What’s the deal with CBD vs THC?
You may have figured out that CBD is not psychoactive, meaning you don’t feel “high” after using it, whereas THC is. So that’s the big kahuna—glad we got that out of the way. Let’s dive in a little deeper, though, so you can impress the masses with your knowledge about CBD vs THC!
You hear CBD and THC talked about together often—so, what do they have in common?
First, they both kind of sound like a dinosaur when the acronyms are spelled out: Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol. But there are other (more serious) similarities:
- Both CBD and THC are natural compounds from the cannabis plant
- There is not a known lethal dose for either of them
- CBD and THC potentially provide multiple health- and wellness-related benefits
Basically, they’re two different byproducts from a single plant. People use them in different ways, one is 100% legal while the other is so-so, and they react differently in your body.
I don’t want any trouble, man
If you’re worried about legalities or going back to the office after this pandemic and passing a “random” drug screen on CBD, let us put your mind at ease—mostly. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production, which effectively legalized pure CBD at the federal level. Should be no problem, there.
THC makes things a bit more complicated, however. “Full-spectrum” CBD—not “broad-spectrum” or isolate”—may contain enough THC to show up on a test, even though it’s derived from hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC. And if a product has more than 0.3% of THC, it is classified as marijuana (GASP!), which is federally illegal (though legal in some states).
To sidestep failing a random drug screen, stick to broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate from a reputable supplier who tests every batch, so you know it is what it says it is. That said, some outdated drug tests can create a false positive for CBD, though they are becoming uncommon. That’s why Scaries recommends “better safe than sorry:” you might want to avoid taking any CBD for a bit if you know you will be facing a test.
CBD vs THC? Actually, they might be a good team, in certain cases
Some studies show that when high levels of CBD are combined with lower THC levels, specific individuals experience benefits without feeling “high.”
Not to get too “science-y” on you, but the reason some folks don’t get high when using THC in combination with CBD is cool to know…
CBD and THC interact with receptors in the brain. And when they’re taken together, CBD may block low levels of THC from triggering specific receptors. This doesn’t mean your body won’t still feel good, but very small amounts of THC likely won’t get you singing Afroman’s “Because I Got High.” Some people are more sensitive to these compounds, though, so avoiding products with any THC will reduce the risk of goofiness.
CBD without THC also has a collaborative impact—broad-spectrum CBD, that is. Various cannabinoids work together to enhance feelings of calm and other effects. This is called “the entourage effect.”
CBD vs. THC: what should you use to take the edge off
We know CBD and THC are being researched for their possible health applications, including their potential to help people with seizure disorders, arthritis, and many other ailments. But how might these substances help the everyday person struggling with stress and anxiety?
A big CBD vs THC difference is that they work differently in your brain. Research has shown that CBD regulates certain receptors in your brain, including interacting with serotonin receptors that promote a sense of wellbeing. This is one of the effects that may help quiet your mind, so you can focus on what matters.
THC is not quite as innocent. High levels of THC can overwhelm specific receptors in your brain, slowing down communication between brain cells. So you may feel calmer, but not, uh, necessarily smarter.
On the whole, CBD is a more subtle way to handle feeling overwhelmed, negative thoughts, nervousness, or difficulty concentrating.
Add CBD to your chill toolbox today!
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