CBD and THC both come from the cannabis plant. They are called cannabinoids and are probably the most well-known ones out of the 100 + others.

While CBD and THC are both cannabinoids with similar chemical structures, the way they make you feel is not the same. 

In this blog, we are going to take you through the differences between the two in a head to head CBD vs THC.

How do cannabinoids work?

Both of these main cannabinoids travel to the brain and influence how the receptors communicate with your body. From here they may alter how you feel. 

THC  vs CBD and a high

When cannabis is inhaled, THC is said to bind with the CB1 receptors in the brain. It is this that creates the ‘high’ and sense of euphoria. It may also cause you to feel sick, dizzy, giggly, paranoid and hungry. 

CBD has a very similar chemical structure to THC, however, the effects you feel will not be the same. CBD is thought to weakly bind to CB1 receptors if THC is present. This can help reduce some of the unwanted psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD doesn’t make you feel high, sedated or have any of the unwanted THC effects. 

CBD vs THC and legality 

The presence of THC in cannabis is what makes it a regulated substance in many countries and states. THC is psychoactive and can make you act and feel differently. CBD however is not a controlled drug in the majority of countries and states – but you should always check before you buy! 

Some CBD contains traces of THC. The content of THC will be shown on the product and legally should be no more than 0.3% – this may differ between countries. The tiny dose of THC will be nowhere near enough to make you feel any psychoactive effects. However, some THC present means that the CBD has been extracted with a gentler method and maintains terpenes. Learn more about terpenes.

CBD can be extracted from hemp as well as cannabis. Cannabis is often the illegal substance to both grow and buy. However, hemp can be cultivated legally and used for all sorts including textiles, food, oils and more. 

CBD vs THC – Drug tests 

If you are somewhere CBD is legal then a drug test will not flag up CBD. This is because the test is looking for illegal substances. 

However, if you are using full-spectrum CBD which contains traces of THC then you might have a small risk of cannabis use showing up on a drug test. If you have regular drug tests and use CBD then you should switch to broad-spectrum or CBD isolate. 

CBD vs THC side effects

CBD and THC have different side effects. Reading some of these side effects makes it clear what makes THC illegal and CBD not (mostly).

THC’s temporary side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased hunger
  • Red eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Poor coordination
  • Slow reaction times
  • Anxiety 
  • Memory loss

CBD’s possible temporary side effects include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness 
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea 

CBD vs THC final thoughts

While CBD and THC are chemically very similar in their structure, they have different impacts on the body. For this reason, THC is mainly illegal and CBD is not.

It is important to remember that no amount of CBD is going to get you high or any other symptoms associated with THC use.

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