THC and CBD: Understanding the Cannabinoids
Cannabis plants contains around 500 distinct chemicals, including over 140 cannabinoids, molecules that are only found in marijuana. Two of the more common natural chemicals present in Cannabis plants are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as a result these are the two most represented in the industry.
Fun Fact: Both THC and CBD are found in Cannabis but CBD can also be extracted from hemp.
What are THC and CBD?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the element that gives cannabis its intoxicating effects whereas cannabidiol (CBD) is touted for having wellness benefits without the intoxicating “high” that THC has. These are the two most well-known cannabinoids.
THC is the intoxicating ingredient in cannabis that gives you a high. It’s most common to consume it through smoking the cannabis flower. It’s also accessible in a variety of forms, including oils, edibles, drinkables, tinctures, capsules, and more.
Both substances interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body, but their effects are different and above all can vary based on each consumers ECS.
The two compounds are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids found in your body, meaning they’ll be able to engage with your cannabinoid receptors as a result.
The release of neurotransmitters in your brain is affected by the connection. Neurotransmitters are substances that convey messages between cells and play a part in a variety of functions, including pain, immunological function, stress, and sleep, to mention a few. THC binds to the brain’s cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. It gives you a high or a feeling of euphoria. Whereas CBD binds to CB1 receptors very weakly, if at all. In order to bind more effectively, CBD requires THC, which can help minimise some of THC’s potentially undesirable psychotropic effects.
The two cannabinoids are purported to have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric effects that occur with THC. Some people may prefer to use CBD because of the lack of this side effect.
The Differences in THC vs. CBD
Understand the different properties and effects of THC and CBD.
THC is used to help with the following:
- muscle spasticity
- low appetite
THC can cause temporary side effects in some consumers, such as:
- increased heart rate
- coordination problems
- dry mouth
- red eyes
- slower reaction times
- memory loss
CBD is being studied for its efficacy in helping other various conditions, such as:
- psychosis or mental disorders
- inflammatory bowel disease
CBD’s side effects may include:
- appetite changes
- weight loss
Studies are still inconclusive when it comes to the long-term effects of consuming high-THC products.