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CBD vs THC: How Are They Different?

CBD vs THC: How Are They Different?

Fact #1: CBD isn't psychoactive

CBD isn't psychoactive

Let’s start off with the most common of all CBD myths

Contrary to what many people think, CBD doesn’t cause a high. It doesn’t act on the same pathways that  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does.

THC, in case you’re wondering, is the psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Basically, it’s the main chemical responsible for creating most of marijuana’s common psychological effects.

Now, despite being psychoactive, it isn’t that bad for the body. It actually has neuroprotective properties which means that it can protect your brain cells from the damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation.

Furthermore, it can promote the growth of new brain cells, too.

Those things, however, don’t suggest that CBD is completely free from side effects. Although rare, there are still people who react negatively to it.

Fact #2: THC Doesn't Always Produce That High Feeling

Even though THC is known to cause a “high” feeling, it’s not always the case. You see, in cannabis plants, THC mostly occurs as THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid which doesn’t possess the same psychoactive properties.

To get THC, you need to add a little heat, which starts the process called decarboxylation. This why recreational users aren’t into consuming cannabis raw (baked goods still involve heat).

Another way THCA can be converted into THC is by storing it. When the cannabis plants are stored for a long time, it causes the conversion of small amounts of the acid.

CBD Can Minimize the Negative Effects of THC

There are studies that suggest CBD’s ability to lessen THC’s intoxicating effects. It also has the potential to minimize its sleep-inducing effects. And you know what else? Using CBD and THC together may actually produce more potent effects. For example, in a study by the California Pacific Medical Center, researchers found that combining CBD and THC produces greater anti-tumor effects when applied on breast and brain cancer cell lines than using either of them alone. A 2010 study found that patients with pain related to cancer have better tolerance to medicines that combine THC and CBD. Although the idea sounds promising, there’s just one issue: for you to find that optimal dose for your case, you may have to do a bit of trial and error.  If you are lucky enough to be able to access a cannabis dispensary that operates legally, you should have little to no problem finding concentrates, flowers, edibles, and topicals that have the right THC-to-CBD ratio. On the other hand, if you’re sourcing your cannabis from the underground market, you may have a hard time. As with any CBD product you take, you need to know the right dose for you. Make sure to start with a lower dose and see how your body will respond.  If you don’t experience the results you’re aiming for, you can work your way up until you find the optimal dose for you. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with CBD oil nutrition facts, too. Although the numbers can vary from one brand to another, one ml of CBD oil should contain about 8 calories. A tablespoon of it may contain 14 grams of fat, 12.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and about 1.5 grams of saturated fat. However, these numbers usually vary, so be sure to read the label on your CBD oil.

Fact #3: CBD Still Has Gray Areas When It Comes to Legality

Cannabinoids are compounds that naturally occur in the body. They interact with specific receptors to create physiological effects.

In a cannabis plant, there are over 100 types of cannabinoids, but the most common ones you’ll hear about are CBD and THC.

Now, here’s where it gets a bit complicated.

In your body, there are two types of receptors that respond to cannabis: CB1 and CB2. These two receptors are parts of the bigger endocannabinoid system which mainly controls and regulates the hormones that influence your energy, mood, and appetite.

You can mostly find CB1 receptors in the central nervous system. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are found more in the body’s peripheral nervous system.

Substances and chemicals that affect your CB1 receptors are more likely to create psychoactive effects as they are mainly in your spinal cord and brain.

Any chemical that affects your CB2 receptors, meanwhile, can create reactions to the rest of your body without creating a “high” feeling.

Now, going back to CBD and THC.

THC has a stronger affinity to CB1 receptors while CBD is more drawn towards CB2 receptors. This simply means that THC is more likely to trigger a euphoric feeling while CBD is more likely to reduce inflammation.

Take note, however, that CBD and THC aren’t exclusive to each receptor. THC, for example, may still react with CB2 receptors but it’s way more likely to interact with CB1 receptors.

CBD Still Has Gray Areas When It Comes to Legality

Hearing all the benefits you can get from CBD use, you’re probably eager to find a CBD product you can start with.

Now, before you go ahead and do that, you need to know the law. Without proper knowledge, you could face a lot of legal problems.

Based on the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products are actually legal on a federal level. As long as your CBD product doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC, you should have no problems.

If you consume a CBD product, like a hemp oil, with a higher THC content, then you could possibly fail a routine drug test.

One of the most important THC hair testing facts is that trace amounts of marijuana use can be found in the chemical makeup of your hair for months, if not years. So long as you have hair, it can be used to test what substances you used at around the time that hair was growing.

And its validity can last for centuries. This was the case of John Keats, a Victorian poet, whose hair samples tested positive for opiates about 167 years after he died.

A THC mouth swab drug test can detect THC in your saliva up to 24 to 72 hours after consumption. For some people, it can be detected even after a week.

Like other supplements, CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA. The agency needs more information before it can regulate CBD production, marketing, and distribution. Because it’s unregulated, there are no reliable dosage recommendations.

Despite the unclear laws concerning CBD, the hype around it continues to increase. In fact, it’s now finding its way into a lot of common products. You can now find CBD in chocolates, creams, coffee, shakes, and cocktails.

If you are feeling tempted to try those products, make sure that you know what you’re getting. Know where your CBD products are sourced and how what extraction method was used.

It’s also a good idea to be familiar with the Farm Bill as much as possible.

Fact #4: CBD Can Help With Addiction

Experts are suggesting that CBD use can actually curb the cravings of many people addicted to opioids. The study went like this: About 42 men and women with a known history of abusing heroin were asked to participate in the study. They were given either an inactive placebo or an oral CBD solution. Then, videos that showed drug-related and neutral cues were shown to them. The neutral cues were supposed to induce relaxation while the drug-related cues involved scenes showing IV drug use and other items related to heroin use. After the end of the study, those that took CBD had fewer cravings and less anxiety in response to the drug-related cues than those who took the placebos.

The Different Types of CBD Oil

If you are considering the idea of taking CBD, you must consider staring with CBD oils first. They are easier to take since you can add them to your foods and drinks. Or you can just put a few drops of the oil under your tongue.

Take note, however, that not all CBD oils are the same.

If you have been doing your research about CBD, you’ve probably encountered the three following categories of CBD oil.

Full-spectrum possesses the full spectrum of CBD as well as trace amounts of THC found in the hemp plant. It also has cannabis-derived terpenes and minor cannabinoids.

Broad-spectrum, on the other hand, has the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. There are no trace amounts of THC in this category which is why it’s commonly preferred by people who usually undergo drug tests.

Isolate doesn’t have the other cannabis compounds. It only contains CBD crystalline.

If you are new to taking CBD products, particularly the oil, you can decide which of these types you should take based on your needs. For example, if you undergo routine drug tests or if you just drive or operate machines at work, you can consider taking broad-spectrum CBD oils because they don’t have THC.

In case you want to experience a more potent effect, try full-spectrum CBD oils. Since they possess cannabinoids, terpenes, and all the good stuff from CBD, they are capable of producing that entourage effect on the human body.

Final Thoughts

As with anything you take for your health, awareness is important. Learning these important CBD facts should help you in deciding whether or not it’s the solution for your health issues.

Take note that there are tons of CBD myths out there, particularly concerning hemp oil. In fact, you can find a lot of them stated as CBD oil “facts” in forums or across websites like Reddit.

If a claim sounds confusing or too good to be true, do further research. And if you really can’t find anything online or in published studies, make sure to ask your doctor.

It won’t hurt to ask the opinion of your healthcare provider, particularly if he’s currently managing the health problems, like high blood pressure, that you are thinking CBD oil might be useful in treating. CBD products can only be effective when they are used properly.

Also, it’s important to remember that the existing studies about CBD and medical marijuana, including their potential health benefits and side effects, aren’t conclusive. This means that you can’t rely on it as your sole solution to your health problems. You can, however, use it as a part of your treatment plan as long as you have your doctor’s approval.

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