More and more states and countries have been showing their support towards the legalization of the medical and recreational use of hemp and other cannabis products. Because of this, consumers are also growing more baffled and curious about their choices. Right now, they can choose between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both are natural compounds that can be found in any plants belonging to the Cannabis genus.

For those who are not familiar with THC, it is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and it can produce a high sensation. It can be used by smoking cannabis. This compound is also available in such forms as capsules, tinctures, edibles, and oils. CBD, on the other hand, is a compound that’s extracted from cannabis or hemp — substances that came from a plant known as Cannabis sativa. For hemp to be considered legal, it has to contain THC only up to 0.3 percent. CBD is commonly sold as extracts, supplements, oils, gummies, gels, and more.

These compounds interact with the human endocannabinoid system. The effects of such interactions, however, greatly vary. The good people at The High Note can walk you through the products they offer, differentiated between CBD vs. THC.

Anxiety, depression, and cannabis

A published study of the University of Washington revealed that THC, on lower and controlled doses, can alleviate symptoms of depression. The same research also suggests that CBD can significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression regardless of the dose. This is not the only study that proved the positive relationship between CBD and THC and one’s mental condition. Different academe and government agencies like Harvard Medical School, University of São Paulo, and the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health released studies affirming the positive effects of CBD and THC to depression and anxiety. Though the medical and academic communities are still debating whether or not there is a specific dose that maximizes the benefits of these compounds to people with mental conditions, one thing is true — the future looks bright for those lobbying for the medical and recreational use of CBD and THC.

Chemical structure of CBD and THC

Not surprisingly, CBD and THC have similar basic chemical make-up. Both are made of 2 oxygen atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. Their difference lies in how these atoms are arranged.

The difference in the said arrangement may be very minimal, but it’s quite telling on how these compounds connect with one’s endocannabinoid system. As such, it’s also very telling on how these compounds affect the human body.

Which compound can get you high?

THC can get you high. As mentioned previously, these two cannabinoids manifest different effects on your body. If you’re wondering which one can lead to mind-altering effects, that would be THC.

CBD’s effects are rather different. Though it can’t cause euphoria, it can make the person taking it to feel relaxed. This relaxed feeling is often referred to by some people as ‘body high.’ Meaning to say, while THC can cause a mental kind of high, CBD, on the other hand, leaves a person to experience a ‘body high.’ In the conventional sense, it’s THC that can make you high.

But, the bigger question now is, how much THC can make you feel high? The answer to this is not very straightforward. Based on studies and observations, it all depends on the person.

Medical benefits

Right now, CBD is labeled as a nutritional supplement because the FDA has not approved its use for medical purposes yet. Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug, however, was duly approved by the said body. It is currently used as a form of treatment to manage seizures and other drug-resistant strains of epilepsy like Dravet syndrome. Currently, various researches seek to establish the extent of THC and CBD medical benefits to its users.

Many people currently use CBD as a supplement for different reasons. Some hope to reduce anxiety, manage depression, and deal with insomnia. Others also hope to manage serious conditions such as autism, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, among others.

On the other hand, THC is usually used as an antiemetic because it can reduce vomiting and nausea. Aside from this, THC can also be used as a bronchodilator to dilate the airways of individuals with tremors, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease. It can also be used to manage chronic pain.

Side effects

Some people are more tolerant of CBD than others. The thing is the incidences of intolerance are fewer and farther between. They are also usually caused by the interaction of CBD with other drugs. To know how your prescription medicine would interact with CBD.

The side effects of THC are mostly associated with marijuana use. The said adverse effects often include nausea, poor coordination, memory loss, bloodshot eyes, and many others. Fortunately, these side effects are only short term among adults. The unfortunate thing, however, is that THC can cause long-term brain damage when teenagers use them. This, therefore, explains why teenagers should never use marijuana.

On legalities

CBD and THC are legal in some areas and illegal in others because differences in jurisdictions mean differences in-laws. At a state level, growing industrial hemp is only legal if it has THC that’s less than 0.3%. This only means that hemp-extracted products are legal.

High hemp THC strains are, however, not legal at a federal level. Some states already permitted the use of recreational marijuana or marijuana with higher THC strains. In these states, derivatives are also considered legal. But despite the differences in legalities, CBD is more accepted in many jurisdictions because it’s non-psychoactive.

Final Takeaway

What can be gleaned in the discussion above is that THC and CBD offer various benefits, but they can only be applied and taken as supplements. You also have to make sure that your prescription medication does not react adversely with these drugs. The decision of whether or not you should use medical marijuana is one that should be made with your physician. Your doctor should likewise check your progress until he finds out what dose will work best for you. Lastly, teenagers and young kids should be kept away from THC. This is mainly because THC shows permanent damage to developing brains.