What is THC and CBD?
THC (Tetrahydrocannabidiol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two primary ingredients found in the marijuana plant. Both THC and CBD belong to the class of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. They have the same chemical composition, but their atoms are arranged differently.
THC was discovered in 1964 in an Israeli lab by Raphael Mechoulam. CBD has only come into the mainstream over the last few decades. While Marijuana strains containing high levels of THC are quite common, finding high CBD strains has been a more difficult task historically.
There are many differences between the two compounds. THC is considered the predominant psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for the feeling users experience of getting high. CBD, conversely, is non-psychoactive, making it appealing to medicinal users and for use in treating younger children with different ailments.
The two cannabinoids also differ in the way they relate to anxiety. On one hand, when taken excessively, THC is commonly known to induce anxiety and paranoia in users. On the other hand, CBD has exactly the opposite effect.
Studies show that high CBD strains actually counteract the anxiety caused by THC. Even on its own, CBD has been used to treat anxiety. In a climate where heavy marijuana use has been linked to Schizophrenia, it is worthwhile to also consider the relationship between these two compounds and psychosis.
While THC mimics a milder version of psychotic symptoms, researchers praise CBD for its distinct anti-psychotic properties and it is currently being tested as a medicine for people who suffer from schizophrenia.
In terms of their abilities as sleep aids, THC is responsible for the vast majority of marijuana’s sleep-inducing effects. In this realm, once again, the two compounds couldn’t be more at odds with CBD promoting wakefulness, and making the user more alert and energetic.
If you are falling asleep after smoking weed, rest assured you are using a strain low in CBD. From a legal standpoint, the two compounds are subject to different laws and regulations respectively.
Most countries have very strict laws surrounding THC, but the legal status of CBD is far less black and white. While technically illegal in the United States, under federal law CBD is classified as a schedule I drug. The FDA recently cleared a pharmaceutical drug containing CBD known as Epidiolex to be tested on children who suffer from severe epilepsy. In other medical uses, there is an active group lobbying for CBD to be added into cancer chemotherapy, and it is hailed as a preventer of diabetic neuropathy, which is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. CBD is also found in hemp, which is sold and exported across North America.
It is clear then that the two primary ingredients of the marijuana plant have many differences. For a more sedate, brain-high, strains with high THC levels fit the bill. For medicinal symptoms or a more active, energetic smoke, CBD is the way to go.Back To FAQ