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CBD vs. THC – What’s the Difference?

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A great deal of confusion currently exists among consumers when it comes to knowing the difference between CBD and THC.

What are CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are only two of about 100 phytocannabinoids that we can find in plants (‘phyto’ = coming from a plant). THC is the main phytocompound present in the marijuana plant, and CBD is the main phytocompound present in the hemp plant.  Even though they’re both categorized as “cannabinoids,” they act differently when consumed.

The terminology surrounding CBD can be confusing since sometimes consumers think it’s the same as THC because both fall under the “cannabinoid” category.  Exempli gratia: let us consider vitamin C and vitamin A; they area both categorized as vitamins, but when consumed, whether via food or supplements, they produce different physiological effects. The same concept applies to cannabinoids where CBD is completely different from THC. From a practical standpoint, this means that CBD can’t get someone “high.”

What Do CBD and THC Stand For?

Both CBD and THC have gotten a considerable amount of press coverage as of late, but most people have no idea what they actually stand for.  To help clarify things, CBD stands for cannabidiol and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol.

Does Hemp have THC or CBD?

Hemp contains CBD primarily with an extremely low concentration of trace THC (<0.3%).  Thus, it is used to produce a wide range of THC-free CBD products.

CBD vs THC: Chemical Structure Differences

CBD and THC are two cannabinoids that are very similar at the molecular level, in fact both have the same chemical makeup and contain 21 carbon, 30 hydrogen and 2 oxygen atoms, and thus are nearly identical twins – creating another reason that led the public to often believe that they’re the same.  However, CBD does not have the same structure as THC.  What makes them different is the arrangement of a single atom.

This difference in molecular structure makes CBD and THC interact differently with one of the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1) in our body and makes CBD a ‘good guy’ against THC.  This also leads THC to cause a psychotropic effect.

What are the Health Benefits of CBD?

People primarily use CBD for 3 different health benefits: sleep, stress and pain.  You can read all about it here.

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