THC vs. CBD – The Key Differences Everyone Must Know

With each passing year, more customers across North America are going crazy for CBD and low-THC cannabis products. However, as CBD’s fame grows, so do misconceptions over its legality and effects. Indeed, many new customers still struggle to differentiate CBD from the more infamous cannabinoid THC.

If you’re a newcomer to the hemp world, you must have a firm grasp of the differences between THC vs. CBD. While both of these cannabinoids come from the cannabis plant, they are not the same chemical. Understanding the distinctions between THC vs. CBD will help you better understand how Cannaflower’s premium hemp products will affect you.

CBD vs. THC – A Few Preliminary Definitions

Before we explain the differences between THC vs. CBD, let’s better define these terms in isolation. The following definitions should make it easier for you to understand each cannabinoid’s unique features.

What Is CBD?

CBD” is certainly a hot phrase in health food circles, but what the heck does it mean? First off, CBD is short for the super-scientific-sounding “cannabidiol.” This compound is a “phytocannabinoid,” which means it’s one of the dozens of chemicals only found in the cannabis plant.

Although all cannabis varieties have small traces of CBD, this cannabinoid is most commonly extracted from hemp cultivars. In fact, CBD is the most prevalent cannabinoid in hemp.

Significantly, CBD is a non-psychoactive substance, which means it will not give users a “high” sensation. Most people who use CBD products report feelings like enhanced focus, calm, and deep relaxation.

What Is THC?

If you thought CBD’s full name was tough to pronounce, get a load of THC’s official title: delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol! Like CBD, THC is a phytocannabinoid in the cannabis plant; unlike CBD, THC is psychoactive. Whenever someone talks about getting “high” from a marijuana strain, you can bet there are elevated traces of THC.

Because of THC’s “stoner” reputation, it continues to be held to a higher legal standard than CBD. Indeed, current US federal law bans the sale and use of any hemp plant with over 0.3 percent THC.

Thankfully for CBD smokers, hemp naturally has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Currently, high-THC cannabis is only available in states with recreational or medical marijuana laws.

What Is The Difference Between CBD vs. THC? – Effects, Legality, And Appearance

Now that you have a basic understanding of CBD vs. THC, let’s take a closer look at the contrasts between these cannabinoids.

Soothing vs. Stoned – The Effects Of CBD vs. THC On The Body

Before trying one of Cannaflower’s premier hemp flowers, many new customers express concerns over psychoactive side effects. In reality, there’s no need to fear feeling “stoned” while smoking our premium hemp flower.

Remember, CBD has no psychoactive properties. Indeed, recent research reveals CBD works indirectly on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Instead of binding directly to CB1 receptors, CBD appears to have a subtle & soothing effect that’s perfect for use any time of the day.

Although we still don’t know the specifics of how CBD works, it appears to influence the production of a chemical called “anandamide.” Recent research suggests anandamide might affect mood, inflammation, and sleep, which could explain the benefits of CBD.

By contrast, THC molecules land directly on the brain’s CB1 receptors. This intense interaction helps explain why THC has a potent psychoactive effect on users.

Does CBD Cancel Out THC?

One fascinating finding out of recent cannabis research is that CBD seems to cancel out the effects of THC. Many recent studies suggest CBD molecules inhibit THC molecules from landing on the brain’s CB1 receptors. Therefore, the more CBD a strain has, the less intense the “high” should be.

So, even though industrial hemp flower could have trace amounts (≤ 0.3 percent) THC, it’s likely the high traces of CBD will dampen THC’s psychoactive effects.

Does THC Have No Value? – A Brief Look At The “Entourage Effect

Please note: just because THC has psychoactive and psychotropic properties doesn’t necessarily mean it’s without therapeutic value. In fact, recent data from the University of New Mexico found that patients who took high-THC cannabis had more significant relief than those who used CBD alone. A recent survey also suggested seven out of 10 US patients who use CBD also take high-THC medical marijuana.

These preliminary findings could be related to an emerging theory called the “entourage effect.” In a nutshell, the “entourage effect” suggests the chemicals found in cannabis work together to create a greater therapeutic benefit. So, while CBD isolate might have an impact, it could work better when paired with other hemp compounds.

Be sure to check out our recent post with more in-depth information on the “entourage effect”.

THC vs CBDGenetic Makeup of CBD vs. THC – How Do These Molecules Match Up?

Even though CBD and THC produce different effects, they have surprisingly similar molecular structures. In fact, both of these cannabinoids share the same formula: C21H30O2. THC and CBD also have an equal weight of ~314 g/mol.

The only significant difference between CBD vs. THC is the placement of a complex chemical bond. If you’re into chemistry, you might be interested in this distinction: CBD has a hydroxyl group, while THC has a cyclic ring.

Although these similarities might seem surprising, they’re not a huge shock when you consider CBD and THC owe their existence to another cannabinoid called CBG. Short for cannabigerol, CBG is sometimes called the “mother cannabinoid” because it helps form CBD and THC.

While CBG doesn’t get as much press as CBD, scientists and customers have recently expressed interest in this alternate non-psychoactive cannabinoid. To help meet the increased demand, Cannaflower now cultivates a rare high-CBG cultivar: White CBG.

If you’d like to learn more about CBG’s potential benefits, be sure to visit this webpage.

CBD vs. THC In The Eyes Of The Law: What Does The 2018 Farm Bill Say?

Another question that customers have before buying Cannaflower’s CBD hemp is whether it’s legal. This is an understandable concern considering cannabis was outlawed for most of the 20th century.

map of where cbd is legal

map of where cbd is legalAlthough high-THC cannabis remains a Schedule I substance, hemp is no longer illegal in the USA. According to the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp is a federally legal crop—as long as it contains ≤ 0.3 percent THC. Therefore, any CBD product that meets these standards is technically legal in America.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that not every state has the same cannabis statutes. Some states (e.g., California and Colorado) allow recreational marijuana, while others (e.g., Iowa) still have bans on CBD.

Since cannabis legality is in constant flux, customers need to double-check their local laws before purchasing any CBD product. People should also ensure their preferred company offers third-party lab results that clearly show THC levels.

FYI: you could check all of Cannaflower’s professional lab screenings on this webpage.

Aroma & Appearance – Does CBD Hemp Look Different From THC Cannabis? woman smelling cannabis bud

One big reason law enforcement has issues with CBD hemp is that it looks and smells similar to high-THC marijuana. Even people who have experience with cannabis struggle to differentiate between these two cultivars.

Remember: cannabinoids only influence a strain’s effects, not its aromatics. When people talk about a cannabis strain’s flavor and aroma, they’re talking about its terpenes. If you’d like to learn more about terpenes, we suggest reviewing this previous Cannaflower post.

Even though it’s federally legal to consume high-CBD hemp, customers should exercise discretion before lighting up. If the police catch you smoking or vaping CBD flower, you could face marijuana-related charges. Until the US has more relaxed cannabis laws, it’s a good idea to use CBD flower indoors.

Now You Know The Basics Of THC vs. CBD

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of why CBD is so different from THC. Yes, these cannabinoids share some properties, but they are worlds apart in terms of effects and legality. Anyone who wants to try CBD hemp flower, gummies, or tinctures should verify their company screens for excess THC to avoid potential hassles with the law.

As mentioned above, Cannaflower takes great care to verify our hemp strains have no more than ≤ 0.3 percent THC. We send all of our hemp flowers and CBD oils for third-party lab screenings to ensure you’re getting the purest legal goods imaginable. If you have any further questions about our CBD products, please reach out to our team on this link.

Disclaimer: Regarding the consumption of Hemp and CBD Flower: None of the products listed on this website have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or ailment.

Always check with a physician before trying any new dietary supplement or medicinal herb.

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