CBD and THC are two of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. These are the most popular and most research cannabinoids. The use of CBD and THC for medical and wellness purposes is becoming mainstream by the day.
Though they are both cannabinoids, THC and CBD have some distinct properties and therefore, produce different effects on the body. But THC and CBD have a lot of overlapping effects as well.
They also work together synergistically to enhance each other’s therapeutic effects.
This simultaneous difference and similarity between THC and CBD is perhaps what causes confusion in the minds of some users. THC and CBD can work independently and together to provide multiple therapeutic benefits to the body.
The One Key Difference Between THC and CBD
The most basic difference between THC and CBD is that one is intoxicating and one is not. THC produces a sense of euphoria or high in the body. CBD does not do so. But this is one of the many effects of THC and CBD.
When considering the medical use of CBD and THC, there’s a long list of effects to remember. It is important to know these because they can affect the way we use them for medical or wellness purposes.
Effects of CBD
CBD is non-intoxicating in nature. That is, it does not get you high. CBD reduces stress in the body, helping the body relax. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and thus helps in relieving pain from the body. CBD relaxes the muscles, reduces nausea and vomiting, and has the potential to minimise psychotic thoughts.
Because it reduces stress, it helps in managing general and social anxiety disorders as well as other mental illnesses such as depression and insomnia.
CBD has anti-oxidant properties and helps prevent oxidative stress in the body. It is anti-convulsant i.e., it helps in controlling or preventing seizures.
The cannabinoid also has neuroprotective properties. It enhances the functioning of the cognitive system, improves memory, and strengthens joint and muscle mobility. CBD can therefore, help with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Epilepsy.
CBD also has anti-tumour effects. It can reduce the growth and spread of tumour cells in the body, and its anti-inflammatory properties help in managing chemotherapy-induced pain and nausea.
Effects of THC
THC is intoxicating in nature. That is, it causes the body to get high. It releases dopamine in the body thus producing a sense of euphoria. THC is sedating and relaxing in nature.
Like CBD, THC too has pain-relieving and muscle-relaxing properties. It can reduce nausea and vomiting and help ease the process of falling asleep.
THC has anti-tumour effects. That is, it can, just like CBD, reduce the growth and spread of tumour cells in the body.
However, unlike CBD, THC is appetite-stimulating. That is, it increases the hunger in the body. It does not have significant anti-inflammatory properties and can induce feelings of dysphoria in the body. THC can potentially increase feelings of anxiety.
THC impairs our memory and judgement and can cause paranoia. Unlike THC, it can weaken cognitive functioning causing a delay in reaction time. THC also causes drowsiness in the body.
The use of CBD and THC together
Many medical cannabis products use CBD and THC together, in different ratios, for different effects. CBD and THC working together, to enhance or counterbalance each other’s effects is a part of what we call the Entourage Effect.
Entourage Effect refers to the theory that cannabinoids and other chemical compounds from cannabis are more effective when taken together, rather than one single compound in isolation.