In the hemp plant, the two most researched cannabinoids are THC (Delta-9- Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). Although both of these cannabinoids deliver similar benefits, there are differences in effect, which also impacts a degree of differences in benefits. Let’s explore these two powerful cannabinoids, CBD and THC, and how they share common beneficial effects, along with significant differences and how they also work together, in synergy, to promote health and well-being.
Similarities of CBD and THC
- CBD and THC are the two most researched cannabinoids out of the over 100+ cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
- CBD and THC actually share the same chemical formula, which is, 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. However, they have a difference in the arrangement of the atoms, which gives them different chemical properties that affect your body differently.
- Both CBD and THC interact with the receptors in your brain’s endocannabinoid system that releases the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) that affect responses like pain, anxiety, mood, sleep and memory. In this way, both CBD and THC share similar benefits such as pain relief, reduction of anxiety response and mood enhancement; however, there are also differences in the way these two cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system.
The Key Differences of CBD and THC
- The #1 key difference between CBD and THC is: THC is a psychotropic cannabinoid, meaning it has ‘intoxicating effects’, and CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, which means you will not experience ‘intoxication’ or feel ‘high’!
- The hemp plant is naturally abundant in CBD and is federally regulated to contain less than 0.3% THC, which is a trace amount of THC, that will not produce intoxication. For this reason, hemp sourced CBD products enjoy a legal status in almost all 50 US states.
- In terms of benefits and effects, CBD has been shown, through both research and anecdotal evidence, to support reduction in pain, reduced stress and anxiety response, balancing of your sleep-wake cycle for improved sleep, as well as promote enhanced mood. CBD produces feelings of release, relief, calm, and elevated mood while maintaining mental clarity and focus.
- THC also has been shown to deliver many of the same benefits as CBD. Both of these cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and the specialized cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. The difference is, THC binds directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system and CBD does not. Research is still out on identifying the exact interaction of CBD and the receptors of the endocannabinoid system; however, CBD interacts more indirectly with the cannabinoid receptors and has also been found to interact with other non-cannabinoid receptors.
The Natural Synergy of CBD and THC
Research has shown, that although CBD and THC have differences, there is also a powerful benefit for Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD products because there is the presence of less than 0.3% THC, which allows for the enhanced benefits of what is termed ‘the entourage effect’. This means that the cannabinoids and terpenes, as they naturally occur in the plant, work together ‘synergistically’ to provide the optimum benefits of the whole plant!
Hemp derived CBD products offer the best of nature’s magical compounds without the often-unwanted intoxication effects of a high THC content!
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