Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
What Is CBD?
Both THC and CBD are stored in body fat, which means that both can potentially be detected on drug tests for some time after you have stopped using them.
Before You Take THC or CBD
Research has found, for example, that as many as 70% of CBD products are mislabeled and contain significantly more THC than labels suggest. Because of the lack of regulation of these products, it is difficult to know exactly how much THC you are actually getting.
Although scientists do not differentiate between the strains, it makes sense that different concentrations would produce different effects, Piomelli says. For example, since THC and CBD have opposite effects on the cannabinoid receptors, marijuana with a greater amount of CBD could have fewer psychoactive effects than marijuana with a lower amount of CBD, since the CBD is essentially blocking some of the effects of THC.
Many states have legalized marijuana to treat conditions ranging from anxiety to glaucoma. However, it’s important to recognize that chemically, there is no distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, says Aaron Weiner, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and addictions specialist.
“THC is really not a very dangerous substance when you look at it pharmacologically,” Piomelli says. For example, it would take a massive dose of THC to cause an overdose, so realistically it’s extremely unlikely that a person would overdose on THC, he says.
The differing amounts of CBD and THC, as well as the concentration of each compound, explain the claimed variations in different strains of CBD and THC, Piomelli says.
CBD vs THC
Overall, THC is a safer compound than many other drugs like nicotine or opiates, Piomelli says.
CBD and THC are the two most common chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Although the plant contains more than 140 chemical compounds that are unique to cannabis, CBD and THC are most plentiful.
Their effects are responsible for the recreational and possible medicinal use of the cannabis plant, says Daniele Piomelli, PhD, director of the University of California Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis, and professor of anatomy and neurobiology, biological chemistry, and pharmacology.
What is CBD?
When THC is consumed in a therapeutic amount, no such intoxicating effect, such as the high, stoned feeling is experienced. Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC, and the effects of each, below.
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. CBD is present in all cannabis plants but more plentiful in hemp, rather than marijuana. Hemp has been legal federally since 2018, as is CBD as long as it’s found in a product that contains less than 0.3% THC.
Often put in parallel and often associated, these two molecules have very specific differences for their use.
CBD is legal, but not THC?
Better known as tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is one of the two molecules we think of when we talk about cannabis. This molecule is most popular for the psychotropic effects it provides to its consumer. This molecule is the most present in the cannabis flower.
What is THC and CBD?
As you can see above, CBD and THC are quite different in terms of the effects they provide when consumed, although their composition is identical. It is also possible to see that CBD is much more suitable for a so-called “therapeutic” use to help some people fight the effects of certain diseases.