Cannabis has truly gone mainstream over the last several years, with 12 percent of adults reporting smoking cannabis in the U.S.
Despite its growing popularity, there’s still a lot of confusion about cannabis and the compounds it contains. Have you been considering trying cannabis products yourself? Are you unsure of the difference between CBD vs THC?
If so, read on to solve the mystery so you can shop with confidence and choose the right products for your needs.
It’s impossible to discuss marijuana and its benefits without first breaking down the two primary compounds found in cannabis: THC vs CBD. Let’s start with CBD, which has been getting a lot of attention lately (33 percent of adults have tried it at least once, after all).
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s a natural chemical found in the cannabis plant, but it does not produce any mind-altering effects. In other words, it won’t cause you to feel high.
Many adults in the U.S. have tried CBD because of its purported health benefits. The following are some potential advantages it has to offer:
When it comes to discussions of CBD vs THC effects, one of the most well-known is pain-relief.
Both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. However, CBD is particularly popular among those who struggle with chronic pain, as well as conditions like arthritis.
Those who fall into these groups often consume CBD orally or apply it in the form of a cream or balm.
When discussing CBD vs THC, anxiety often comes up, too.
Some people have been turned off by cannabis in the past because they find that it makes them feel anxious or paranoid. If this has happened to you, there’s a good chance you took in too much THC.
CBD has more noticeable anti-anxiety and relaxation-promoting benefits. Many people feel a lot of relief when they include it in their routine on a regular basis.
CBD also offers some protective benefits for the brain and nervous system. For people dealing with seizure disorders like epilepsy, it has been very beneficial. Some early studies suggest it can benefit those with nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis or memory disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s another cannabinoid that is best known for producing mind-altering effects. It’s responsible for the “high” that many people experience when they consume cannabis.
It’s easy to assume that CBD is the “good” cannabinoid and THC is the “bad” one because it’s what causes you to feel high. In reality, though, THC also offers some powerful health benefits, including the following:
Medical cannabis is often recommended to people undergoing cancer treatments. In addition to cannabis’s pain-relieving properties, this also has to do with its anti-emetic (nausea-fighting) properties. THC does a great job of relieving nausea and increasing appetite, making it a lifesaver for many cancer patients.
Some people notice improvements in their sleep when they use CBD because of its relaxation benefits. However, THC also does a great job of improving sleep quality. This is especially true of high-THC indica cannabis strains, which are known for being extra-relaxing.
THC can support general muscle relaxation, too. If you struggle with chronic muscle tension and tightness, consuming a cannabis product that contains THC can help you to unwind and feel at ease. This, in turn, can help with pain relief, sleep, and more.
THC, CBD, and all other cannabinoids, for that matter, cause effects in the body because of the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the 1990s, and there’s a lot that we still don’t know about it. What we do know, though, is that it plays a key role in a variety of bodily processes. It modulates everything from appetite and mood to sleep and memory formation.
The endocannabinoid system can be broken down into three major parts:
Two main cannabinoid receptors make up the endocannabinoid system: the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
THC binds to the CB1 receptors, which exist mainly in the brain and spinal cord. When this happens, you’ll start to feel “high.”
CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind to the CB2 receptors (which are found throughout the body) directly. However, it still activates these receptors to trigger a variety of effects, such as relaxation and a lowered heart rate. CBD can also bind to other receptors, such as the TRPV1 receptor, which is associated with reductions in pain and inflammation.
Remember, you don’t have to choose between CBD and THC. In reality, CBD and THC can work together to produce more significant results. This is known as the Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect includes CBD and THC, but it also includes other plant compounds, such as terpenes (which are responsible for a plant’s unique smell), flavonoids (which are responsible for the plant’s color), and other, lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG (cannabigerol) and CBC (cannabichromene).
Another way to look at this effect is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One compound, in isolation, may offer some benefits. However, many compounds working together can produce greater overall benefits.
Whether you’re looking into CBD vs THC edibles or weighing the pros and cons of CBD vs THC for pain, it’s clear that there’s a lot to consider.
Now that you know more about these two cannabinoids, what do you think? Do you want to try something high in THC, or would you prefer to use a CBD-only option instead?
No matter what kind of cannabis products you’re looking for, we’ve got plenty for you to choose from, from concentrates to vape pens. Check out our menu today to shop for pickup or delivery.