. A THC dose containing enough CBD will not be as intoxicating as the others. People who look for instant effects of marijuana, go for THC strains with the least amount of CBD.
If you want to benefit from the medicinal effects of marijuana, make sure to have a medical marijuana card and qualify for a cannabis card. If you have a cannabis card, you can not only but marijuana but also grow at least 12 healthy plants of Cannabis. However, you need to convince your physician that your health condition requires medical marijuana.
What is CBD & How Does It Work?
CBD is extracted from the hemp, and it will not cause intoxication. It is widely used for medicinal purposes, and extensive research is being carried out to know more about CBD wonders. CBD can also interact with the endocannabinoid system and bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Its interaction with the CB1 receptors influences sleeps, mood, chronic pain, and memory, which is why patients of insomnia, Cancer use it, and arthritis.
The interaction of CBD with the CB2 receptors uplifts the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. It plays an important role in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases such as AIDS and Crohn’s disease. Not only this, but CBD can also increase the level of the body’s indigenous cannabinoids in the body. CBD also reduces the breakdown process endocannabinoids. CBD is used for its anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties. That’s not it. CBD has a long list of health benefits. It is known to treat the following diseases.
Epilepsy and seizure disorders
Pain and inflammation
PTSD and anxiety
CBD is a reliable solution for reducing the number of seizures in patients of epilepsy. It started when a young girl Charlotte was given CBD oil to treat and reduce the number of epileptic seizures. She used to have hundreds of fits, which was cut to a few in less than two years of treatment. There were other patients who started to speak after using CBD for treatment, even in sports.
Another notorious disease, Dravet’s syndrome, seems to be resistant to all methods of treatment. People suffering from the condition may face hundreds of seizures in a day. The current treatment methods have mixed success rates, and scientists are trying to figure out if CBD can help cure this disease. This is just one of the ways demonstrating how medical marijuana works.
CBD has no lethal effects and may cause mild side effects only. CBD can be used in treatment methods because it is safe and very well tolerated.
Although THC is famous for its euphoric effects, it has some medicinal effects. To our surprise, its effects are increased by folds when it is used with CBD.
CBD & THC Together
The entourage effect of Cannabis refers to the combined effect of all cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. Instead of going for a single extraction, it is better to opt for a combination of CBD, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. It especially works if you are using its medicinal use. The individual effect of these compounds will be maximized if all of them are used together.
THC is a perfect solution for chronic pain, whereas CBD works exceptionally for treating the symptoms of anxiety. People also use CBD for insomnia. Full or broad-spectrum cannabis extractions are used to treat a number of different diseases such as migraines, depression, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Research is being carried out to know more about the beneficial effects of these compounds.
Legal Status of THC and CBD
THC was not legalized for recreational use until 2014 when Uruguay’s government took a bold step and made it legal, and Canada followed it. In the United States, Cannabis is federally illegal, but the States have different laws regarding recreation and medical marijuana. Thirty states have legalized its use and offer a medical marijuana card if the applicant’s health condition qualifies. You can claim a cannabis card and buy different strains of medical marijuana from the authorized dispensaries.
CBD products are very well tolerated, and its pure forms do not flag positively in the Drug test. However, all extractions of the cannabis plant are categorized as Schedule I drugs. In the US and most of the European countries, CBD extracted from the hemp plant containing less than 0.3% THC is legal.
After the Farm Bill passed in 2018, CBD took the limelight, and farmers started producing acres of hemp strains containing large amounts of CBD. CBD is available in different forms, such as topicals, tinctures, capsules, oil, sprays, and isolates. Scientists are also working hard to know more about the benefits of CBD. THC is also very effective in reducing the symptoms of chronic health issues. However, people are quite reluctant to use THC for its medicinal effects because of its psychoactive profile. With the legalization of medical marijuana, the number of people using Cannabis for treating the symptoms of their diseases. However, to get a medical card, you are required to have a chronic health issue.
We recommend the collective use of THC and CBD to ensure their beneficial properties to the maximum. It is particularly helpful in treating diseases like multiple sclerosis. CBD can be used with THC to reduce THC’s psychoactive effects and benefit from the other advantageous results. However, any such experiment should be carried out with the advice and supervision of a licensed physician. Make sure you discuss your health condition in detail before going for going for CBD or medical marijuana.