THC vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

By now, the majority of Americans have seen CBD products sold somewhere, whether online or in person. But overall, how many Americans actually understand the difference between THC vs CBD? In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between the two cannabinoids, why they work well together, and describe the occurrence known as the entourage effect.

THC vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

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When asked about THC vs CBD and what the difference is between the two, many cannabis enthusiasts would think the answer is well-known. According to Boulder Weekly, however, that isn’t exactly the case. A recent poll that included over one thousand participants from diverse demographics found that fewer than sixty percent of Americans knew the difference.

Arguably the most important difference is the fact that THC is psychoactive and CBD is non-psychoactive. Put simply, this means THC can get you high while CBD cannot. For many medical cannabis patients and recreational users alike, the fact that CBD offers beneficial properties without the side effect of feeling high makes it an attractive option to help relieve their ailments.

Another important difference between THC vs CBD is the fact that the latter can be derived from the hemp plant, and is therefore technically legal in all 50 states. Passed into federal law in 2018, the Farm Bill then legalized commercial hemp growing as well. All hemp must contain no more than 0.03% THC to remain lawful.

However, there have been only four cannabinoid-based drugs approved by the FDA. The agency approved the drug product Epidiolex for treating seizures, which is essentially branded CBD. The FDA also approved three synthetic cannabinoid drug products, including Marino, Syndros, and Cesamet.

Why Cannabinoids Work Well Together

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Now that we’ve established an understanding of the basic differences between THC vs CBD, let’s discuss why cannabinoids work together. For starters, several scientific studies have indicated that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidative, and also has shown promise as a natural pain reliever.

THC and CBD are only two of the over 100 compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. These are the two best-known cannabinoids and have garnered by far the most research. The two cannabinoids can be safely ingested together or separately. However, evidence, as well as anecdotal user reports, indicate that whole-plant cannabis could offer further benefits.

In conjunction with other complex compounds known as terpenes, cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the human body to cause what’s known as the entourage effect. A journal called the British Journal of Pharmacology reviewed several studies indicating terpenes and cannabinoids combined can help relieve symptoms of cancer, epilepsy, pain, and anxiety. Moreover, the studies indicate that unwanted effects caused by THC – such as paranoia, dry mouth, sedation, and increased hunger – were mitigated by the presence of CBD.

THC vs CBD: What Ratio Is Best for Me?

Like many other aspects of cannabis, more research is needed to further the study of the well-supported theory of the entourage effect. As with most foods and drugs, ingesting cannabis will impact everyone differently. This is why you must start slow with cannabis products to find what ratio of THC to CBD works best for you.

If you’re interested in trying CBD without THC, you might want to find CBD-isolate products that contain lab-tested and hemp-derived CBD. CBD products that are full-spectrum contain many cannabinoids including up to 0.03% THC. Such a trace amount of THC won’t get you high, but might still cause you to test positive – so be sure to keep that in mind.

As more research is done, more benefits of cannabinoids and terpenes might be discovered. If you’re planning on purchasing legal cannabis, be sure to do so from a reputable recreational dispensary that employs knowledgeable staff who can help you purchase the best product for your needs. Check out our Des Moines dispensary or our Seattle dispensary for help finding the best products for you.

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