CBD and THC have one thing in common: they are derived from the hemp plant. Both are therefore cannabinoids, chemicals that are active and act on receptors in the body (nervous system, organs, immune system…).
But they also differ on many counts, the main one being that unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) does not “stone” and doesn’t impact your health.
Cannabis is a very complex plant, consisting of several hundreds molecules – ‘cannabinoids’ – all having their specific properties. The most famous remains the THC, for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active substance known for its psychoactive effects. It is THC which changes the state of consciousness of the consumer, making it ‘high’. In short, when talking about recreational use of cannabis, it is usually a product rich in THC that is referenced.
Do not confuse THC and CBD. Cannabidiol is another molecule of cannabis but although it also has a sedative effect, it has numerous benefits to the mind and body without the drug like effects of THC. In other words, the CBD has no psychotropic effects.
CBD: therapeutic virtues
While THC is still considered a drug in numerous countries, because of its psychoactive effects, its tendency to create dependency, and more generally, of the risks that it poses to the body, it is all the other way around in this respect of the CBD.
Cannabidiol, indeed, is believed to have major therapeutic virtues. Because CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, it could fight against anxiety and depression. It could also calm the symptoms of epilepsy and of sclerosis, could act against some psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia) among other positive effects. Some studies have even suggested that at high concentrations, CBD would play the role of inhibitor in the proliferation of tumor cells from certain cancers, and it would reduce the risk of necrosis of the arteries after a heart attack.
Research in this area has only just begun, but the prospects are huge.
CBD is legal, THC is not
Another big difference between CBD and THC is that studies conducted to date tend to show that CBD does not create a dependence and is not toxic, unlike THC. For this reason, it is not classified as a controlled substance, and is authorized for sale in many countries. More specifically, commercialization of cannabidiol products with less than 0.2% THC content is allowed in the UK.
Common belief among all of us is that cannabis gets people high and is a drug for teenagers and young adults who want to escape the realities of life. As it turns out, cannabis, if used correctly, has the potential to have huge beneficial impacts on society. The strong growth of CBD products worldwide over the past few years is shows that more and more people are noticing.