What is the difference between THC and CBD?
What is the difference between Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD)? The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoid has long been tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but as more and more scientific research is done on hemp and its potential for use as a medicine, more and more people are learning about other cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD). Over the past few years, interest in CBD has grown exponentially as it has been featured in many TV episodes showing how well it works to treat people suffering from severe epilepsy. One of the most common questions I get asked these days is "what is the difference between THC and CBD?
The main thing I try to convince people is that THC will make you high (assuming you eat enough of it) and CBD will not. THC has psychoactive properties that affect your brain and give you a "buzz" and CBD does not. I have talked to many, many people who have avoided medical marijuana at all costs simply and only because they don't want to be high all the time. Once they understand that there are dozens of cannabinoids and that they all don't get you high (especially CBD), they are much more open to the idea of trying medical marijuana.
A brief description of THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or more specifically its main isomer (-)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol ( (6aR,10aR)-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), is the main psychoactive component (or cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant. First isolated in 1964 by Israeli scientists Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science, it is a transparent, glassy solid in the cold that becomes sticky and viscous when heated.
A brief explanation of CBD
Cannabidiol - CBD - is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but doesn't make people feel "stoned" and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn't get one high makes it an attractive treatment option for patients looking for anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, antipsychotic and/or antispasmodic effects without the disturbing lethargy or dysphoria.
In summary, if you want to get high, consume strains or products made from strains that are high in THC. If you don't want to get high but still want the medical benefits of marijuana, consume strains or products made from strains that are high in CBD. Be aware that all cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and others) have medical benefits, and it's important to research which strains contain what level of cannabinoids and which cannabinoids are best suited for the specific conditions you're trying to treat. I will be writing more articles on what strains work best for what conditions.
It's worth noting that just because someone claims that strain 'X' has a certain percentage of THC and CBD, doesn't mean that every plant ever produced from that strain will always have those percentages and ratios of THC and CBD. Different growing methods and factors can change these levels, so always make sure that what you buy has been tested by a reputable testing facility if cannabinoid levels are important to you.
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