Know Your Compounds: CBD vs THC

Know Your Compounds: CBD vs THC

  Some people just like to smoke and avoid the details. Others, on the other hand, like to go a little deeper. Maybe you're a new cannabis use

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Some people just like to smoke and avoid the details. Others, on the other hand, like to go a little deeper. Maybe you’re a new cannabis user looking for pain management options. Maybe you’re a long time smoker with a curious mind. Readers at both extremes and somewhere in between benefit from a more knowledge about CBD vs THC.

Let’s take a deep dive into the information on CBD and THC.

Dissecting The High

A good place for this discussion to start is with the high. Many people consume cannabis because of the psychoactive or altered state of perception it is known for. What’s really going on when you’re stoned?

It’s a brain thing. While the research can get quite complicated, it all boils down simply enough. Cannabis contains a few psychoactive chemicals. THC is one of them. When you consume cannabis by eating, smoking, vaping it, or even using it topically, these chemicals make their way into your bloodstream.

From there, they continue on to your brain just like they’re on a little slalom ride. When they arrive, they hook up with areas in your brain called receptors. These receptors are sitting around waiting for some cannabinoids to show up. When they join forces, they alter the physiological balance in your brain. Now you’re ‘stoned.’

What Is THC?

THC is the most famous cannabinoid. It’s the lead singer, so to speak. Everybody knows about it, but die hard fans know it isn’t the only cannabinoid in the group.

When THC bonds to brain receptors, the brain secretes dopamine. Dopamine is the feel-good brain chemical. THC also messes with the way a certain part of the brain, the hippocampus, processes signals. This is precisely why some people experience short term memory problems when they’re high.

The hippocampus is the area of the brain that holds short term memory so when it’s knocked off its game by THC, the stereotypical stoner confusion results.

Additionally, THC can cause hallucinations and delusions. Under most circumstances, these effects are mild.

What Is CBD?

Somewhat conversely, Cannabidiol or CBD is a marijuana compound that does not get you high. It may actually decrease the plant’s psychoactive effects.

Don’t make the mistake of rejecting the importance of CBD, however. It’s the substance that’s actually leading the way toward medical use, actually. Through genetic altering, cloning, and good old horticulture, growers can produce strains with a lot of CBD. This type of cannabis is ideal for treating conditions like anxiety, pain, inflammation and even seizures.

CBD Rich vs. CBD Dominant

These two terms are not interchangeable. The term CBD rich indicates a strain has equal parts THC and CBD. On the other hand, CBD dominant labeling applies to strains that are at least 4 percent richer in CBD than THC. This percentage is based on dry weight.


Now that we’ve defined our terms, what’s the difference in a nutshell?

Marijuana contains both THC and CBD. Basically, THC is psychoactive and produces cognitive effects. CBD does affect the body and mind, but not in a way that makes the user feel high. It may lower your anxiety or soothe body inflammation, but it won’t make you giggle or feel euphoric.  CBD likes to stay behind the scenes.

Share Your Expert Knowledge

Now you can talk to your friends without sounding like a confused lot kid! No offense to lot kids, of course.

You understand CBD. You understand THC. If asked, you could moderate a CBD vs THC debate. While comparing the two is really like comparing apples to oranges, both are a part of what makes cannabis an amazing plant.

If we gave out merit badges, you would have just earned one.