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Do you know the difference between CBD and THC? Do you know which one is right for your needs, whether they are medical, recreational, or psychological?
If you are unclear about THC or CBD or both, which are grown from the genus cannabis Sativa plant and also found in hemp, this is the blog post for you! Before you decide what products to buy and how to use them – and you’ve got plenty of options on both counts – take some time to read our guide to CBD and THC. We offer all the information you need to make a wise, informed choice, and explain why, in the end, CBD is likely the smarter option.
All around the world, countries take different approaches to cannabis use. In Canada, for example, cannabis is legal right across the nation, so the products you buy in the west coast province of British Columbia are just as readily available and legal on the east coast, on Prince Edward Island. In America, each state has its own laws and regulations, but more than 30 of them have legalized cannabis. That’s a patchwork approach, meaning that something that is no legal problem in a liberal state like California or New York might get you in hot water in Missouri or Georgia! Here at home, in Lithuania, the government has taken an approach that is similar to that of lots of other nations – cannabis is illegal for reasons other than as a legitimate, medical treatment.
And there are lots of medical conditions for which CBD products offer holistic treatment options.
How CBD and THC are similar
CBD stands for cannabidiol. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Both terms are mouthfuls to say, right? That’s why their abbreviations are so popular.
At the molecular level, CBD and THC are the same, and both come from the cannabis plant and both are present in hemp, but to varying degrees. However, they react differently in the human body, and that’s why one gets you high (THC), while the other doesn’t cause the same reaction (CBD). They are built the same, so to speak, on the molecular level, but what they do in your body on the psychoactive level is markedly different.
CBD Vs. THC: Effects In The Brain
Although CBD and THC are largely alike in a chemical context, their psychoactive effects are not alike at all. THC attaches to the cannabinoids (CBI) receptors in the brain, which is what produces the euphoria, the “high,” we associate with THC and the products that contain it. CBD products contain virtually no THC – less than zero percent — and therefore products made with it do not produce a high in the user, but rather offers benefits without altering the mood of the consumer.
What Does THC do?
To put it bluntly, THC gets you high. Depending on how much THC is present in a product, it makes you very relaxed. In addition to that, it can help with the following physical conditions and offer certain benefits:
• Pain relief.
• Relief of muscle spasms.
• THC affects low appetite.
• It can help with anxiety.
• THC may help with insomnia.
• THC may slow the progression of the eye disease glaucoma.
• THC may ease nausea, from (for example) cancer treatments.
However, products containing THC, whether you ingest it through edibles (like brownies) or you smoke or vape it, often has side effects that can be quite debilitating. Side effects include:
• Issues with coordination and mobility.
• Bloodshot eyes.
• Dry mouth.
• Slower reaction times while driving, for example, or operating equipment.
• Memory problems.
• Increased anxiety.
• May interfere with the efficacy of prescription medications.
• Increased resting heart rate.
In a nutshell, it’s fair to say that THC, no matter how you absorb or ingest it, delivers a bigger “kick,” if that’s what you’re looking for. However, its downsides are bigger than those of CBD, so consider what you’re using it for, and think it over carefully. In many places THC is still illegal, but CBD products aren’t. That alone is the deciding factor for many users – it’s the “line in the sand” they aren’t willing to cross. And so they stick with products containing CBD in a variety of strengths.
But what do you need to know about CBD vs. THC before buying creams, or edibles, or any other product containing it? Read on!
The Many Benefits Of CBD vs. THC:
Here is a roundup of the help CBD can provide, in a physical and psychological way.
• Alleviates the inflammation of arthritis, osteoarthritis and other joint problems.
• Reduces or eliminates the seizures that are part of epilepsy.
• It may reduce or even eliminate symptoms of mild depression and other mental health issues, including anxiety.
• Increases appetite.
• Lessens nausea caused by certain treatments, such as those given to cancer patients.
• Reduces migraine headaches, or eliminates them.
• It may help ease symptoms associated with IBS. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
CBD is popular the world over not only for all its benefits, but also because of what it doesn’t do. For example, it has virtually no effect on reflexes, meaning that operating equipment or driving a car is less risky when using CBD than after ingesting THC. Of course this depends, in part, on the dosage contained within the product, and extreme caution should always be the guiding principle before getting behind the wheel when ingesting any substance. CBD does not contain more than 0.3 percent (or less) THC, which is not normally enough to make a person high.
And in studies done since 2010, CBD is showing less of an impact on memory than THC. And of course it’s easier to acquire because it’s legal in many countries!
There are many ways to consume CBD. Here are some of the most popular ways to use CBD:
• in cream form, for sore or inflamed joints. It also comes in tincture form for the same purpose.
• As a tea, which is brewed. Ingesting CBD this way is helpful for anxiety.
• In edible form, such as gummies.
• In the form of extracts and oils.
Does CBD have side effects?
All products or medications taken by people have side effects, but CBD is tolerated extremely well by almost everyone. However, if you’re taking any medications for physical ailments, such as, for example, an anti-seizure medication for epilepsy, it is important that you speak to your physician about CBD products. They can tell you whether a negative interaction between the pharmaceutical you’re taking and the CBD product is likely.
Some people experience the following after ingesting CBD:
• Changes in appetite
• Weight loss
However, these are usually mild, and pass quickly, especially when compared to THC. And often they are the result of a reaction to a pharmaceutical medication the user is taking, rather than a reaction to the CBD itself. That’s why it is important to discuss using CBD products with your physician or pharmacist.
CBD Vs. THC in drug tests
Can CBD and/or THC be detected in drug tests, for example, those done on athletes at some competitions?
The simple answer is yes, but there is a caveat. Most drug tests are not sensitive enough to detect CBD, but some are available that target its presence specifically.
And both THC and CBD can linger in the body for days or even several weeks. If you are anticipating being tested for any reason, it is wise to avoid all products containing either compound.
Products Containing CBD
There are several ways you can try CBD, but your choice should be determined by your reason for using it. If, for example, you are trying CBD as a treatment for sore and aching joints, purchasing a cream is your best best. Other CBD products include:
Edibles are a good way for first-time users to try CBD. There are gummies, mints and even truffles available, and every one of them does a great job of hiding the “weediness” favor that can sometimes be present. However, they usually contain some sugar and other flavor enhancing ingredients, so if you wish to avoid those additives, choose a different product.
These products are a great alternative to CBD products that contain sugar. Usually made in tinctures, a dab or two under the tongue is absorbed more quickly into the body than products that have to travel through the digestive system.
As we mentioned, these products are made to be applied directly to the skin. Creams, lotions and salves are designed for treatment to a particular area – an arthritic elbow, for example. Often CBD topicals also have other pain numbing agents added, such as camphor. These make the analgesic nature of the cream or lotion even more pronounced and effective.
Smoking & Vaping
You can vape or smoke cannabis flower in the form of a joint or a vaporizer cartridge. Ingesting CBD in these ways sends it directly into the bloodstream, and so the effects are felt almost immediately, within minutes. But remember: the effects of vaping are still being studied, and right now are largely unknown. Smoking cannabis means your lungs are exposed to harmful chemicals, including carcinogens. These might not be the safest or healthiest ways to ingest CBD (or THC) but of course in the end, the choice is up to you, the consumer.
In Summary: CBD Vs. THC
This article offers the most significant similarities and differences between CBD and THC. All should be carefully considered before deciding to purchase products that contain either compound.
Ultimately, you, the consumer, must weigh all the pros and cons of both, and decide which one best suits your needs.
The time may come when THC is legal all around the world, not just in certain contexts in individual countries. Right now, however, CBD in all its many forms is the wise choice for any individual seeking holistic, natural treatments for many conditions. Whether you have an inflamed knee, a sore elbow or suffer from anxiety in social situations, CBD products offer an organic solution for these and many other problems.
Talk to friends. Do your research. And talk to your doctor about the possible interactions between any medicines you may be taking and CBD products.
Once you have all the information you need to choose products with confidence, we hope you will turn to us to supply you with all the CBD goodies you need!