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The Difference Between CBD and THC

The Difference Between CBD and THC

Dec 10, 2021

The number one question new users ask is whether or not CBD will get them high. The short answer is no.

And you are welcome. We could have taken another 500 words to give you that info, but we trust you will keep reading anyway. Don’t let us down. 

To fully answer the question we need to take a look at the difference between CBD and THC cannabinoids. This is some pretty interesting stuff.

Molecular Difference Between CBD and THC

There are over 100 identified cannabinoids naturally produced by the cannabis plant. The two most well-known are CBD and THC. They have an identical molecular structure with 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Though the formula is the same, the way the atoms are arranged changes the interactions these cannabinoids have with receptors in the body.

Every animal with vertebrate (yes, that means your dog, cat and even your pet pig) has a natural endocannabinoid system. The body produces its own cannabinoids and also has receptors to receive and interact with these endocannabinoids. These receptors also interact with phytocannabinoids such as THC and CBD that come from cannabis plants.

For more information specifically on CBD, click HERE.

Cannabis Clarification

Hemp and marijuana are both members of the cannabis family. There are some significant differences. The most notable difference is the amount of THC and CBD that they produce and contain. Marijuana hosts twelve percent THC on average. In stark contrast, to be considered hemp, the plant cannot legally contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Marijuana usually has significantly less CBD than hemp.

The plants are also easy to differentiate in the way they are grown. Hemp plants are usually grown close together in an outdoor environment much like corn. Marijuana is more often indoors and each plant is isolated in its own container or given a significant amount of space for foliage to expand outward. 

The Body’s Response to Cannabinoids

Each cannabinoid has a unique way of interacting with cannabinoid receptors. They may also interact with each other and the hundreds of additional plant compounds found in cannabis. Research shows that cannabinoids reach their full potential when they work together. This concept is called the “entourage effect.” CBD oil, like Receptra's, that contains these additional cannabinoids and compounds is considered “full-spectrum.”

THC in the Body

THC binds directly to CB1 receptors in the brain, which causes the psychoactive response associated with the feeling of being “high”. Most marijuana consumers are looking to achieve this sensation. Each person responds differently to THC, but the most common effects include a sense of euphoria, sensory stimulation, and positive mood attributions.

Other less-desirable effects may include anxiety, paranoia and the feeling of being overwhelmed or non-functional. This can be attributed to the intake of more THC than the body is able to smoothly handle or the combination of cannabinoids in that particular strain of marijuana. These are short-term effects lasting hours to days on average. Other side-effects may include:

  • -Dry mouth
  • -Increased heart rate
  • -Red eyes
  • -Coordination difficulties
  • -Memory loss
  • -Slow reaction times
  • -Food cravings 

CBD in the Body

CBD does not bind directly to cannabinoid receptors and instead interacts in other ways. CBD can even act as a counterpart to balance and level out strong reactions to THC. This is why marijuana strains high in CBD are less psychoactive and why the minuscule amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD does not produce a high.

Though it does not directly bind with cannabinoid receptors, CBD does interact with other receptors in the body such as serotonin, adenosine and vanilloid receptors. It can also affect some neurotransmitters by delaying uptake. CBD is a powerful antioxidant, which has beneficial properties throughout the body. Because it does not get you high, CBD can be taken pretty much any time of the day. 

According to the World Health Organization CBD is well-tolerated by both humans and animals.  For more information on what it feels like to take CBD, click HERE.

Testing for CBD and THC

Most workplace drugs tests are specifically designed to detect THC, though there are CBD sensitive tests available. By law, full-spectrum CBD can contain up to 0.3 percent THC and there is a chance that this could be detectable by a test.

Both THC and CBD are stored in fat cells. The amount of time it takes these cannabinoids to clear the body depends on a number of factors some of which include body fat percentage, hydration, activity level, metabolism, and diet.

Summing Up the Differences Between CBD and THC

That may have seemed like a good deal of information. Here is the abbreviated version for all of you who just wanted the nitty-gritty.

  • -CBD does not get you high
  • -Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants
  • -Full-spectrum CBD can contain over 100 different cannabinoids and hundreds other plant compounds
  • -Receptra's CBD products do not contain more than 0.3 percent THC
  • -The body has a natural system to receive cannabinoids
  • -CBD is generally well-tolerated in humans and animals