How is CBD different from THC?
The main difference between CBD and THC is the effects they have on you.
Put simply, THC gets you ‘high’ while CBD doesn’t.
Hemp CBD does not bind effectively to our endocannabinoid system – the body’s unique system that regulates elements such as sleep, appetite, and our immune system. It’s this binding action that gives you that ‘high’ feeling.
THC initiates a psychological response via the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid CBD1 receptors, found primarily in the central nervous system and the brain. When the CB1 receptor is activated, it produces a psychoactive effect.
CBD doesn’t bind with the CB1 receptors and does not affect your perception or sensorial experiences. Research has suggested that when CBD mixes with THC, it can lessen the psychotropic effects of THC by suppressing the CB1-activating qualities and so protecting the consumer from getting too high.
Their atomic arrangement is different
Without getting too scientific, CBD and THC may share the same chemical composition, but their atomic structure is different.
Both of them are considered cyclic compounds, which means one or more of the atoms in the compounds connect to form a ring. CBD has an open ring, while THC has a closed ring.
Why does this matter? It’s this arrangement that means they interact differently with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors.
CBD is abundant in hemp, THC dominates other forms of cannabis
While THC and CBD are both found in cannabis plants, THC is most plentiful in the marijuana types of cannabis, while CBD is in higher quantities in hemp.
When other types of cannabis are grown, the desire is to maximize the THC content and to maximize the intoxicating effects.
Hemp, on the other hand, is dominated by CBD. For a cannabis plant to be acceptable as ‘hemp,’ its THC content has to be no more than 0.3%.
Hemp-derived CBD is legal in most countries. THC is not
Other forms of cannabis and cannabis-derived CBD will get you ‘high’ because of their large amounts of THC (around 30%). They’re often illegal in many countries around the world.
However, CBD from the hemp plants, have levels of THC so low that many countries have no laws against its use. Still it’s important for consumers to check their local laws and regulations regarding whether CBD products are legal in your particular state.