THC vs CBD: What's the Difference?

Sep 04, 2020

THC vs CBD: What's the Difference?

When it comes to cannabis, there are two types you need to be aware of: THC vs CBD. If you’re new to cannabis products, you’ve likely heard these terms and want to know what the differences between the two are. In this article, we'll talk about what sets these two types of cannabinoids apart from each other, from potency to potential effects.

Let's delve right in!

Potency & Performance in CBD vs. THC

There are many types of cannabinoids found in cannabis or marijuana plants. Two of the most notable ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Technically, THC and CBD are both in marijuana and hemp—a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species. The difference is that marijuana has a higher THC content, while hemp has more CBD.

Despite coming from the same source, CBD and THC are poles apart in terms of psychoactive effects as they interact with different receptors in the brain. THC is responsible for the effects of getting “high” that are commonly associated with the recreational use of cannabis.

On the other hand, CBD typically doesn't have the same noticeable intoxicating or cognitive impairing effects as THC. Research indicates that CBD is best known for its anti-inflammatory benefits sought after by cannabis users for pain management purposes. Nevertheless, if you are after both the medicinal and the relaxing effects of cannabis, CBD can also give a subtle but soothing kind of buzz at significantly high doses, which can be effective in managing anxiety, depression, and seizures

Cannabis products with an equal mix of CBD and THC content are oftentimes recommended for beginners because they offer less potent psychoactive effects but delivers therapeutic benefits. 

Cannabis plant

The Medical Benefits of CBD vs THC

There's a continuously growing scientific evidence that supports the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana. Studies suggest that cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system, a molecular system in the body that plays a crucial role in regulating and balancing essential processes, including: 

  • Immune response
  • Cell communication
  • Appetite and metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Stress response
  • Memory production
  • Pain response

Hence, it's not surprising to see medical marijuana prescribed by many clinicians to address a wide range of conditions. Both THC and CBD can offer remarkable results in treating different symptoms. 

While results are never guaranteed and you should speak with a doctor before turning to cannabis for its medicinal benefits, research indicates that CBD can be used to:

  • Alleviate nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments
  • Ease muscle pain and spasms for people with multiple sclerosis 
  • Promote appetite and healthy weight in patients who have a chronic illness, such as HIV
  • Reduce seizure attacks in epilepsy
  • Relieving migraines and nerve pain
  • Manage the inflammatory symptoms of Crohn's disease 
  • Improve depression, psychosis, and mental disorders (post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD)

Dried cannabis flower

Finding the Perfect Blend: CBD to THC Ratio

Simply puy, the higher the CBD to THC ratio, the less likely you'll experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis, and vice versa.. Keep in mind that there's a whole array of cannabis strains with varying effects that heavily depend on a person's tolerance and sensitivity. Let’s break it down further:

18:1 High CBD, Low THC

High-CBD strains are ideal for first-time cannabis users or people who need the functional benefits of cannabis but do not want to get “high”. It is frequently recommended by doctors for managing pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, PTSD and other related health conditions. Because of its low THC content, users remain calm with the clarity of mind to perform daily tasks while reaping the medical benefits identified by healthcare practitioners.

1: 1 Balanced CBD to THC Content

With an equal ratio of the two cannabinoids, balanced cannabis strains counteract THC's psychoactive effects and do not come with adverse effects like anxiety or paranoia. New cannabis users can expect an uplifting and mellow kind of high that slowly takes effect without getting to their head.

18:1 High CBD, Low THC Strains

Strains with high THC vs CBD content are most frequently used recreationally. They can also be beneficial for intense pain relief, boosting appetite, and managing PTSD or insomnia. Some types of high-THC strains have calming effects suitable for easing chronic stress and anxiety. They also encourage melatonin production, which can result in a night of restful sleep.

Nevertheless, high-THC strains are best for experienced users. Novice cannabis users can start with a balanced 1:1 ratio and work their way up to avoid being overwhelmed. Usage can be limited before bedtime or at home as some high-THC strains have potent effects that can leave you immobile within minutes. There are also some side effects to watch out for.

THC & CBD Products for You

When it comes to THC vs. CBD consumption methods, there are a wide variety of products available on the market. Dried cannabis flowers can be smoked or vaporized. There are several types of delectable edibles to be enjoyed, from confectionery, baked goods, chocolates to beverages. CBD and THC-rich oils and sprays are also available.

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