THC vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

Pure Organix May 31, 2021 0 comments

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Over the past few years, the use of marijuana-derived products has been a subject of great debate. With the growing popularity of CBD products, it’s necessary to debunk some of the myths that have made the use of CBD and THC controversial. Thanks to modern research, we can now better understand how both compounds affect the body and put to bed any misconceptions about their consumption and side effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly referred to as THC, are just two of the various compounds found in marijuana. Scientists have discovered more than 100 different cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.

Many people believe the two are the same but there is a key difference between CBD and THC that we are going to highlight today. One common thing that CBD and THC have are that they have the ability to help treat or minimize the impact of certain conditions in the human body.

Before we get into the differences between THC and CBD, it’s best to have an understanding of what cannabinoids are and how they interact with our bodies.

Cannabinoids are natural compounds. Our bodies have hundreds of cannabinoid receptors that are responsible for causing certain physiological effects when CBD and THC are introduced to our bodies and interact with these cannabinoid receptors.

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Cannabinoids are often used to treat the following conditions:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Cancer
  • Loss of Appetite and Eating Disorders
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Glaucoma

People who use cannabinoids to manage symptoms of one of these conditions often speak highly of the relief CBD and THC provide when it comes to their health conditions.

CBD vs THC – Medical Benefits

Both THC and CBD are often used to treat medical conditions, but it’s important to note that there is a slight difference between the two compounds. People who use CBD for physiological relief tend to use it to treat the following conditions:

  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Mental Disorders or Psychosis
  • Migraines
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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THC has been frowned upon because it has been associated more with recreational use for decades. So much so that some people quickly denounce its use for medical reasons. Both of these cannabinoids can be used to treat pain, anxiety and nausea. That’s why articles like this one are critical in helping people learn more about how THC can aid some of the body’s functions. THC can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Glaucoma
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Low Appetite
  • Insomnia

How CBD and THC Affect the Body (why Thc Gets You “high” and CBD Doesn’t)

The human body produces compounds called endocannabinoids which bind to receptors throughout the body and affect pain, mood, appetite, sleep patterns and several other bodily functions. Exogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids that are produced outside the human body and derived from marijuana but have a similar impact on the body as endocannabinoids.

While both THC and CBD have similar impacts on the body, they interact with different cannabinoid receptors. THC typically interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body that result in a “high”. CBD, on the other hand, interacts more with receptors that manage and reduce inflammation.

CB1 and CB2 are two cannabinoid receptors in the body. These are part of the endocannabinoid network within the body that regulates hormones responsible for appetite, mood and energy.

While CBD and THC contain the same atoms, the way these atoms are arranged differs. CB1 receptors are found mostly in the central nervous system while CB2 receptors are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system.

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Cannabinoids or other substances that interact more with CB1 receptors have a greater chance of creating a “high” feeling because they influence the brain and spinal cord. Substances that interact more with CB2 will have more impact on other parts of the body like reducing inflammation and treating pain without the “high”.

THC tends to bind to CB1 receptors. While it does not affect the brain stem it does induce euphoria, also known as a “high”.

CBD differs in that it interacts more with CB2 receptors which is why it is effective in reducing inflammation without giving you a “high.” It’s important to note that while THC and CBD tend to bind more readily to certain receptors, that does not mean that they bind to these receptors exclusively.

THC may sometimes react with CB2 receptors and CBD with CB1, but this is less likely.

Another reason why CBD products on the market will not make you high is because the consumption of CBD products is highly regulated. CBD products for sale are derived from hemp and cannot be sold if they contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

CBD vs THC – Side Effects

CBD and THC have very few side effects. Actually, there haven’t been any side effects discovered with CBD. It is safe for consumption even in large quantities with the only possible side effect being how the compound may interact with the medications an individual may be on.

The side effects of taking THC are generally temporary and include:

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Red Eyes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Slow Response Time
  • Euphoria
  • Memory Loss
  • Decreased Coordination

None of these side effects are considered serious, and as the high wears off, any impairment caused by THC will disappear.

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Teenagers – whose brains are still developing – may experience more psychiatric side effects than adults. Some research suggests that consuming large doses of THC may contribute to developing schizophrenia in people who already have a disposition to the condition.

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Ways to Take CBD


CBD can be consumed in different forms. It can be taken as:

  • A Gel
  • Supplements
  • Gummies
  • Oil

Ways to Take THC

THC can also be consumed in a variety of ways including:

  • Smoke or Vaping Products
  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Capsules

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Do Ratios Matter?

Yes, ratios matter. The greater the CBD to THC ratio, the less likely you will get high. This is because CBD counteracts the euphoria-inducing properties of THC. So if the CBD to THC ratio is 10:1, you have a lesser chance of getting high then if the ratio is 1:1.

In conclusion, both CBD and THC can be found in marijuana. While scientists have learned more about the similarities and differences between CBD and THC in recent years, there is still a lot more to be discovered about cannabis and the brain, so keep this in mind. Also remember that despite marijuana use being legal in Canada, taking cannibis across the Canadian border (entering or leaving) is illegal.

⚠️   PureOrganix Canada does not intend to give this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided on this page. Always consult your physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.

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