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CBD vs THC: What Is the Difference & Why Does It Matter?

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Even with the rise in the legality, use, and popularity of products made from cannabis, CBD products are still stigmatized to a large degree. The important thing to know though is not all cannabis products get you “high”. But with skepticism also comes curiosity. Current rigorous scientific and medical research on these compounds is helping to solve much of the misinformation and confusion about the relationship between CBD and THC, as well as their differences.


Though CBD and THC are two of the many cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, they are very different, both in how they interact with our body and the psychoactive effect they do or do not have.


It hasn’t been until recently that more and more people are taking CBD seriously. It has great potential to help ease and provide relief for many different health issues in our society today. From using it for aid in pain relief to potential reductions in anxiety, CBD has become a valued therapeutic agent for many people.


So exactly what is the difference between CBD and THC? Let’s take a look and see why it matters.


Hang in for some quick science here. Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a very complex cell-signaling system in our body which was first identified by researchers in the 1990s. The ECS is comprised of three main parts: endocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. The endocannabinoids are naturally occurring molecules made by our bodies that bind to your receptors to signal an action that needs to be taken and help keep our bodies running smoothly.


Both CBD and THC are externally occurring cannabinoids that, when introduced into our body, bind to our ECS receptors just like endocannabinoids do. These receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout our central nervous system as well as our peripheral nervous system. That is why, as more and more research is showing, cannabinoids like CBD and THC have a profound effect on several systems throughout our body. Depending on which one is being used, a person will see very different effects and results.


Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids that is produced by the cannabis or hemp plant. CBD does not have psychoactive properties and does not typically have any negative effects. This compound does not bind directly to your CB1 and CB2 receptors. As of now, there still seems to be some debate on exactly how CBD interacts with our body but all agree that only positive effects have been seen so far. Many experts and researchers believe it functions by preventing natural endocannabinoids from being broken down allowing them to function better and have more of an effect on our body. Other experts believe that CBD directly binds to an ECS receptor that has yet to be discovered.


The other main cannabinoid isdelta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is the compound that has psychoactive properties and will provide a “high”. Once introduced into our body, unlike CBD, THC binds directly with our CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is why it can often have much more powerful and potent effects, some more desirable than others depending on the kind of result you are looking for.


Both of these cannabinoids, after they react with and bind to our cannabinoid receptors, can help eliminate or limit the effects of many various conditions.


The “High” vs No “High”

As we mentioned above, THC will deliver a much more powerful and mind-altering effect versus its close cousin CBD. Because of this, many people are starting to choose the less intense options that are low in THC and high in CBD.

You will feel a very clear-headed and functional effect from CBD versus the euphoric high that usually comes from THC. CBD based products are typically also the preferred choice by people who are highly sensitive to the higher mind-altering effects of THC. CBD is also a great way to microdose throughout the day for someone needing to control chronic conditions.



Both CBD and THC have many similar treatment effects and can provide relief for many of the same medical conditions.However, the uses for each compound does often vary slightly.

The types of conditions and medical ailments that CBD can often help with continues to increase as more and more research is done. CBD became most known for treating one of the rare and debilitating forms of pediatric epilepsy known as Dravet’s Syndrome.Even though now there is a significant amount of clinical evidence suggesting the benefits of CBD in managing a multitude of different things.Until the introduction of CBD into trials, other current approved treatment methods had been ineffective in fighting Dravet’s Syndrome. In June 2018, theFDA approved the first-ever prescription medication containing CBD call Epidiolex to treat these kinds of rare forms of epilepsy.

This has propelled even further research into the extent of CBD’s positive effects in our body and exactly how it works. Check out just some of the most common symptoms and conditions people combat with CBD today:

  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Psychosis or many other mental disorders
  • PTSD, depression, and anxiety
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Opioid withdrawal
  • Pain and inflammation
  • Nausea

THC, the more psychoactive and potent of the two most common cannabinoids, is still widely used by many people to help fight certain types of conditions. The more powerful effects can be a welcome reprieve for some tough symptoms. It is most often used to help with conditions such as:

  • pain
  • muscle spasticity
  • glaucoma
  • insomnia
  • low appetite
  • nausea
  • anxiety

There are also some patients that find the best relief from a balance of CBD and THC because the two compounds work synergistically together.


The legality of both CBD and THC continue to evolve in the US.The laws for either compound still vary differently between the two and vary on a state and federal level.


There are now 34 states in the US that have approved at least the use of medicinal marijuana with THC. In addition, there are 12 states that have made marijuana and THC legal recreationally. On a federal level, marijuana and THC are still considered Schedule I controlled substances, so they are prohibited under federal law.


CBD derived from hemp, which does not contain intoxicating THC, is now legal in all 50 states thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that where CBD is legal is now mainly determined by the source of the CBD, hemp or cannabis. CBD that is made from cannabis that has high levels of THC, or that is mixed with high levels of THC, is not legal unless your state has legalized marijuana.


Before you purchase either CBD or THC products, make sure you know exactly what is in it and look at more information aboutyour state’s laws. If you are caught in possession of THC-related products in a state where it is not legal or in a state where medicinal marijuana is legal but you do not have a medical marijuana prescription, you could face some serious legal penalties.



After quite a bit of research already, it is believed that with either CBD or THC there are very few side effects. Actually, no known side effects are present in CBD usage. Even in large quantities, according to the World Health Organization (WHO),CBD is completely safe. The only potential side effects seem to occur when there is an adverse reaction with other medications a person may already be taking.


On the other hand, someone who is using THC may experience some temporary side effects including:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Reduced response times
  • An overwhelming feeling of being “high”
  • Short term memory loss
  • Reduced coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate

Some people may also experience slight occurrences of short term anxiety or paranoia. There has been some research that has shown that large or frequent doses of THC can increase the risk of developing schizophrenia in those with a predisposition for the condition.

Neither CBD or THC have any apparent side effects that are long-lasting, serious, or fatal when taken correctly. Also, there seems to be very little risk of developing an addiction to THC.



Many people choose to smoke or vape THC. This can also be true for CBD as the availability of a wider selection of CBD vape options are continually joining the market.But, smoking or vaping either compound may not be possible for people with certain conditions.

We now live in exciting times where both CBD and THC are available in a variety of forms. CBD is now available in products including:

  • Softgels
  • Capsules
  • Gummies and other edibles
  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • E-Liquids
  • Vape Cartridges
  • Topicals and balms

THC is also available in several different forms including:

  • Smokable products
  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Capsules
  • Edibles, such as brownies or cookies


THC and CBD are two of the most common cannabinoids derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. They are very closely related in many ways but they differ in the way our bodies react to them and the effect they provide. There is also still quite a bit of difference in the legality of both compounds, with the legal, and more widely accepted, CBD now a popular option among people of all ages and backgrounds.


The incredible CBD compound is quickly becoming the answer that many people have been looking for. Research is showing more and more stunning results that are incredibly encouraging for people who suffer from a wide variety of physical and mental ailments. All of this without the psychoactive feeling of “getting high” that THC provides.


Have you found that CBD is your preferred choice? Why does it work for you? Let us know. We want to hear from you!


At Crush CBD, we are excited to offer the highest quality all-natural and non-gmo CBD oil product

s that come from our trusted partner farms in the USA and contain little to no THC. We strive to bring you the best quality CBD products on the market in this quickly growing industry. Do you have questions? Need help finding what may work for you? Contact us now!

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