CBD vs THC: What Are the Main Contrasts?
CBD Vs THC: What Are the Main Contrasts?
After many decades of prohibition, several states across America have begun to allow the use of marijuana. Currently, more than half of all US States have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.
But due to the long ban on marijuana, there is still confusion about how to use the substance effectively. Unlike substances like alcohol or nicotine, it can be difficult to get accurate information about the exact composition of marijuana. This can make it hard for users to predict how marijuana will affect them.
For a better understanding, it's important to learn the difference between CBD vs THC. These are the main two active compounds in marijuana. The effects of a particular strain of marijuana will depend on the concentration of each compound.
Let's take a look at the features of each compound. This will help you choose between CBD vs THC.
The Basics of CBD vs THC
Whether you are new to marijuana or a seasoned cannabis user looking to switch things up, it's helpful to know the difference between these compounds.
Most strains of marijuana contain over 400 chemical compounds, 60 of which are considered cannabinoids. The most significant cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Even though these are both considered cannabinoids, they are very different and have different effects.
The main difference between these compounds is that while THC is considered psychoactive, CBD is not. This means that THC has the ability to change the brain's functions, and thereby impact mood, perceptions, and behavior.
By contrast, CBD is the compound found both in marijuana and industrial hemp. Strains containing a high level of CBD and low levels of THC will not have psychoactive effects. In other words, a person will not get "high" by using these strains.
Now that we've covered the main differences with CBD vs THC, let's consider the best uses of either compound.
Best Uses for CBD
Since CBD does not have psychoactive effects, it's a good choice for medical marijuana in the CBD vs THC debate. Users can either ingest it orally or apply it topically. There are many potential health benefits to CBD oil.
For instance, CBD oil can be effective as a treatment for chronic pain, because it reduces inflammation. It's a good alternative to prescription opiates because it does not have the same addictive properties.
Even though CBD doesn't have psychoactive effects, it can be useful for treating certain psychiatric conditions. Unlike THC, which can worsen anxiety by inducing paranoia, CBD can ease anxiety symptoms. It can also work as an anti-depressant.
Additionally, THC has been shown to worsen the effects of schizophrenia, or cause its onset. By contrast, CBD can actually ease schizophrenia's symptoms.
These anti-anxiety and anti-depressant factors have also helped many people quit smoking. The effects of CBD can help ease nicotine cravings. CBD also reduces stress, which helps with cravings.
CBD is also a good option for people who need an appetite stimulant. This is because it can reduce nausea. This is one of the reasons people receiving chemo therapy may choose to use CBD.
CBD is even effective in treating some forms of epilepsy. In fact, CBD has been shown to be effective in treating children with severe seizures.
For people who are new to using marijuana, CBD can be a good choice, because it has minimal side effects. For this reason, people who have had bad experiences with THC may also like trying CBD.
Best Uses for THC
Now, let's consider the THC side of the CBD vs THC debate. Even though THC has psychoactive effects, that's not its only purpose. While many cannabis users enjoy using THC recreationally to get high, it also has many other uses.
For instance, patients with conditions that cause muscle spasms and tremors can benefit from THC. This compound has been shown to reduce the effects of Tourette's syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
THC can also help reduce pressure on the eyes. This makes it a good option for patients who suffer from glaucoma. While CBD can also help reduce this pressure, THC is typically more effective.
Pain and Stress Relief
Like CBD, THC is also effective in treating pain. It's a popular option for patients fighting HIV, arthritis, and many forms of cancer. Many patients with stress and anxiety also report that THC has improved their symptoms.
Additionally, THC can be helpful for patients whose conditions make it difficult to sleep. This is because THC induces drowsiness, which can make sleep easier.
Potential Side Effects
One of the drawbacks of THC is that its psychoactive properties often cause side effects. For some cannabis users, these side effects can be extreme.
The most common side effect of THC is paranoia. This can be short term, in the form of anxiety or paranoid delusions shortly after using THC. For users who experience the side effects, however, prolonged THC use can lead to longer lasting effects.
Using CBD and THC Together
In the CBD vs THC debate, it's not always a matter of choosing one or the other. In many cases, the compounds are used together. Cannabis users can choose strains that have certain amounts of CBD or THC, depending on their needs or preferences.
CBD and THC work well together because they can each boost the other's desirable effects. For instance, many users who experience paranoia when they use THC use CBD to help manage these symptoms. The relaxing effects of CBD can also help ease the anxiety caused by THC.
Additionally, CBD slows down the breakdown of THC in the liver. This helps the therapeutic effects of THC persist longer.
Using CBD and THC together can also be useful for patients with chronic illnesses. For instance, cancer patients who use marijuana showed better results when they used CBD and THC together than when they used either one separately.
Where do you fall on the CBD vs THC debate? Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!