THC vs CBD: What’s The Difference And What’s Best For Me?
In a world where the wellness industry is constantly evolving, the growing popularity of cannabis-derived products has piqued curiosity and inspired a quest for information. As people strive to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, understanding the distinction between THC and CBD, two of the most talked-about compounds in recent times, is very helpful.
Derived from the cannabis plant, both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) belong to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. While they share an identical molecular formula, their atomic arrangements are very different, meaning you will experience their effects differently, as well.
Due to their structural similarity with endocannabinoids (naturally occurring neurotransmitters in our bodies), both THC and CBD can interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). In simple terms, ECS is a complex cell-signaling system of the human body responsible for modulating pain perception, mood regulation, immune response, and sleep cycles.
The Psychoactive Effects: Feeling High vs Staying Clear-Headed
When it comes to their effects, CBD and THC are two entirely different substances. Quality THC will usually produce an intoxicating effect, which is the “high” feeling most people associate with cannabis use. People who use cannabis often say they feel relaxed and euphoric. However, it’s worth noting that the impact of THC/cannabis on individuals can vary greatly depending on factors such as dosage, metabolism, and personal tolerance.
On the flip side, CBD does not have any intoxicating effects. This means it will not make you feel high. Instead, its users often report feelings of calmness and relaxation without the intoxicating effects of THC. This makes it a great choice for unwinding after work or for managing daily stressors without compromising your clarity of mind.
Both THC and CBD are widely known for their potential therapeutic benefits. Anecdotal evidence suggests that THC in cannabis may be effective in alleviating physical discomfort, promoting relaxation, and improving sleep quality, while CBD has garnered attention for its ability to promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Potential Side Effects
Generally considered safe when used responsibly, THC and CBD can still cause some undesirable reactions in certain individuals. Everybody is unique and so too will be their reaction to different cannabinoids.
For instance, consuming THC and cannabis could lead to dry mouth or red eyes, quickened heart rate, dizziness, and even memory or concentration impairments. On rare occasions, high doses might induce paranoia or anxiety — not exactly what you’re after if relaxation is your endgame. CBD is often well-tolerated with minimal side effects; however, don’t be surprised if it results in drowsiness or changes in appetite. More rarely seen but still possible are diarrhea and fatigue.
Legal Aspects: Navigating The Complex Landscape
You might be wondering if CBD and THC are legal to buy, own and take. It’s complicated.
In many countries and states across the United States where cannabis and cannabis delivery is legal for recreational or medicinal purposes, both THC and CBD products are permitted without restrictions. However, in areas where marijuana remains illegal, only CBD derived from industrial hemp (with less than 0.3% THC) is typically allowed for sale or consumption. Because of that, it’s best that you familiarize yourself with your local laws before purchasing or using any THC or CBD products to avoid unwanted consequences.
Choosing Between THC And CBD: Factors To Consider
Making an informed decision between THC and CBD is often a hard process. There are many factors and variables that you need to take into consideration, including:
- Desired effects. Do you want the “high” associated with THC, or do you prefer the non-intoxicating relief offered by CBD? What you want plays a significant role in determining the most suitable option.
- Personal Preferences. Some people may react differently to THC or CBD due to their unique body chemistry. It’s essential to consider how each cannabinoid affects you when making a choice.
- Available products. Both THC and CBD are available in various forms like oils, tinctures, edibles, and topicals. Choose a product that fits you best. For example, if you’re a gym enthusiast, hemp-derived creams and salves might be a good way to support your body after an intense workout.
- Cost and accessibility. Cheap hemp products tend to underdeliver when it comes to their effects. Such products are often made with corner-cutting profits in mind and may even include unwanted substances that could increase the risk of side effects. When buying your CBD and THC products, if always go for high quality goods, they can potentially serve as powerful allies on your wellness journey.
Max Szumiłowicz is a writer who loves to create engaging and informative content, particularly on matters of technology. He’s an avid fan of all things science fiction and futurism and can’t refuse a good book.