CBD VS THC Infographic showing formula of THC on the left and CBD on the right

CBD VS THC has been going about ever since the popularity and appearance of various health and wellness products. Its growing popularity boomed when the utilization of hemp and other cannabis products were legalized in some US states. With that, a lot of people are growing more curious about other available options like CBD and THC.

Lots of people compare CBD VS THC and find anything related to these. Yet despite the constant comparisons, the two are similar in a way that they’re compounds found in the Cannabis genus.

Both hemp and cannabis originate from the Cannabis sativa plant. And for hemp to be considered legal, it should contain 0.3% of THC or less.

CBD VS THC – they are compounds interacting with your body’s ECS (endocannabinoid system) yet provide different effects.

CBD VS THC CBD THC Chemical Structural Formula, Cannabis Industry, Growing Hemp, Pharmacy Business, CBD Elements and THC in Marijuana and Medical Health

CBD VS THC – What Are They?

When comparing CBD VS THC, they do come with their own set of differences. They’re distinct in a ton of ways which can influence your preferences.  But despite this, these two are cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. Plus, they both have their own set of benefits as well.  Often, people are aware that the two compounds are different substances. Yet a number of them find it quite challenging to determine their differences.  Let’s check out the differences between CBD VS THC.

CBD VS THC CBD Consumption Forms lab tech hands wearing gloves pouring oil from one glassware to another for measurement


CBD or cannabidiol has the highest medicinal benefits among the two compounds. It’s grown popular for its ability to aid those suffering from issues like pain, inflammation, anxiety, and more.

Despite knowing all these benefits, researchers continue to perform studies related to the compound. It’s to determine how many more ailments it can help alleviate, or maybe even cure.

Additionally, current varying studies are ongoing to know if CBD consists of any anti-cancer properties.

Because of its efficiency and use, CBD has turned into the more favorable cannabinoid to many. It’s packed with a plethora of health and wellness benefits without giving you any psychoactive effects. This effect is what causes you to feel that infamous high.


THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the most recognized cannabinoid that’s present in marijuana. It is the chemical that gives you the good feeling after taking marijuana.

It’s a compound that reacts with your central nervous system and brain’s receptors to create that psychoactive effect.

This compound is the first thing that many people link with marijuana. After all, cannabis plants without the presence of THC is basically a hemp plant that has entirely different legal standards.

Source of CBD and THC

While CBD and THC are found in the cannabis plant, THC has increased levels of other types of cannabis. As for CBD, it’s known to have larger amounts of hemp.

Generally, hemp is dominated by CBD. For the cannabis plant to be considered as hemp, its THC content shouldn’t go over 0.3%.

When other kinds of cannabis are grown, their THC content usually gets enhanced to produce more of its intoxicating effects.

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CBD VS THC – Are There Any Differences?

When we talk about CBD VS THC, it’s vital to note their differences.

Binding with Cannabinoids

Both compounds consist of the same molecular structure. They have 21 carbon atoms, 2 oxygen atoms, and 30 hydrogen atoms.

The difference between them is how these atoms are organized. How they’re arranged is the basis for the varying effects on your body.

Both CBD and THC are chemically akin to your body’s endocannabinoids. This lets them interact with the cannabinoid receptors that you have. The interaction influences the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.

These are chemicals that help relay messages between your cells. They also have roles in your immune function, pain, sleep, and stress, among others.

Despite having similar chemical structures, CBD and THC do not give off similar effects. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. It doesn’t produce that high linked to THC.

CBD is popular for its efficiency in helping people with depression, anxiety, and even seizures.

When it comes to THC, it triggers a psychoactive response through the ECS’ CB-1 or cannabinoid 1’s receptors. These are mainly found in your brain and the central nervous system.

Once the CB-1 receptors are activated, they produce that psychoactive effect.

Technically, CBD binds very delicately to the CB-1 receptors. CBD requires THC to adequately bind to the CB-1 receptors. In return, it can aid in decreasing some of the unnecessary psychoactive effects from THC. The common effects include sedation or euphoria.


Research for other potential health aids of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are still in progress. It’s to add to the already abundant benefits that are present. The good thing is that these substances are helpful for several conditions.

When it comes to CBD VS THC and their benefits, they have different effects on your body. Also, they’re often used to treat various ailments.

Do note that CBD is mainly utilized for alleviating symptoms that are linked to the following: anxiety, inflammation, and depression.  It helps relieve PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), migraines, and seizures.

THC can be administered as medical marijuana. It’s used mainly for alleviating symptoms and various conditions as well. These include glaucoma, nausea, insomnia caused by cancer treatment, pains linked with arthritis, migraine, and fibromyalgia. Additionally, it helps with tremors and poor appetite caused by cancer treatment.

Side effects

For CBD VS THC, the two compounds also have different side effects when used.

CBD can be tolerated easily, even when taken in large doses. Based on research, the side effects that may be felt with CBD use are likely results of drug-to-drug interactions. To put it simply, CBD’s side effects are brought about by its reactions to the medications you’re taking.

The side effects of CBD, if any, may include appetite changes, weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, and dizziness.

As for THC, its side effects include increased heart rate, dry mouth, coordination issues, red eyes, memory loss, slow reaction times, and anxiety.

Despite having these, neither of the compounds’ side effects are fatal.

However, do note that increased consumption of THC can lead to long-term negative psychiatric effects. It’s true especially for adolescents taking huge amounts of THC.

However, there’s still no definite evidence that utilizing cannabis can cause disorders such as schizophrenia.

CBD’s Medical Benefits

A lot of people take CBD-infused products to help relieve themselves from arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Other people claim that it helps with their anxiety, insomnia, and various chronic pains.

Because of this, CBD has become a popular topic among researchers. According to the clinical trials database of the National Institute of Health, over 160 trials involving CBD are either recruiting or active.

Why Does CBD Have More Usage Compared to THC in Natural Supplements?

The reason for this is the fact that THC is still an illegal drug. It’s linked to instant and long term cognitive side effects when used.

These include decreased ability to organize & plan, impaired reasoning & thinking, decreased control over impulses, and altered decision-making. Additionally, the chronic utilization of THC correlates to abnormalities in the user’s brain and heart.

As for CBD, it doesn’t have the harmful cognitive side effects that are often linked to THC. In fact, the compound can even counteract THC’s different psychoactive effects.

Cannabis plants that have small amounts of CBD, plus high levels of THC contributes to a stronger “stoned” feeling. For plants with more CBD and lesser THC content, these produce weaker and more relaxing effects.

Given medical cannabis’ increasing popularity, breeders are creating strains that have increased CBD than THC ratios. It’s to decrease any possible psychoactive effects when using products infused with it.

So when it comes to CBD VS THC, CBD is better for medical use. The lower health risks of CBD plus its efficacy makes it a better option for natural applications compared to THC.

Are THC and CBD Safe to Use?

When it comes to CBD VS THC and safety, CBD can be tolerated even if higher doses are utilized. However, some reports claim that it caused some light-headedness.

It’s also known that the safety and side effects of CBD appear to be safe in animals and humans. Even with chronic utilization of CBD, it showed that this doesn’t cause adverse psychiatric, neurological, or clinical effects on humans.

There are even a couple of recent research reviews that examine the side effects and safety of CBD. Claims state that it’s safe for both humans and animals.

Learn more about CBD and if its addictive here

Hands with blue latex gloves taking seeds of CBD hemp from sack in factory forming heart. Medicinal and recreational marijuana plants cultivation.


When selecting products that have CBD or THC, it’s vital to note and consider their legality. THC and marijuana are part of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which means they aren’t legal under federal law.

As of July this 2020, there are 33 states, including Washington D.C., that have enacted various policies that allow medical marijuana.

These policies allow medical marijuana and various products infused with THC, to be prescribed by a medical professional. Some states also allow recreational use of marijuana, as well as THC-containing products.

As for CBD, certain forms of it are legal in most states. Remember that the specifics of the legality of any CBD or THC product vary from one state to the other.

Also, several states have approved the utilization of THC and marijuana for recreational purposes.

And since the laws regarding cannabis and cannabis products’ use are rapidly changing, always check and do your research. Check your state’s laws before you begin utilizing any product that contains CBD or THC.

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