Legal use of marijuana and other cannabis products is in the rise as 10 states allow it legally for recreational use and 23 additional states allow it legally as long as it is prescribed from your doctor. Because of its increased use, terms like CBD, THC, cannabis and hemp have been thrown around in the natural medicine community. It can be kind of confusing to know the difference between all these terms. We have all your marijuana questions and CBD questions answered.
Are They Chemically The Same?
Yes. CBD and THC have the same molecular structure, but with a slight difference in how the atoms are arranged. This slight difference is the reason why they have different effects on the body. They are both chemically similar to the endocannabinoids in your body which allows you to engage with THC and CBD’s receptors.
Can CBD Make You High?
No. CBD does not give the same psychoactive effects as THC even though they are chemically the same. THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 receptors in the brain, which is why you feel the high or sense of euphoria. On the other hand, CBD binds weakly to those same receptors therefore it does not give you the same effect.
Do They Have Some Of The Same Medical Benefits?
Yes and no. They can provide help from some of the same conditions, but not all. CBD is used to treat things like seizures, inflammation, pain, psychosis or mental disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, nausea, migraines, depression and anxiety. On the other hand, THC is used to help with conditions like pain, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, nausea and anxiety.
Most people prefer CBD because it can help relieve some of the same conditions without the high feeling. The high feeling is one of the side effects of THC that some may not like. THC’s other side effects include things like increased heart rate, coordination problems, dry mouth, red eyes, slower reaction times and memory loss.
Is It Legal?
It is complicated. In the U.S., marijuana and THC are considered controlled substances so they are prohibited under federal law. With that being said, a lot of states have passed laws making the use of medicinal marijuana with high levels of THC legal as long as you are prescribed it by a licensed physician. Other states have also made recreational use of marijuana completely legal, making the requirement of a prescription unnecessary in those states.
Make sure you do the research in your state’s laws to find out where they stand on CBD and THC. In states where cannabis is legal for recreational or medical purposes, you should also be able to buy CBD.
There are many commonalities between CBD and THC, but there are also many differences. If you are looking to explore the medical benefits, do some research before determining which products are best for you and your needs. Keep in mind the possibilities of side effects and talk with your doctor.