What's the Difference Between CBD and THC?

    by John Reid / September 13, 2018

    As the legal use of cannabis products grow, consumers are becoming more curious about their options. It's only natural because each unique product delivers a different effect, just like the unique underlying chemistry of the people consuming the product. Let's dig into the primary differences between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to increase confidence in future purchases. 

    To understand the differences between CBD and THC, we must know the similarities. After all, CBD and THC are two of more than two hundred phytocannabinoids produced by the Cannabis plant.

    The Plant 

    Within the Cannabis genus there are two plant species primarily bred for CBD and THC: Sativa and Indica.

    The Cannabis Sativa species plants are fiber and CBD rich, have low THC content, and are commonly referred to as "Hemp CBD". However, Cannabis Indica species is drug-rich plant with high THC content, and considered "marijuana" because more than .3% THC content.

    The Effects

    CBD does not have intoxicating effects, THC produces a euphoric "high" feeling. Despite relatively similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. CBD is often said to be a non-psychoactive compound, that's not true. CBD doesn't produce the “high” associated with THC. THC binds with the CB1 receptors in the brain, producing that sense of euphoria. CBD binds very weakly, if at all, to CB1 receptors. In fact, it even interferes with the binding of THC to lessen the "high" inducing effects. Mainly, CBD gravitates towards CB2 receptors found in the stomach. 

    The Applications

    Phytocannabinoids are naturally forming compounds in plants. These compounds interact with our Endocannabinoid System to regulate things like pain and emotion. Our body also produces cannabinoids as natural regulators. CBD and THC are phytocannabinoid acids in the cannabis plant that require heat to be activated in our body. Once activated they interact with Endocannabinoid System regulates mood, memory, inflammation, pain, immune response, and more. This is why CBD and THC is being used and researched as a medicine. THC is often used for its mood altering, pain-relieving effects. CBD is more commonly applied for relaxing, anti-inflammatory applications. 

    The Entourage Effect

    One thing scientists clearly agree on is the power of the entourage effect of THC and CBD when used together. Even a small amount of THC combined has stronger efficacy - ability to get proven results - than CBD or THC by itself for medical benefits. Because of this scientific proof, Relief Scout recommends full-spectrum products that contain CBD and less than .3% THC. This is less THC than the minimum effect dosage, so you won't feel "stoned" or "high." If you are avoiding THC all together - then broad spectrum or isolated hemp oil are a better choice if you are consuming CBD. For the best dollar per dosage and no intoxicating feeling, full-spectrum CBD oil is the clear choice for Relief Scouters. 

    Want to take the guesswork out of your next purchase?

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    John Reid

    John Reid

    John has over 13 years of experience in finance and consulting. John has joined the industry-wide mission to educate and introduce people to the value of this often misunderstood component of the hemp plant. When not working with the Relief Scout vendors, you can find John and his wife enjoying the great outdoors and surfing in San Francisco. And if you ever want to talk music, John is all ears.


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