FEB 23, 2020 9:10 PM PST

Which is Better for you: CBD or THC?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Following the legalization of cannabis use, products derived from the plant are becoming more and more popular- especially those containing cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But what’s the difference between the two? How do you know which is best for you? 

To begin with, let’s look at THC. Derived from hemp (marijuana plants containing less than 0.3% THC) or marijuana (marijuana plants containing more than 0.3% THC), THC is marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient. It works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. By binding with the cannabinoid 1 receptors in the brain, it produces a “high” or sense of euphoria. 

As such, in states where THC is approved for medical use, it is commonly used to treat pain, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, anxiety and nausea. Although none of its side effects are fatal, it is also known to increase people’s heart rates, encourage memory loss and leave users with a dry mouth and coordination issues while under its influence. 

While some may like these side effects, with its “high” being a main “pull factor” for many to even smoke marijuana in the first place, they may make others wary of consuming cannabis products. Thus, for these people in particular, products only containing CBD may not only be more approachable, but also more effective in solving their problems. 

Also extracted from hemp and marijuana, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning that, unlike THC, it is not responsible for the “high” marijuana is known for. Although it may weakly bind to cannabinoid receptors (CB1) in our endocannabinoid systems, it does not have any significant psychoactive effects, and may in fact dampen those experienced with THC. 

In particular, the compound is used to treat various conditions including seizures, inflammation, pain, psychosis and mental disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines and nausea, as well as depression and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, relative to THC, CBD seems to have fewer side effects, generally being very well-tolerated, even in large doses. In fact, research suggests that any side effects from CBD usage are more likely to be due to its interactions with other drugs, as opposed to the compound itself. 



Sources: Healthline, WebMD and Medical News Today

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
AUG 11, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
AUG 11, 2020
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
Researchers have found that people who use strains of cannabis high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive comp ...
AUG 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Growing Cannabis Indoors is Not Eco Friendly
AUG 21, 2020
Growing Cannabis Indoors is Not Eco Friendly
Indoor cannabis cultivation is considered to produce the highest quality cannabis available, but the elephant in the roo ...
AUG 27, 2020
Health & Medicine
Marijuana Use Linked With Lower Intravenous Opioid Abuse
AUG 27, 2020
Marijuana Use Linked With Lower Intravenous Opioid Abuse
People who use cannabis every day for six months are a quarter (25 percent) more likely to stop injecting opioids than t ...
NOV 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
NOV 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative illness that damages motor neurons and leads to progressive m ...
DEC 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
CBD Does Not Effect Driving Ability, THC Wears Off in 4 Hours
DEC 01, 2020
CBD Does Not Effect Driving Ability, THC Wears Off in 4 Hours
Researchers from the Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney, have found that cannabidiol, a medically active com ...
JAN 03, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Users Don't Understand Health Risks of Smoking, Study Finds
JAN 03, 2021
Cannabis Users Don't Understand Health Risks of Smoking, Study Finds
A recent study has found that cannabis users often classify themselves as 'non-smokers' even though they smoke c ...
Loading Comments...