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Whether you’re trying to alleviate a sore or pain on your body or just trying find the right marijuana strain for you, every marijuana user should know the difference between THC and CBD. For those who are new to cannabis and the potential benefits of consumption, the amount of information now available via the world wide web can become overwhelming and confusing. One of the most often asked questions relating to Cannabis use pertains to the cannabinoids THC and CBD – what are they, how do they work, and why are they different from each other?


Cannabis contains over 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds act with the cannabinoids receptors found throughout the body and within the endo-cannabinoid system or (ECS). The system in your body responsible for the psychological and physical effects of cannabis. As with all the systems within the human body, when the endo-cannabinoid system in your body is not working efficiently, physical ailments and illnesses can occur.

Not only are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) the two most abundant compounds, they are also the most well-known marijuana superstars within cannabis. THC and CBD both provide relief from symptoms, by mimicking your natural endo-cannabinoids. Although many marijuana users prefer the effects of one compound over the other, both are very useful and have very specific uses, most notably on the medical side.


CBD stands for Cannabidiol. it’s the other most distinguished cannabinoid and becoming more and more widespread each year because it doesn’t cause psychoactive effects and is arguably superior to tetrahydrocannabinol in its ability to treat a range of medical conditions.

Unlike the CB1 receptors that are found primarily within the brain and play a significant role in memory, sleep, mood, appetite, and pain sensation. CB2 receptors are usually found within the immune system and are responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis.

Whereas THC directly affects both CB1 and CB2, CBD acts indirectly and raises the amount of endocannabinoids in your body providing relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions – without the unsettling feelings you may experience with THC.


THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the primary reason you get high, the main perpetrator for marijuana’s illegal standing and from our perspective one of the top chemicals of the cannabis plant!

THC is the psychoactive component within the cannabis plant that activates pathways known as cannabinoid receptors found through the body. the first type of cannabinoid receptor (CB1) are largely found within the brain, whereas the cannabinoid receptors (CB2) are found on all types of cells throughout the body.

When tetrahydrocannabinol attaches to a CB1 receptor, it will alter how a brain cell functions, making the euphoric high you feel. because of it’s psychoactive effects tetrahydrocannabinol has been less accepted for medicinal use than it’s counterpart CBD, however it still boasts its own beneficial uses.

Tetrahydrocannabinol provides relief to a wide variety of ailments and symptoms, such as chronic pain, increasing appetite & reducing nausea.

But if you’ve never used marijuana before, the concept of getting high (even for medicinal purposes)can be a touch overwhelming.

Don’t worry, You can take advantage of CBD without having to worry that it’ll get you “stoned” or “high.


This part gets complicated, but what you need to know is that THC tends to interact with the parts of your body that makes you feel “high,” while CBD tends to interact with the parts that reduces inflammation. Researchers have identified two receptors in the human body that respond to cannabis, known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are part of the larger endo-cannabinoid system, which helps regulate hormone secretion to influence appetite, mood, and energy.

Jeffrey Raber, CEO of California-based cannabis chemistry lab the werc shop, says that although CBD and THC have the same atoms, they’re rearranged very differently. “Because of that, it’s a wildly different key going into the lock,” Raber said in a phone interview. CB1 receptors are most prominent in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found more in the peripheral nervous system.

It’s a lot of confusing phrases — basically, whatever affects CB1 receptors are more likely to have psychoactive effects because they affect the brain and spinal cord. Whatever affects CB2 receptors will likely affect the rest of your body, reducing inflammation without giving you the “high” feeling that weed brings. THC has an affinity to bind to CB1 receptors: It won’t shut off your breathing or heart like opioids do because it doesn’t affect the brain stem, but it doestrigger that euphoric “high” feeling.

CBD, meanwhile, has a stronger affinity to CB2 receptors, which is why it can reduce inflammation without being psychoactive. That’s not to say that THC will exclusively bind to CB1 and CBD will exclusively bind to CB2. “It’s not like this molecule only reacts with that receptor, and it’s only going to do its thing,” Raber clarified. CBD may still react with CB1 receptors and THC may still react with CB2 receptors, but both are way more likely to interact with the reverse.


The most notable difference between CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the psychoactive effects. THC has psychoactive components that will induce a euphoric high, whereas CBD has non-psychoactive results.

Here’s a quick and basic overview of the effects and benefits of the two cannabinoids:


  • Psychoactive
  • Used equally for recreational and medical purposes
  • Induces euphoria
  • Increases appetite
  • Antiemetic
  • Relaxes the body but provide a cerebral high
  • Activates CB receptors
  • Relieves pain


  • Non-psychoactive
  • Mainly used for medical purposes
  • Induces cellular homeostasis
  • Curbs appetite
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Reduces anxiety and negative side effects of THC
  • Activates vanilloid, adenosine and serotonin receptors
  • Antidepressive

CBD and THC clearly work differently, however they are most effective when combined. That being said, those new to consuming cannabis should start with lower to moderate doses – basically, don’t smoke five joints followed with a dab and you will be fine.

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