Published On By Rachel Nall

THC vs. CBDMarijuana laws differ from state to state and frequently have new additions and modifications. Many people appear unaware when asked about the difference between CBD and THC.

CBD and THC are cannabinoids present in cannabis plants with distinct structures. They both show different effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Marijuana is legal in many parts of the USA. You can also see CBD in many products. However, selecting which substance to use more healthily could be challenging.

Should you consume CBD while stressed or take THC for relaxation benefits? Understanding the differences between CBD and THC is crucial for informed decision-making regarding their usage.

What is THC?

THC is a psychoactive element in cannabis, which creates a delighting ‘high’ sensation. It is known for its pain-relieving properties and can help with chronic pain, muscle spasticity, and nausea. However, its psychoactive effects may not be suitable for all people.

Regular use of THC could lead to addiction, memory impairment, coordination issues, and an increased heart rate. Prolonged heavy use of THC may also have long-term effects on mental health.

The legal status of THC varies globally, with some regions legalizing it for medical use. The Narcotic Drugs and Substances Act has banned the recreational consumption of THC. However, this act does not apply to cannabis leaves and seeds.

What is CBD?

CBD is obtained from the hemp or cannabis plants, known for its non-psychoactive properties. It is safe and legal to use CBD with 0.3% THC or less, which does not make you high. It may help in pain relief and anxiety management.

CBD also interacts with the endocannabinoid system but does not produce the intoxicating effects characteristic of THC. FDA has approved CBD for medical use if it comes from the hemp plant, not from cannabis.

Chemical Structure Of CBD vs. THC

The chemical structures of CBD and THC share similarities in their molecular composition and exhibit distinct arrangements that underlie their differential effects on the human body.

Both CBD and THC have 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The slight variance in how these atoms are arranged leads to the differing physiological impacts they have.

These cannabinoids could interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body due to their chemical similarity to the body’s natural endocannabinoids. This interaction may stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting various bodily functions.

Legality Of CBD vs. THC

The cannabis laws and regulations present a complex framework for the legality of CBD and THC products in the United States.

  • CBD extracted from hemp is federally legal and permitted in most states, although with restrictions.
  • Some states have approved marijuana legally for medical or recreational use, but the federal government still considers it illegal.
  • As of April 2023, 38 states and three U.S. territories have legalized medical marijuana, allowing THC use with a prescription.
  • The FDA has only approved Epidiolex for specific seizure disorders, along with synthetic cannabis drugs like dronabinol and nabilone for chemotherapy-induced nausea.

The legality of CBD and THC remains a complex and evolving issue, with varying regulations at the state and federal levels.

As laws and guidelines continue to shift, staying aware of the legal status of these two substances is crucial for people seeking to use them for medical or recreational purposes.

Benefits Of CBD vs. THC

  1. CBD Benefits

    • Anxiety Relief: CBD may reduce symptoms of anxiety, such as excessive sweating and rapid heartbeat, during stressful situations.
    • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBD could help alleviate inflammation in conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other inflammatory disorders.
    • Pain Management: CBD has the potential role in managing nerve-related pain conditions, including neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.
    • Neuroprotective Effects: Research indicates that CBD might have neuroprotective properties, offering potential benefits in conditions affecting the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis (M.S.) and epilepsy.
  2. THC Benefits

    THC may have the potential to minister conditions such as muscle stiffness, chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease tremors, and nausea.

    Dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC, is approved for treating glaucoma, appetite stimulation for people with HIV/AIDS, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Other potential health benefits of THC and CBD compounds:

    • It may help in managing sleep
    • Has anti-inflammatory properties
    • It could help elevate the mood
    • It might assist in managing menstrual problems
    • May treat Opioid addiction
    • Could ease diabetes problems
    • It might alleviate ALA symptoms
    • May hinder arthritis concerns

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CBD vs. THC for anxiety

A study by Charles R. Marmar and Esther M. Blessing suggests that CBD may help reduce animal anxiety-like behavior. CBD may support treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. However, further research is necessary to confirm these effects.

As per a study by Scott Shannon and Nicole Lewis, participants using CBD experienced improvements in sleep and anxiety levels. Yet, larger-scale studies are required to validate these outcomes conclusively.

Research comparing medical marijuana, CBD, and placebo in vets with PTSD found significant symptom improvement in all groups. The benefits observed with THC or CBD were not significantly different from those seen with the placebo.

Different doses of THC have varied effects on anxiety levels. Lower doses may alleviate anxiety in some people, while higher doses could potentially increase anxiety in others.

Thus, consult a healthcare provider before using any THC or CBD substitute to alleviate your anxiety symptoms. They will help you explore other safer and more suitable options with the proper dosage for your anxiety episodes.

Effects Of CBD vs. THC

  1. CBD Effects

    CBD may inhibit signals to the brain, affecting processes like pain perception and emotional responses. It has potential anti-inflammatory properties.

    CBD may impact neurotransmitter release and cell communication by altering calcium levels in brain cells.

  2. THC Effects

    THC acts on the brain’s pleasure centers and triggers dopamine release, inducing feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

    The level of THC in marijuana varies, with higher potency leading to more potent effects on the body and brain.

    Marijuana plants have an average THC potency of 15%. Thus, higher THC levels can potentially cause adverse mental health effects, including hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.

Where Do CBD and THC Come From?

CBD and THC are natural compounds with distinct properties and effects.

  • CBD and THC both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa, but significant differences exist between the two.
  • CBD is generally sourced from the hemp plant, a type of cannabis plant with deficient THC levels.
  • THC and CBD are derived from the resin found on the leaves and buds of female cannabis plants, with CBD also coming from the flowering heads of hemp plants.
  • Synthetic cannabinoids, such as synthetic marijuana (Spice or K2), are manufactured chemicals that imitate the effects of THC but can have different and potentially harmful consequences.

CBD vs. THC Side Effects

  1. CBD Side Effects

    CBD Side Effects can manifest as various physical and psychological symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, tiredness, lightheadedness, crankiness, and low blood pressure.

    Some people may experience nausea after an overdose of CBD and diarrhea with long-term consumption. An upset stomach is often noticed in people using CBD substitutes like oil or candies.

    Although CBD promotes relaxation and calmness, its excessive usage may lead to tiredness or drowsiness, making it difficult for you to indulge in daily activities.

  2. THC Side Effects

    Excessive consumption of THC can cause problems with concentration, judgment, and memory. You may also experience a few physical symptoms like dizziness, fast heart rate, nausea, vomiting, and loss of balance after prolonged use of THC.

    The cognitive impairments induced by THC can affect your daily functioning and performance, making tasks that require focus and attention more challenging.

    Dizziness and loss of balance can pose risks, especially when engaging in activities that require coordination.

    Breathing difficulties and increased heart rate may cause discomfort and anxiety in some people after using THC excessively.

    Thus, these side effects of CBD and THC are typically mild and temporary, with most people tolerating them well. However, it is essential to note that CBD and THC could interact with certain medications, potentially altering their effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can CBD and THC Interact With Other Medications or Supplements?
    CBD could interact with medications like anti-epileptic drugs and antidepressants. In contrast, THC may interact with medicines like CNC depressants, alcohol, and SSRIs. This interaction happens due to the impact of CBD and THC on enzyme activity in the liver.
  2. How Do Factors Like Age, Weight, and Metabolism Affect the Effects of CBD and THC?
    Variations in age, weight, and metabolism could impact how quickly CBD and THC compounds are metabolized, potentially altering their effects’ onset time, duration, and intensity.
  3. What Is the Difference Between Full-Spectrum CBD Products and CBD Isolates in Terms of Anxiety Relief?
    Full-spectrum CBD products hold a range of cannabinoids and terpenes, potentially enhancing the overall effect. However, CBD isolates solely offer pure CBD, lacking the potential synergistic benefits of other compounds.
  4. Can smoking CBD affect heart health?
    Yes. CBD may not affect resting blood pressure levels or your heart rate. However, it might reduce the cardiovascular response to stress. Its side effects might increase your heart rate and cause heart attacks in people with coronary heart disease.


CBD and THC might offer health benefits when used in moderation and in the proper form. The legality of both CBD and THC varies in different states, and so do their effects.

CBD is generally well-tolerated when consumed in the form of candies and oils. At the same time, THC often comes with adverse effects like rapid heartbeat and nausea.

Instead of depending on these compounds, it is better to rely on herbal and natural ways that might help you regain your mental health.

Journalizing your thoughts and practicing yoga may help you relax in the hours of need. It allows you to coordinate with your inner self while managing your emotions.

Eating healthy and staying active, even if it feels challenging, could help you gain energy to stay productive, which might make you feel encouraged.

Seek therapy and medical help to manage your anxiety symptoms. It will help you understand your triggers while providing appropriate medication and support.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips.

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