CBD vs THC — Why it’s Critical to Understand the Difference
Hemp plants are a rich source of beneficial substances. Two of the most studied and abundant are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Learn differences CBD vs THC.
At a basic level, CBD and THC share similar molecular structures — they are both derived from cannabigerol (CBG), the mother of all cannabis molecules. However, while they share the same origin, these compounds can have vastly different effects on the human body.
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that’s the subject of considerable research thanks to its powerful medicinal potential. THC also has a range of therapeutic applications but produces the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis consumption.
Understanding the differences between CBD vs THC is critical for those turning to hemp for natural health and wellness support. Continue reading to learn more about these valuable plant molecules and how they can affect the body.
CBD vs. THC in the body
CBD and THC both comprise 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Because the atoms are arranged slightly differently, they have distinct effects. However, they both interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a complex network of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that help to maintain homeostasis or balance in the body. Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body, while CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are phytocannabinoids found in plants like hemp.
CBD and THC are chemically similar to endocannabinoids, allowing them to interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. This interaction releases neurotransmitters in the brain, which are signaling chemicals that relay messages between cells. As a result, they play a critical role in pain, stress, sleep, immunity, and many other functions.
THC binds with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain, producing the classic ‘high’ sensation. In comparison, CBD binds weakly, if at all, to these receptors meaning it won’t produce the same psychoactive effects.
Instead, experts believe it works by preventing endocannabinoids like anandamide (AEA) from being broken down, extending its natural life and amplifying its effects. CBD also appears to affect other receptor systems in the body, for instance, serotonin receptors, which are involved in mood regulation.
Choosing CBD vs. THC products
CBD does not trigger the same psychoactive effects as THC, and studies suggest that it’s safe and well-tolerated in humans, with few side effects.
You can now find a huge range of CBD products on the shelves, from isolated CBD containing nothing but purified CBD to full-spectrum CBD containing traces of THC and a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural compounds. Although THC is restricted, the 2018 Farm Bill permits CBD products provided they derive from hemp plants containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Such a low amount of THC isn’t enough to have significant intoxicating effects.
Given that THC causes psychoactive effects, you may wonder if it’s best to choose purified CBD. But, isolated CBD is an unnatural product. It’s extracted from vital, living hemp using harsh solvents that strip away other beneficial molecules.
Mother Nature created hemp in perfect balance. As a result, every precious molecule works in synergy to nourish and protect through the entourage effect. This means that the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in full-spectrum CBD products have an array of therapeutic effects that are greater than the sum of its parts.
Research supports this concept, suggesting that CBD is more effective when combined with other compounds. For example, a 2015 animal study noted that although CBD isolate may offer some health benefits, the effects are not as significant compared to a full-spectrum CBD product. Other research suggests that the value of CBD is more prominent when multiple hemp compounds are present.
Another 2018 study suggests that full-spectrum CBD was a better option for pain relief than CBD isolate because of the supportive role of THC.
The benefits of CBD full-spectrum CBD
If you’re looking for CBD that’s delivered exactly as Mother Nature intended, full-spectrum CBD is the obvious choice. If you need CBD oil for pain, anxiety, or sleep, then full-spectrum CBD can nourish your ECS and support your well-being without harmful side effects or concerns of intoxication.
When choosing full-spectrum CBD, look for a brand that uses third-party testing and is transparent about its sourcing and extraction process. At Nesas Hemp, we prioritize quality above all else and guarantee that our CBD products contain only the highest-grade natural ingredients. So if you want to harness the power of Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet, try our full-spectrum CBD oil and benefit from its blissful plant power!