How do THC and CBD Differ?

The Cannabis Sativa plant is a deeply fascinating, highly disputed topic. Whether you demonize or glorify it, it can’t be denied that it is an ongoing source of interest, research and possibility. The aim of this post is to delve into the properties of two of the protagonists of this popular plant. We will explore what they do, what they are used for and how we can obtain them in a medical and legal way. The use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in thirty-three States and, after being approved, you will be able to purchase it from a dispensary. In many states you will need an ID card, for example. In Missouri and you can now get one online. You will need certification from a licensed doctor and to fill out paperwork providing details of your condition(s). Once you’ve passed the process you will be able to digitally access your card to either print or save to a device and take with you to a dispensary.

Which to Choose?

We have been harboring plants for their medicinal magic for centuries and their incredible effects on our bodies have intrigued and benefitted us since ancient times.  Science, particularly the fields of biology and chemistry study the complex structure of the compounds within plants and carry out research on how they can change, alter and/or heal our bodies and their functions. So, in terms of marijuana there are two major players. THC, which is the abbreviation of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD, which is short for cannabidiol. Essentially, both are chemical compounds made up of atoms. 

CBD was discovered mid-way through the twentieth century, whereas THC was extracted in an Israeli lab in the 1960’s. Coming into our century, this digital, technological age, we are now able to further unlock the potential of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis. Cannabinoids are basically chemical substances and those found in marijuana are similar to those found in our endocannabinoid system. Our body’s cannabinoids stimulate and work with our ability to feel pleasure and pain, our sense of movement, time and our memories. Hence, those present in marijuana relate to these receptors. 

What’s the Difference?

We all know the stoner, the bong or pothead. The zoned out, red rim eyed, baggy pants wearing, lying on the couch with munchies joint smoker. This, of course, is one of the many stereotypes associated with those who use this drug. However, as we plunge deeper into the twenty-first century, science advances as does the scope of our research. Now we know that this plant has potential in many medical senses. So why are THC and CBD different? It needs to be said that they are both chemical compounds with the same composition. However, their atoms are arranged differently. If we think of them as having rings, THC is closed whilst CBD is open. THC, therefore, binds to our CB1 receptors and is responsible for giving us that ‘high’ feeling much relating to the above description. CBD doesn’t have such an effect. Nevertheless, it would be erroneous to assume that THC doesn’t carry any medical advantages and the two compounds together can have positive outcomes.  They are both used to help with a range of illnesses and conditions. Everything from nausea, psychosis, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma can be treated effectively. CBD has an FDA approved oral medication called Epidiolex for those who suffer from two types of epilepsy – Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.