There are many hundreds of chemicals in the cannabis plant, with over 100 having been identified. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most abundant and well-known cannabinoids, but each has varied characteristics and affects the body in unique ways.
The most apparent distinction is that THC creates a ‘high,’ whereas CBD does not. CBD products may be produced from the cannabis plant. Legal concerns, on the other hand, encourage merchants to extract their CBD from industrial hemp rather than marijuana.
Hemp and Cannabis: What’s the Difference and What Can They Do for the Body?
Cannabis is a generic term that refers to all types of hemp and marijuana. In other words, both hemp and marijuana can be appropriately referred to as cannabis plants.
However, there are several distinct differences between the two species, including legal distinctions. Hemp (which is legal in the United States) has a maximum THC concentration of 0.3 percent, whereas marijuana has a much higher THC content. Again, though, both of these plants are classified as “cannabis.”
Hemp and cannabis (marijuana) interact with the human body and mind via the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that work together to impact a wide range of activities, including pain, hunger, sleep, and more.
Cannabis also contains a wealth of active cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids that are beneficial to the body. THC and CBD are the most numerous of these chemicals, and they’re the focus of the most study. But exactly what are they, how do they function, and why are they different from one another?
CBD & THC: The Superstar Cannabinoids
Most individuals up until recently associated cannabis with getting high, which led to the focus being solely on THC. However, scientists have lately identified CBD and other cannabinoids, allowing for a new avenue of inquiry into cannabis therapeutics.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids that may be found within the crystal-covered trichomes of a mature cannabis flower. However, certain strains can produce considerably different quantities of each one.
What Is THC & How Does It Work?
THC is the first and most famous star of the cannabis plant; it is responsible for producing a euphoric effect in users. There’s no doubt that smoking a high-THC strain will affect your brain. The chemical, on the other hand, has a variety of significant therapeutic advantages.
THC enters the brain when it is inhaled. It stimulates dopamine-producing cells in the brain. THC also activates cannabinoid receptors, which have effects on the brain in a variety of ways. Some high-THC types provide a burst of energy and creativity. Other strains offer a sense of calm as the high takes control over the body. Effects can arrive 10 minutes after smoking extremely powerful THC strains. The following are some of THC’s typical effects:
- Increase in appetite
There is evidence that THC might help cure illnesses more effectively than CBD. In a 2019 study (see previous link), almost 3,300 individuals completed roughly 20,000 self-administered medical marijuana sessions with Releaf’s app. Users reported feeling considerably more symptom alleviation after utilizing high-THC products. High-CBD medications, on the other hand, were not linked to any noticeable symptoms change.
What Is CBD & How Does It Work?
The major advantage of CBD is that it does not produce intoxicating effects. As a result, the chemical is usually utilized for therapeutic/therapeutic purposes only. Researchers are still investigating how CBD affects the body. However, study suggests that there is an interaction between CBD and the ECS.
Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are the most numerous ECS cannabinoid receptors. The primary CB1 receptors are found in the brain. They’re involved with memory, sleep, mood, hunger, pain sensation, and a range of other processes.
CB1 receptors are found in the brain, nervous system, and immune system. They’re also present in various organ and tissue systems throughout the body, including the digestive tract. These receptors are responsible for CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. While THC affects both receptors directly, CBD acts indirectly on them by increasing endocannabinoids levels in the body. CBD appears to slow down natural breakdown of endocannabinoids as well. Here are a handful of CBD’s most common effects:
There is evidence that CBD may help with some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Future research may provide further information regarding CBD and its possible applications.
THC: Why the High?
When it comes to the euphoric effects of cannabis, we must concentrate on CB1 receptors present in the nervous system and brain. THC binds strongly with CB1, whereas CBD does not. In a nutshell, the THC molecule is ideally designed to fit into the lock; like a key in a lock. nTHC activates CB1 receptors once this link has been established.
THC also has a similar chemical structure to anandamide, aka the “bliss molecule,” which is a naturally occurring endocannabinoid. Because THC’s structural resemblance to anandamide allows it to bind to CB1 receptors and elicit pleasant feelings when activated, it assists in the production of such emotions as pleasure.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-THC, CB1 antagonist that works in an inverse manner to THC by suppressing the intoxicating effects of THC.
For example, a cannabis strain with a THC content of 22 percent is likely to produce an intense high. However, if it also has 8% CBD, these effects will be reduced and paranoia anxiety should also be reduced.
CBD & THC: Better Together?
When cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids are combined in cannabis plants, they function far better for medical purposes than any single component alone. The entourage effect is the result of this occurrence. When cannabis’ components are combined, they may create beneficial results that no individual ingredient can achieve alone.
When cannabis chemicals are combined, they perform far better for medical purposes than any single component alone, according to several studies. The entourage effect is the consequence of this phenomenon. When cannabis chemicals are combined, they may produce beneficial results that no single component can accomplish on its own.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been discovered to aid with a variety of health issues, in addition to being present in cannabis. Cannabidiol and THC together may help with illnesses such as MS, according to a 2009 study published in BMC Neurology.
In 2014, Uruguay became the first nation on Earth to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Bill C-45, which legalized the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis in Canada, was passed by Parliament. Cannabis is still prohibited by federal law in the United States. However, it is lawful for recreational usage in a growing number of states across the country.
Cannabis (marijuana) plants produce cannabinoids, which are classified as Schedule I drugs. However, the 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp strains with a maximum THC concentration of 0.3 percent as lawful crops. As a result, all 50 states now allow the sale of hemp-derived CBD products.
Final Thoughts on CBD Vs. THC
CBD has grown increasingly fashionable in recent years, owing to the Farm Bill’s passage. CBD products may now be purchased by everyone, including oils and capsules. CBD appears to have potential for treating a variety of ailments.
However, although CBD is thought to be helpful in treating a variety of ailments, THC may also aid. According to research, THC is more successful than CBD in alleviating certain symptoms.
Although there are still many unknowns, researchers may figure out how CBD and THC might benefit people as the number of research on these substances rises.