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What Is The Difference Between THC And CBD?

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What Is The Difference Between Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) And Cannabidiol (CBD)?

The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most well known cannabinoid for a long time has been tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but as more scientific research is conducted involving cannabis and its ability to be used as a medicine, more and more people are learning about other cannabinoids, expecially cannabidiol (CBD). The last couple of years interest in CBD has grown exponentially, as it’s been featured on numerous television episodes showing how well it works in treating people who suffer from severe epilepsy. One of the most common questions I get asked these days is ‘what is the difference between THC and CBD?’

The most important thing that I try to get people to grasp is that THC will get you high (assuming you consume enough of it) and CBD will not. THC has psychoactive properties that affect your brain and give you a ‘buzz’ while CBD does not. I have talked to many, many people that avoided medical cannabis at all costs simply and only because they didn’t want to be high all the time. Once they understand that there are dozens of cannabinoids, and that they all don’t get you stoned (specifically CBD), they are much more open to the idea of trying medical cannabis.

A brief description of THC is below, via Wikipedia:

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or more precisely its main isomer (−)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol ( (6aR,10aR)-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), is the principal psychoactive constituent (or cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant. First isolated in 1964 by Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science[8][9][10] it is a water-clear glassy solid when cold, which becomes viscous and sticky if warmed.

For a more thorough description, watch the video below, courtesy of SC Labs:

A brief explanation of CBD is below, via Project CBD:

Cannabidiol — CBD— is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn’t get one high makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects without troubling lethargy or dysphoria.

For a more thorough description, watch the video below, courtesy of SC Labs:

To sum up, if you want to get high, consume strains or products made from strains that are high in THC. If you don’t want to get high, but want to still get the medical benefits of cannabis, consume strains or products made from strains that are high in CBD. Be aware that all cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and beyond) have a medical benefit, and it’s important to research which strains contain which levels of cannabinoids, and what cannabinoids are best suited for the particular conditions you are trying to treat. I will be writing more articles moving forward on what strains work best for what conditions.

It’s worth noting that just because someone claims that ‘X’ strain is known to have a certain percentage of THC and CBD, doesn’t mean that every plant ever produced of that strain will always have those percentages and ratios of THC and CBD. Different grow methods and factors can change those levels, so always make sure what you are buying has been tested by a reputable testing facility if cannabinoid levels are important to you.

A good way to consume CBD without any THC is trough CBD Oil.

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  • Sarijuana

    People new to cannabis should also realize that a combination strain, one that has both CBD and THC may be perfect for their ailments. It was mentioned above by Project CBD that CBD “can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC”, but in my experience, CBD doesn’t actually take away the THC high entirely, but will tame it a little. I try to keep a knock-out strain around for various reasons, but my go-to on a busy day is usually a hybrid strain that contains CBD AND THC. Synergy…MMM MMM good. And, as I tell my newbie readers at cannagramma, don’t negate the power of a little euphoria. That is medicine in itself!

    • Yeah Sarijuana, that is what is meant by counteract. CBD reduces the psychoactive effect of THC. If the strain was mostly CBD and very little THC is would counteract the psychoactive properties of the THC to a point you wouldn’t notice the psychoactive effects. http://bit.ly/plant-based-diet

      • Sarijuana

        Thanks. I mistakenly believed “counteract” meant neutralize entirely, and don’t want others to think they won’t get high at all with a strain containing CBD.

    • Rue

      what CBD/THC ratio would you recommend for someone who is an adult who suffers from anxiety, depression, and ADHD, if said person is also a parent who needs to remain mildly alert and active through out the day?

      • Sarijuana

        A 1 to 1 ratio will work well, however, people I know who suffer from anxiety tend to stay away from sativa dominant strains. Most all of them find that Blue Dream works very, very, well for daytime use and use an indica dominant strain at night when the day winds down. Even though Blue dream is considered sativa dominant, there are other constituents such as the right terpenes that battle anxiety, unlike other sativa strains that may contribute to it. Best of luck to you. I hope you find a consistent source if it works for you.

  • Johnny oneye

    Harlequin? Charlottes web cannatonic?
    Three strains that carry high cbd
    I smoked harlequin and did not get high
    RSO

  • vc50er

    If you take high THC Cannabis just before going to bed you will probably not experience the high. That doesn’t mean you can take massive doses.

    • Sarijuana

      A sativa may keep you awake. I find that indica is best at night.

  • vc50er

    A Cannabis high is a ‘Thinking’ high. It doesn’t blur you out like Alcohol.
    Usually I learn something important about myself when I get high.

    • Siddha

      Yes, I agree cannabis is a thinking high. While the THC high of cannabis doesn’t
      “blur you out” like alcohol it can “spin you out” with
      over-thinking tendencies that not infrequently produce hypersensitivity,
      anxiety and even paranoia in more than a few users, myself included. Over years
      of experimentation with cannabis products I have come to prefer the relaxing
      effect that CBD has on my brain. For myself THC is stimulating and distracting
      (sometimes enjoyable), with the effects often akin to consuming some entertainment
      media, whereas the CBD is relaxing and more like meditation. Obviously, each
      users own brain chemistry and age will influence their experience.

      • Dogma

        But I’m still unclear, Siddha, the article led me to think that CBD has no effect whatever. It’s like taking Vitamin D, (or something like that.) But here you say it does have an effect. So are you saying the effect is extremely subtle, like herbal tea?

      • Manner of Life

        Hey, Can you tell if cannabis indica Mother tincture has CBD? How can I identify a CBD form from THC? Is there a special name should I ask in a shop for CBD form?

  • vc50er

    Cannabis is great against Enlarged Prostate, Gout and elimination of substance addiction. Especially Alcohol.
    Also losing weight through Appetite Suppression.

    • CD3

      When I smoke I always get the munchies and gain weight if I continue the habit.
      Are you talking about CBD effects on appetite suppression?
      I know cannabis increases your metabolism so that helps you lose weight but the Munchies effect always gets me back to eating sweets and other junk food.
      Any recommendations?

      • Just don’t buy them! I am a nutrition major and I smoke basically on the daily. Bottom line it’s not necessarily how much you eat but rather what you eat. Munch on foods high in fiber, they will not only get you higher but help you feel full for longer! A good example would be, nuts and mangoes. I know that the healthier foods aren’t always the tastiest but once you’ve got the munchies almost anything tastes good!

      • Just don’t buy them when you go grocery shopping! Saying no only gets easier with time. I am a nutrition major and smoke basically on a daily. The bottom line is, it’s not how much you eat but rather what you eat. Eat foods that are high in fiber. Not only will they get you higher, but they will help you feel full for longer! Good examples of this would be almonds and mangoes.

        • coastgang

          I have bad anxiety when I smoke . would cbd help me out with the anxiety?

          • JustinLove

            Yes,a strain thats high in both THC & CBD is the better one, like most Sativa’s. Theyve done tests where people get a 50/50 CBD,THC and the subjects are loving life,that happy,laughing high thats so hard to achieve nowadays but was normal during the 90’s is from a CBD&THC STRAIN over 1-2% CBD. The next day subjects were given a straight high THC,no CBD strain,it had the opposite effect,the main subject said she felt like she was “at a funeral” & the test they took during she rated a 0 =(Insignificant) and the +14 on the THC Day,meaning she had reached a significant, manic depressive,phychotic state. The Doc,(Should I Smoke Dope ) with Nicky Taylor.

          • Lorie Poulson
          • I am just now seeing your post! … I wish I knew the answer to that because I sometimes get anxiety when I smoke too! I did do some reading and learned that anxiety could be caused when smoking due to pending tasks that are troubling your mind. The anxiety might be triggered in the sense that you feel almost guilty smoking/relaxing when you know you should be doing other things.

  • Cyndysub

    There is over 700 chemical and compounds in cannabis and science is starting to study all of them. There are some interesting things that they have found out about them.

  • Valeri Walden McGarvey

    Any information about chronic hives and CBD? My husband has had chronic hives for almost 5 years and we are desperate to find something to help relieve his symptoms.

    • JustinLove

      Hives are a sign of an allergic reaction to anything,where the body releases antihistamine. People have died from Hives /Histamine reactions. Do areas of his skin also turn red and puffy if he scratches? He been to an allergist and been tested? Thats step one,in my opinion step 3or 4 should be the smoke trees step. Goodluck!

  • Julie

    I like that individuals have a choice depending if they prefer with or without THC. I have 2 disabilities that require I take 6 man made prescriptions too help control the disabilities I have. Control is what man made pills do to certain people. My medicines and their side effects are causing me too feel I hurt inside, embarrassment, and sometimes I’m not even capable of doing tasks, lose lack of concentration & start losing control of muscles and falling asleep wherever I land. I hope and truly pray that medical herbal medicine gets here soon, I would get too be weaned off 3 prescriptions for sure.

  • Paige Turner

    I don’t use recreationally at all, only medicinally, and I don’t smoke… only use edibles. The CBD candies (with 50% less THC) have zero effect on my pain, and completely neutralize the minimal THC in them. Since I rely on THC just as much for my insomnia (turns my brain off and relaxes me enough that I can fall asleep), I’ve decided to buy the taffy with more THC. By the way, a warning… if you consume it via edibles, it can take 30 days for it to leave your system for a drug test because your body stores it in fat cells. That’s why they say to eat cheese or avocado with it, as it accelerates and intensifies the effect. Smokers of marijuana see it leave their bodies in half the time.

  • ryan

    How do I know if all this information is the best I can find it as?

  • Julian E Mira

    My mother is currently taking clonazepam and we have been battling with her for more than ten years now. She was diagnosed with non epileptic seizures and there is no medication that helps her stop the seizures. I wanted to know if there is any risk for my mom if we mix clonazepam and CBD oil?
    thanks to anyone that can helo answer this question.

    • Granny Puff

      Hi, if your mom is going to try it, use just under the size of a piece of rice. I use it and am on an anti-seizure, sleeping and tonazapam. Havent had any problems. I’m trying to get off the sleeping pills.

  • NMBrown

    So, I am a newbie to the world of cannabinoids and THC & CBD. I never really gave it much thought before…figuring that the hype around medical marijuana was just really folks that wanted an excuse to get high. Then a friend of mine approach me about a MLM for CBD oil. I am so completely and totally opposed to MLMs that I started doing my own research with the intention to debunk her “scheme”. Low and behold, my search for knowledge had quite the opposite effect. I still have a lot to learn, but I will say that I am very intrigued and would now put myself in the realm of the believers. This article, What is the Difference Between THC and CBD, was excellent and really helped me to understand a lot more. My father is 73yr old but still very physically active. My parents live on a small farm/ranch and he works the property himself. He has an extensive family history of arthritis, although he’s been tested for rheumatoid arthritis twice and the results were negative both times. But there is obviously some type of arthritis present in his body, because he suffers from extreme pain and inflammation. So, he immediately came to mind during my reading…I am always trying to find something that would help alleviate his pain. I still have a lot of learning to do, but a couple of initial questions come to mind that I wanted to throw out there. First, we live in Texas, which unfortunately is a state that has not legalized the use of medical marijuana (being able to buy weed to smoke it). Are there (can there be) doctors in Texas that treat with THC and/or CBD? And, if so, how would I find them? And for my second question…has anyone heard of Kannaway? This is the MLM that I friend told me about the sells CBD oil products. Now, I wonder if there might actually be something to this. But I am still so leery because it’s an MLM. Just wondering if anyone might have heard of Kannaway and have any input.

  • cj gehring

    i don’t understand how cbd is different that regular old street weed, since i was told there are no herbs added (for pain, for example) and that cannibus is the only herb in it. so, how is the cbd different from regular cannibus? how do i know this isn’t interacting with my prescriptions & vitamins? some herbs do interact w/ prescriptions, although the regular street weed has been fine for decades, i’m not sure the cbd isn’t messing with my scripts.