THC and CBD: Key Differences

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While the molecular structure of both THC and CBD appear identical, they show slight differences at the atoms' connection points, leading to different effects on the human body and mind. Here we review some of the main characteristics of these two increasingly popular products.

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

Both compounds influence the body's endocannabinoid system, which balances the body's hormones and neural reactions to maintain homeostasis. THC directly interacts with the body's cannabinoid receptors.

CBD, in contrast, doesn't bind with the receptors because its function is to encourage natural cannabinoid releases from the body itself.

Because of the molecular similarities, THC and CBD appear to have the same benefits for the body. The key difference, however, is the psychoactive experience associated with THC. You won't find a euphoric high in CBD.

What are the known and purported benefits?

THC and CBD have many shared benefits, including anxiety relief, pain control, nausea solutions and migraine assistance. Studies even suggest that CBD may be beneficial for people suffering from depression.

If a person wants to know which product is more beneficial in medical terms, the answer is a subjective one. The body will react in a slightly different manner from one person to the next. However, THC will always produce a high, whereas the CBD offers subtler results.

Consider the symptoms that you're trying to treat. People who suffer from specific seizure conditions can find documented relief with CBD. In fact, the FDA has recently approved CBD in a prescribed form for seizure control.

People who are dealing with cancer-related symptoms might find more relief in THC. This compound increases appetite, which is valuable as the person works through chemotherapy. Appetite suppression felt during cancer treatment can lead to a weaker body and declining prognoses.

Because cannabis as a whole has been an illegal substance at the federal level for years, its use in research studies is limited. The information that's slowly being released now can have some bias issues, such as a CBD manufacturer approving of a product that they directly sell.

Also remember that a person's reaction to CBD or THC is subjective. You might appreciate the high gleaned from THC, but another person abhors the idea of feeling lightheaded.

In short, read the latest studies with an objective mind. Recognize that some results will have bias that must be considered. You can make a decision on CBD versus THC at that point.

How effective are these products?

Rating a product's efficacy also includes its reported quality level. The cannabis industry is self-regulated because it typically falls under a supplemental category. CBD concentrations in a tincture, for example, may or may not be accurate.

You'll gain the most benefits out of either cannabis product by purchasing it from a reputable manufacturer. Look for the product's third-party analysis that tells you about every compound in the mixture. You can compare and contrast the benefits found in these products as a result of this data.

There's certainly a long way to go when it comes to researching THC versus CBD. However, every study reveals something new about this fascinating plant. As such, we can expect to find out much more about its benefits and the effects of its long-term use in years to come.

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