Know the Difference Between THC and CBD


An increased interest in the medicinal and therapeutic effects of medical marijuana has brought out a bevy of technical questions from the users. One of them is the difference and effects between THC and CBD compounds extracted from marijuana. Knowing the difference helps you, in making the right choice.

Chemical composition

Both have the same number of atoms such as 30 hydrogen atoms, 2 oxygen atoms as well as 21 carbon atoms. The difference lies in the way they both bind themselves to CB1 and CB2 receptors. THC directly binds itself with CB1 and CB2 receptors and immediately, we get a “high”

However, CBD activates the receptor signalling system indirectly. This way, it negates psychoactive effects of THC. It is also noticed that in the presence of CBD, THC does not bind to these receptors.

Psychoactive high

THC binds itself to the CB1 receptor and gives you the euphoria associated with the “high”. CBD indirectly affects the receptor systems, which fails to give you the “flying effect”. THC develops an intoxicating hunger, which CBD does not exhibit.

Both have an effect on your mind and behaviour. THC makes you feel like losing control, the degree of which depends upon your body. CBD helps boost critical hormone secretion for a calmer and higher cognitive effect.


Laws related to THC are very strict. It is illegal in many states. In Washington D C, THC from medical marijuana is made legal, but can be procured only through a prescription from a licensed physician.

With the passing of US farm bill of 2014, CBD extracted from hemp is made legal. However, CBD from marijuana is still illegal in most of the states. Laws on CBD are still ambiguous. Before buying CBD or THC, make yourself well versed, with the laws of your state.

Medical effects

Both CBD and THC provide almost the same benefits. THC is preferred for its euphoric and mood elevating effects, while CBD is used for its calming and cognitive effects. The ailments for which CBD can be used are seizures, inflammation, psychosis, anxiety, depression, anti-tumoral, insomnia and neuroprotective.

The benefits of THC are used for muscle spasticity, antiemetic, appetite stimulant, chronic pain-killer, sclerosis and side effects of chemotherapy. Also, patients who are not comfortable with the “high” associated with THC, can opt for CBD. You can buy now, various CBD-infused products suitable for your use and lifestyle.

Side effects

Studies suggest CBD is mostly free from side effects. Also, CBD does not cause any adverse drug-to-drug reactions, while it is administered along with other prescription medicines.

Some of the side effects of THC are palpitations, weakened motor skills, dry mouth, redness, weak reflexes and memory loss. These are exclusively due to the psychoactive nature of the compound. But, long term use of THC causes certain psychiatric ill effects.


There are renewed and intensive studies on balancing the effects of THC and CBD for a better medicinal product. At present, there are legal laws, which restrict their use. Also, consult with a licensed practitioner to get what is appropriate for you.

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