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Cannabis Conundrum: The Difference Between CBD and THC 

 August 17, 2021

By  Feel Good Hemp

As consumers voice their demands for natural alternatives, CBD and THC are at the helm of the medicinal cannabis discussion. 

These two compounds are closely related, which may lead you to assume they impact the body the same way. However, their unique molecular structures prove otherwise. 

Before we delve into difference between CBD and THC, let’s first take a glimpse into why cannabis compounds work well in the body and why they are an effective and safe form of medicinal therapies. 

Meet The Endocannabinoid System

Meet The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in mammals and was only recently discovered, but it may hold the key to homeostasis. 

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating balance in our entire body from immune response to cell communication, appetite and metabolism, cognitive function, and so much more. 

The cannabis plant inspired scientists to discover the ECS, hence the name. The medical community is only beginning to understand the importance of the endocannabinoid system to your overall health and equilibrium. 

Scientists do know a healthy endocannabinoid system is essential, and disruption within this system may be the cause of chronic illness, sleep issues, certain psychological disorders, and auto-immune disease. 

The ECS made up of millions of cannabinoid receptor sites located primarily throughout the brain and central nervous system (CB1 receptors) and immune system (CB2 receptors) that play a huge role in how your brain communicates with the body.

CBD and THC are the two most abundant of over 100 different cannabinoids and are the most extensively studied. They both interact with the endocannabinoid system but behave far differently within our body.

Scientist found the ECS is responsible for regulating many functions within your body that relate to appetite, mood, pain response, memory, immune response, sleep regulation, and the cycle of cell life. 

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THC and CBD chemical makeups are similar endocannabinoids within your body, which allows them to interact with cannabinoid receptors to modify the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Though at first glance they seem similar, THC and CBD  differences largely influence how they interact with the ECS, and also how they affect the body.

It’s In The Plant

THC and CBD are both found throughout the flowers, stalks and seeds of both hemp and marijuana plants. However, hemp is different from marijuana in how it’s grown, cultivated, and used in products. 

When comparing THC to CBD in both plants, THC has a higher concentration in marijuana (5%-35%) while hemp has a low THC concentration (<0.3%), and much higher CBD concentration. 

Marijuana is generally cultivated specifically for high THC potency, with an average strain today containing around 12%. By definition, hemp should contain no more than 0.3% THC, making it an ideal source for CBD. 

The psychoactive properties of THC can cause temporary side effects: 

  • Memory impairments 
  • Lowered reaction time 
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Coordination problems 

On the other hand, research shows CBD is well tolerated without these side effects. A recent review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research concluded that CBD appears to be safe in both humans and animals.

Chronic and long-term CBD use by humans showed no adverse neurological, psychiatric, or clinical effects.

CBD Vs. THC As Psychoactive Substance

Psychoactive Substance

The key difference between CBD and THC is THC causes intoxicating euphoric effects that make you feel high. 

THC initiates the physiological response when it reaches the cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1), found primarily in the brain and the central nervous system. CB1 activation brings about the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

Conversely, CBD doesn’t bind with CB1 receptors and actually inhibits CB1 agonists (in this case, THC). This means CBD will never get you high regardless of how much is consumed, and also acts to suppress the high caused by THC.

Can CBD Effects In The Body?

The CB1 and CB2 are neurons that act as a lock and cannabinoids are the keys. These receptors perform very different functions in the human body. CB1 receptors exist largely in the brain (namely the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala), central nervous system (CNS), intestines, connective tissues, gonads, and other glands.

Activating the CB1 receptors can relieve depression, reduce GI tract issues, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, fear and paranoia, lower prolactin, and much more. 

CB2 receptors are found in the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and immune cells. Only a small number exist in the brain.

Adverse changes in CB2 receptor function is synonymous with human disease in the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems, plus can account for neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and autoimmune disease. It also plays a role in tissue health, liver and kidney function, the origins of cancer and pain.

Now you understand the difference between CBD and THC , you may wonder what CBD does?

CBD does not bind to these receptors like THC. Instead, this cannabis compound’s therapeutic effects are indirect. By taking regular doses of CBD, the body may be able to regulate the body better by eliminating disruption in the ECS.

CBD Oil Without THC?

CBD Oil Benefits

CBD Oil Benefits

More and more research surfaces touting the benefits of CBD each month. Studies show CBD may benefit in a variety of medical conditions and preventative measures from acne to arthritis, cancer to diabetes, inflammation to intestinal disorders. 

If you’re ready to begin a therapeutic regimen of CBD, our products have the perfect dose.

Feel Good Hemp wants you to feel confident in your CBD oil products. Our oils are from high-quality hemp plants, processed in the safest way possible to ensure our products are top quality. Now you also know the difference between CBD and THC.

We only produce 100% organic, lab-tested, pesticide-free, and made with full-spectrum CO2-extracted oils (no butane, please!). This ensures you get all the health benefits of the other cannabinoids and terpenes. The extracts are blended with MCT oil for a higher absorption rate.  

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