With a rising demand for natural medicines, cannabis compounds, like CBD and THC, are becoming increasingly popular due to their wide range of health benefits. While the close relationship between the two compounds may lead some to assume that both have the same impact on the body, a comparison between the molecular structure of CBD vs THC reveals the exact opposite.
A cannabinoid is a compound that interacts directly with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which in short, is a network of receptors that interact with cannabinoids to maintain vital functions throughout our body.
The interaction between the CB1 and CB2 receptors with cannabinoids like CBD and THC is the catalyst for health benefits such as pain relief, anxiety relief, appetite stimulation, mood management and more.
Now, this is where the different positions of that tiny atom come into play.
Because THC and CBD have different molecular structures, they do not interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the same manner. This greatly differentiates the effects each has on the body, which is likely the biggest concern when comparing CBD to THC.
CBD vs THC: How Each Affects the Body
While CBD and THC both bind to the CB2 receptor, they interact with the CB1 receptors in different ways.
Because of its molecular structure, THC is able to bind directly with CB1 receptors. When this bond is formed, the reaction creates signals that are sent to the brain, which results in the psychoactive effects of “getting high.”
While THC certainly offers tremendous health benefits, its mind-altering effects aren’t preferred by everyone. CBD, on the other hand, can deliver many of the same benefits of THC without inducing its psychoactive effects. Plus, when using CBD vs THC, you typically won’t be breaking the law… And that brings us to our next subject…
While CBD is still in the gray area of the law due to unclear laws and its close relationship with THC, it is much safer to use from a legal perspective.
Under the US Farm Bill of 2014, CBD derived from hemp is federally legal. While this is a federal law, it does not legalize CBD derived from marijuana, and it does not overrule state law. Because states can determine their own laws pertaining to CBD, and the distinction between hemp and marijuana is still unclear to many, the legality of CBD from state to state has become very confusing.
Despite the current legal status of CBD, we’ve made some huge strides forward and we’re definitely heading in the right direction, especially with the passage of the US Farm Bill of 2018. Within a short time, the legality of CBD has been clarified once and for all.
CBD vs THC: Conclusion
In closing, CBD and THC share many similarities, but they also have distinct differences. I want to clarify that neither CBD or THC is better than the other. Both cannabinoids offer tremendous health benefits, and either both or one of the other could provide the relief you need.
To some, the psychoactive effects of THC could be a benefit instead of a negative side effect. It’s all based on the needs of the individual.
Thanks for reading our article, and I hope we provided a clear comparison of CBD vs THC. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to engage in the comments section below.
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