Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the over 150 cannabinoids that are found in marijuana. CBD is also found in high concentrations in industrial hemp. These two cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body to produce different physiological effects. When deciding on THC vs CBD, it comes down to the effect you are looking for and what is legal and available in your state.
Uses for CBD
Unlike THC, CBD products do not create any discernible psychoactive effects. This cannabinoid is not an intoxicant. Rather, many people take CBD in order to get therapeutic effects.
Some of the reasons people might try CBD include:
- inflammatory conditions
CBD is available in a number of forms. Edibles like gummies, extracts, balms and creams are all popular delivery methods. You can also purchase hemp flower in many states.
Uses for THC
THC is recognized as the cannabinoid that produces the high from marijuana. In addition to the recreational reasons people buy marijuana and THC extracts, THC has potential to treat a number of conditions. Some of the conditions that people use THC for include:
- low appetite
- PTSD and other mental health issues
Legality of THC vs CBD
The legality of THC and CBD depends largely on where you live. Virtually all US states have legalized hemp-based CBD. There are a few states with some restrictions on how CBD products can be sold — for instance, a few states don’t legally allow CBD to be added to edible products — but, all in all, hemp-based CBD products are legal and easy to obtain.
This is because of a 2018 vote in Congress to change hemp’s status. Previously, it was lumped in with marijuana, but the 2018 Farm Bill changed it to an agricultural commodity that is regulated by the states.
THC, on the other hand, is far more tightly regulated. At the current time, marijuana is illegal on a federal level. However, that has not stopped many states from allowing its sale under certain circumstances. In 36 states, medical marijuana laws allow registered patients to purchase marijuana products. Seventeen states have passed recreational marijuana laws. Marijuana has also been decriminalized in 13 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
There are also a handful of THC medications that have gained FDA approval for prescription use. These include Marinol, Sundros and the Cesamet.
Side Effects of THC and CBD
One of the reasons many people choose CBD over THC is side effects. There are, in fact, no known side effects to CBD unless it is combined with other medications.
THC has few side effects, especially when compared to many of the medications for which it is considered an alternative. Most people consider the side effects of THC very manageable. Potential side effects include:
- dry mouth
- memory loss
- slower than average response times
- problems with coordination
There is some research that indicates that large or regular doses of THC can increase the risk of schizophrenia in people who are predisposed to this condition. There are also concerns about the effects of THC on the brains of teenagers. This is because the brain undergoes a great deal of development during puberty.
Neither THC nor CBD has any fatal side effects. THC is also considered to have a far lower chance of addiction than other pain medications or when it is taken recreationally.
Ways to Take CBD and THC
In the past, the only ways to get THC was to either smoke the plant or make extracts on your own. Today, you can purchase both CBD and THC in many different forms. Some of the most popular include oils, gummies, capsules, and, in the case of THC, smokable concentrates.
Whether you should choose THC or CBD is a personal decision and depends entirely on availability, legality in your area and what you are looking to get out of the experience. If you are looking for relief from any of the issues listed above but want to avoid intoxication, CBD could be the way to go. If you are looking for a recreational substance, you’ll get much better results with THC than CBD. Each has a place for those who want them.