Many who are new to medical cannabis wonder what the difference is between THC and CBD – and if that difference is something they need to concern themselves with knowing. There are some basic facts about the two compounds that would be beneficial to know. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are naturally occurring compounds in the Cannabis genus plants. Both marijuana and hemp produce CBD and THC. CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana plants. CBD that is derived from hemp products with less than 0.3 THC are legal on a federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. One should note that CBD products are not FDA approved, so check the labeling carefully and buy from reputable sources. Doctor Green dispensaries carry quality CBD and TCH products that are tested and labeled.
Cannabidiol (CBD) can be extracted from marijuana or hemp plants. Any cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent THC is a hemp plant. Marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC. It is THC that causes the “high or euphoria feeling” often associated with marijuana. Both CBD and THC are sold in oil, gummy, edible, tincture, and other forms for consumption.
THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain – which brings on the sense of euphoria. CBD, however, does not strongly bond, sometimes not at all to the CB1 receptor in the brain, so it can interfere with the THC binding and lessen THC’s effects.
It is simply a slight difference in how the atoms are arranged that account for the different effects on the body. Both THC and CBD share the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms – this slight arrangement difference is what causes their differing effects on the body, and determines how they are used.
Both compounds are chemically very similar to the body’s own endocannabinoids; this allows interaction with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. It is this interaction that affects the release of neurotransmitters in the brain; the chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and are called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters are known to have roles in pain, immune function, stress, sleep, and much more.
In an Oklahoma medical cannabis dispensary, you can purchase products containing both THC and CBD. Come into any Doctor Green Tulsa dispensary and ask a knowledgeable budtender about the different products – you don’t even need a medical cannabis card to purchase strictly CBD products. If you have your medical cannabis card, you can purchase THC products in a dispensary in Tulsa.
It is noteworthy that while CBD and THC share many of the same medical benefits, there are some differences in the conditions they are used to treat. To date – neither CBD or THC are fatal even in large doses, though sickness may result from large doses and large doses should only be consumed under a physician’s care.
Some of the conditions that THC has been used to treat are:
- Muscle spasticity
- Increase appetite
CBD is more commonly used for conditions like:
- Migraine headaches
- Pain psychosis or mental disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Anyone using CBD should know that it is very well-tolerated in most all people – even at very large doses. Some research sources say that side effects from using CBD are likely the result of drug-to-drug interactions between CBD and other medications that you are taking.
High TCH use, however, can be linked to long-term negative psychoactive effects – this negative is especially true for adolescents using large amounts of THC. There are much more profound effects on the brain in teens, and using the compound can increase the risk for disorders such as schizophrenia in adolescents.
If using THC, some temporary (psychoactive) side effects are:
- Memory loss
- Dry mouth
- Coordination issues
- Red eyes
- Reaction times are slowed
- Heart rate increases
Healthline. (2019, May 20). CBD vs THC; whats the Difference. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc
Leaf science. (2017, November 22, 2017). CBD vs THC: What’s the Difference. Retrieved from: https://www.leafscience.com/2017/11/22/thc-cbd-difference/