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CBD vs THC: What’s the difference?


When it comes to medical cannabis and hemp products, you might often hear the acronyms CBD and THC.

But what exactly is CBD and THC? And what’s the difference between the two?

Cannabis plants – including hemp – contain over 60 cannabinoids. These ‘active ingredients’ affect the endocannabinoid system, which is present in all mammals. By affecting the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids can produce a number of different effects on our bodies.

Two of the most important cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both CBD and THC are well-studied, and both have notable health benefits.

The main difference between CBD and THC is that CBD can’t get you high. That intoxicated, stoned feeling that you get when you consume cannabis? That’s from THC, not CBD.

THC does a lot more than get you stoned, though – it has a lot of real health benefits. It can reduce pain for those with chronic pain and soothe nausea. Many of us are familiar with the ‘munchies’, which is partly caused by THC. THC’s ability to stimulate the appetite can help those with conditions like HIV/AIDS and cancer.

CBD doesn’t intoxicate you, but it also has a range of health benefits. Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-seizure, anti-psychotic, and analgesic properties. It can be used to treat multiple conditions, from chronic pain and inflammatory disorders to mental illnesses and epilepsy.

Another important difference between CBD and THC is how they appear in hemp and cannabis. Hemp contains high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC, while cannabis contains low amounts of CBD and high amounts of THC.

Hemp is a variation of the cannabis plant. The difference between what we call ‘cannabis’ (or marijuana) and hemp is THC. Cannabis generally contains high amounts of THC, while hemp contains little to no THC. Most entities – including the US government – define hemp as containing 0,3 percent THC or less. This definition came from the book, ‘The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics’, where the author Ernest Small noted that this measurement is arbitrary. So, the boundary is a little random.

Now that cannabis is becoming legal in more and more places around the world, many growers are combining hemp and cannabis to create plants that produce specific effects.

Fortunately, modern science makes it possible for us to isolate THC and CBD. At present, you can get THC-free CBD oil, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more.

CBD oil can be derived either from hemp or from cannabis, although the former is legal in more places around the world. It’s ideal for those who want to treat their pets or children, or for those who want to experience the health benefits of CBD without feeling intoxicated.

If you’d like to buy CBD oil for yourself, your loved ones, or a pet, buy it from a reputable company that tests their products to ensure quality. Be sure to read all information supplied by the company, and take a look at reviews online. Ask them about their testing procedures. Your health is worth the effort!

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