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
MAR 16, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Reduces ADHD Med Use in New Study
MAR 16, 2020
Cannabis Reduces ADHD Med Use in New Study
As the legalization of medical cannabis increases in the U.S. and around the globe, its effects on a variety of conditio ...
APR 15, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Marijuana May or May Not Actually Help with Pain
APR 15, 2020
Marijuana May or May Not Actually Help with Pain
Cannabis use is often associated with pain relief, but a recent study of medical marijuana use suggests that scientists ...
JUL 13, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Briefly Alleviates PTSD Symptoms
JUL 13, 2020
Cannabis Briefly Alleviates PTSD Symptoms
Therapy is the primary recommended treatment for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but a new study ...
JUL 21, 2020
Health & Medicine
FDA Produces Draft Guidelines on Developing Cannabis Drugs
JUL 21, 2020
FDA Produces Draft Guidelines on Developing Cannabis Drugs
The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has produced guidelines for research into cannabis-related ingre ...
JUL 23, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
JUL 23, 2020
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
To be federally legal in all states CBD (cannabidiol) oil must contain less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive ingredi ...
JUL 30, 2020
Health & Medicine
Navy Goes Overboard on Hemp Ban for Sailors and Marines
JUL 30, 2020
Navy Goes Overboard on Hemp Ban for Sailors and Marines
It may be a federally legal crop, but the Sailors and Marines of the US navy have been told they cannot use hemp in any ...
Loading Comments...