Did you know that one in seven Americans now uses CBD products?
There’s no doubt that the popularity of CBD has soared in recent years. Still, a lot of confusion remains about CBD vs THC. How are they alike, how are they different, and what’s legal where?
We’ll provide a brief overview of this important topic, so keep reading below.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of over 100 compounds called cannabinoids that we find in the cannabis plant. It’s especially prevalent in hemp, a specific type of cannabis.
Researchers have known about CBD since 1940, but no one really understood its potential health benefits until much later. It’s been proven as an effective, natural treatment against pain, inflammation, epilepsy, and other conditions.
What about the legality of CBD? As of 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD products legal in all 50 states. If you’re curious, you can learn more about this milestone and other legal developments.
What Is THC?
Another well-known cannabinoid is THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (hence the reason we use the acronym). It’s more abundant in the marijuana plant — in fact, it’s the main active ingredient.
THC works on the central nervous system to produce a calming, euphoric “high” associated with marijuana use. It also has analgesic properties and is known to stimulate the appetite.
CBD vs THC: Comparing the Two
Interestingly, CBD and THC contain the exact same chemical elements — 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, it’s the arrangement of these atoms that cause each compound to work differently inside the body.
Simply put, THC will make you high, while CBD does not. THC bonds with chemical receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Meanwhile, CBD binds with receptors in the peripheral nervous system. Both are generally well-tolerated and safe to use with few potential side effects.
Both CBD and THC can have a wide range of beneficial effects on pain, inflammation, sleep, and mood. Commercial CBD products are usually sourced from hemp, while THC products come from the marijuana plant.
Why is this detail important? As mentioned earlier, hemp-derived CBD is fully legal in all 50 states and many other nations.
However, the laws surrounding marijuana products that contain THC are much more complex. Some places allow medical use of marijuana and THC products, while some also allow recreational use. Others have laws that strictly forbid any type of products that contain THC.
Before you decide which types of products to try, it’s best to check the local laws to ensure you’re in compliance.
CBD Products vs THC Products: Which Is Right for You?
Chemically speaking, CBD and THC are almost identical — with one critical difference. THC is famous for its mind-altering abilities, while CBD produces no “high” or other psychoactive effects.
Other than that, both cannabinoids offer an array of potential benefits for your physical and mental health. If you choose to use THC products, make sure to comply with the local laws in your area.
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