Disclaimer: we don’t claim to be medical experts nor do we claim that any of our CBD products will cure illnesses and/or diseases. We simply wish to educate people on the health, wellness and therapeutic benefits that our customers and other CBD users have seen as a result of cannabidiol usage.
Despite the rising popularity of both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as health and therapeutic substances, few are actually aware of the differences between the two. Sure, they’re both phytocannabinoids, but they aren’t as similar as you might believe. First of all, THC is an illegal, psychotropic drug in the UK and in many other countries, whereas CBD is legal and widely accepted due to its therapeutic properties and unique health benefits.
Despite a number of distinct differences between the two substances, as cannabinoids, CBD and THC do share some similarities such as their chemical structure and the effects they create in the body when interacting with brain cells.
So, in a world full of misinformation and constant confusion, how do you separate fact from fiction? That’s what we’re here for. With years of experience as both CBD consumers and retail experts, we can help shed some light on the differences between CBD and THC and give you some invaluable insight into all things CBD.
The Health Benefits
Research has proven that CBD boasts a number of health benefits, from reducing the risk of diabetes to combating anxiety and depression to fighting chronic pain. Whilst research continues to take place in order to uncover the full extent of CBDs therapeutic properties, it has already begun to revolutionise modern medicine as an increasing number of patients choose to favour the all natural effects of CBD as opposed to pricey prescription medication. You can find out more about the health benefits of CBD in our guide CBD: The Benefits, Dosage & How it Works.
THC shares similarities with CBD when it comes to health benefits, with extensive research suggesting that the substance has an abundance of therapeutic properties that are suited to tackle a number of medical conditions and diseases. However there’s a catch – THC has numerous different adverse side effects, the overriding one being that it produces a ‘high’ (hence why THC is a controlled substance in the UK). People are therefore choosing to take advantage of the similar health benefits of CBD – a legal substance – instead of THC.
The Chemical Structure
Without getting too scientific, both CBD and THC have the same chemical and molecule structure (21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms). If you don’t have a degree in chemistry then that won’t really mean much to you. Simply put in non scientific words, CBD and THC are made up of the same elements, it is just the way that those elements are arranged that create the different effects on your body.
Cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, interact with your body’s endocannabinoid (EC) system and are similar to your own endocannabinoids. Because cannabinoids naturally occur in the human body, CBD and THC are able to interact with EC receptors and in turn release neurotransmitters which will relay messages between cells. It is because our bodies are designed to work with cannabinoids that substances such as CBD and THC can have such an effective impact on our health and wellbeing.
The Psychoactive Components
CBD and THC have very different psychoactive components and that is why CBD is legal and THC is not in the UK. In fact, when it comes to psychoactive components, CBD and THC are actually polar opposites. THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain to produce a ‘high’. CBD, on the other hand, does not bind to the CB1 receptors and as such, does not produce the same sense of euphoria that THC does. CBD has even been found to lessen the psychoactive effects of THC when taken by interfering with the process of binding to the CB1 receptors.
The Legal View
As we’ve already established, THC has psychoactive properties and therefore, in the eyes of the law, it is an illegal and controlled substance in both the UK and most other countries. However, thanks to the health, wellness and therapeutic benefits of THC, it is becoming more widely accepted and change is being called for to legalise THC for medicinal purposes.
CBD, on the other hand, is already a legal substance in the UK and a number of other countries due to the fact that it does not inhibit any psychoactive properties like THC and will not produce a high. Whether you opt for CBD oil, hemp flowers, edibles or e-liquid, it is 100% legal in the UK. However, it is important that you source your CBD from a trusted and reputable supplier such as Kingdom of Green.
The Side Effects
Due to the fact that CBD does not have any psychoactive properties, it is largely well tolerated even in large quantities and doses. Whilst CBD does have its side effects, they tend to be mild and can be easily reduced, even avoided. The very few side effects associated with CBD is what makes it such a popular disease and preventative treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It is however important to note that CBD can affect other medications you may be taking so you should consult your doctor first if you are concerned.
THC and its psychoactive properties can cause a number of different temporary side effects including, but not limited to:
- Slow reaction times
- Coordination problems
- Loss of memory
- Increased heart rate
- Red/dry eyes
- Dry mouth
One of the most common questions asked regarding CBD and THC is “will it show up on a drug test?”. Because cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are stored in the body’s fat, they can show up on drugs test for up to a few weeks after you take them. But because CBD isn’t an illegal substance here in the UK, CBD sensitive tests are rarely undertaken. A standard drugs test will however look for chemicals related to cannabis if it is an illegal substance in the country (which it is in most countries), so if you’ve been taking THC prior, it will show up on a screening.
We hope this guide has been helpful in educating you on the differences between CBD and THC. Now that you’re a pro on all things CBD and THC, you should be ready to make your first (or next) purchase. Head over to our shop to check out our collection of CBD products – we have everything from CBD oils to edibles.
If you’d like to know even more about CBD, then why not check out our guide CBD: What It Is & How to Consume It, or just pop into our local Mansfield branch to discuss your CBD requirements. We’re always happy to offer our expertise!