An easy way to think about it is that THC is defined by what cannabis makes you feel, while the effects of CBD can’t be felt. The important distinction is that, unlike THC, CBD will not intoxicate you. It also addresses one of the most common reasons people choose to use CBD—pain management.
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, but they’re different in many ways that may influence your next dispensary purchase.
What’s the difference between CBD and THC?
(The Cannabiz Agency/iStock)
Cannabis consumers have long prized potency (a high THC content) as one of the main factors that makes a particular strain more desirable. Though traditional demand for THC has caused an oversaturation of high-potency products, many consumers are starting to prefer less intense products that are lower in THC and higher in the non-intoxicating compound called CBD (cannabidiol).
If you would like to know more about the benefits of CBD, check out our CBD Guide.
Most cannabis users consider the high from THC as a pleasurable sensation. They often report a relaxed state of mind, reduced physical tension, bouts of euphoria, giggliness, and even signs of improved cognition.
Last but not least, let’s cover the legality of both compounds.
You can use the above bullet points as a quick reference point, but the differences between CBD vs. THC are more complex than that. When it comes to their use, bot cannabinoids have several recreational and medical benefits.
If you want to make sure you don’t fail a drug test after taking full-spectrum CBD oil, always look for a Certificate of Analysis that lists the product’s potency, THC content, and results for purity.
But, the question is, can you fail a drug test using full-spectrum CBD oil?
NIDA also notes that THC alters how the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex function. These areas of the brain are important in the formation of new memories and the ability to shift attention from one thing to the next. This not only affects a person’s ability to learn and form new memories, but it also makes it difficult for people to perform difficult tasks.
THC, on the other hand, does have psychoactive effects. It is the compound that produces the high that people associate with marijuana.
However, many CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC. While these amounts are small, they may still be detectable if you are consuming large quantities of CBD or if the products you are using contain more THC than the packaging label claims.
Before choosing a THC or CBD product, it is important to check your state laws to ensure that these products are legal where you live. Federal law mandates that hemp-derived CBD products should contain less than 0.3% THC, but even those trace amounts are still illegal in some states.
CBD that comes from marijuana may contain more THC, which may not be ideal for people who are trying to avoid THC. Some CBD products that are produced from cannabis, for example, may contain more THC than the label suggests.
Taking CBD along with THC has also been shown to help reduce some of the unwanted effects that THC may have. For example, one study suggests that CBD may potentially reduce some of the negative cognitive effects of regular cannabis use. For example, people who use cannabis, particularly when it has high THC levels, may have a greater risk of experiencing psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis. Studies have found, however, that CBD may help mitigate these effects.
Like THC, CBD can also be consumed in a number of different forms. CBD oils can be formulated for vaping, although there have been recent concerns about the health dangers posed by vaping.