What is the difference between THC and CBD?

THC and CBD are both phytocannabinoids, that is, cannabinoids found in plants. Our bodies produce two, perhaps more, endo-cannabinoids. THC has certain medicinal properties and attaches directly to the same receptors as do our endogenous cannabinoids. CBD, as I understand it, does not attach directly to the receptors, but rather facilitates the uptake of cannabinoids already in the body. CBD and THC work well together, with CBD reducing the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD, unlike THC, is also found in the Hemp plant and is widely available. THC, of course, gets you high. CBD does not have the same effect on the body.


THC and CBD have the same chemical composition but the atoms are just arranged just a little bit differently. In fact, there’s a ring that opens and closes. If that ring is closed it’s THC, if that ring is open it’s CBD. And you can actually in a flask convert between one and the other with just a little bit of acid. And, you know, any organic chemist out there will know what I’m talking about.
The Cannabis plant itself is filled with a number of cannabinoids. The most well known of these cannabinoids is THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). The difference between the two is pretty straight forward: THC is made up of properties that give you psychoactive effects as well as the medical benefits, while CBD is mostly hailed for its medicinal advantages without any psychoactivity.
So that CBD compound we’ve actually known about for longer than THC but it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve begun to appreciate how useful it is both in helping to modulate the effects of THC and as a unique compound itself. It has antiseizure properties. It has pain relieving properties. It has anticancer properties. It blunts the worst effects of THC itself when it’s coadministered. So people talk about dissociative effect with THC. People talk about a anxiogenic effect. When you put CBD in there it actually helps to mitigate those effects. And that’s been shown in studies where they go out in the field and they test what types of marijuana people have and the ones that have CBD in them people report improved, less of those negative symptoms I’ve described. And that’s also been seen in animal studies and on and on.

Some groups have even called for just adding CBD into cancer chemotherapy regimens and these are cancer research groups. CBD has been also hailed as a treatment to prevent diabetic neuropathy which is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It protects nerves. And this is all from a little compound, set of compounds that this cannabis plant naturally produces. Some strains have higher amounts of THC and low amounts of CBD. Some strains have low amounts THC and high amounts of CBD and some are in between somewhere. And that’s all part of the genetic diversity and chemical diversity of cannabis."


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