From CBG to CBN and CBD, there are a lot of three-letter abbreviations out there to describe the different compounds that come from hemp. To a beginner, it can seem overwhelming, and even for an experienced cannabis user, there’s always more to learn.
The major discrepancy you should unpack when it comes to learning more about hemp is the difference between CBD versus THC. These are by far the most popular components found in hemp. In short, one is universally legal across the United States and the other is not. Let’s dive in and learn more about the differences between CBD and THC.
The Variety of Cannabinoids Found in Hemp
Hemp, like marijuana, is a subspecies of the cannabis plant. A cannabinoid is a compound found in cannabis and therefore is also in hemp and marijuana.
As a chemical compound, cannabinoids interact with the natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in the human body. Endocannabinoids work to regulate your body’s essential functions, including:
- Sensations of discomfort
- Stress reactions
- Sleep rhythms
- Immune system regulation
These endocannabinoids can interact with receptors found in the ECS, balancing or altering your functions in a variety of different ways. THC and CBD are just two of the dozens of cannabinoids found in hemp, but they are by far the most prominent and popular.
Fun fact: If you didn’t know, the reason behind all the abbreviations is the sheer length and clunkiness of these scientific words. There likely wouldn’t be as much talk about THC or CBD if people had to say “tetrahydrocannabinol” or “cannabidiol” every single time!
Is CBD Psychoactive?
No. Cannabidiol, by itself, has no psychoactive effects whatsoever. By taking CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD, you have zero risks for mind-altering psychoactive effects, distorted perceptions of time, impaired judgment or memory, and visual/auditory hallucinations.
THC, however, is infamously psychoactive. This is not necessarily bad; some people find comfort and relief in medical marijuana usage, but the aforementioned psychoactive effects make THC in large amounts unsuitable for activities that require focus. You would not, for instance, be able to drive safely or work at your highest capacity under the influence of THC. (Yes, that’s right: anyone who’s ever said that being high makes them drive better is being irresponsible).
Psychoactivity is probably the most significant difference between CBD and THC. CBD has been observed to not only give you strong benefits without the psychoactive effects but also cancel out some of the negative side effects associated with THC. Full spectrum CBD products containing trace amounts of THC can work in conjunction with THC to produce the entourage effect, which some find beneficial.
The Legality of CBD vs. THC
For a long time, scientists could not isolate cannabinoids or understand the difference between CBD and THC. Unfortunately, though the hemp plant had been used for sustainable textiles and agriculture for centuries, it was outright banned in the United States due to its association with psychoactivity. The illegality combined with the public stigma slowed down cannabinoid research significantly worldwide.
Then, in 2018, a United States Farm Bill was passed that legalized the commercial production of hemp that contained less than 0.3% THC. Suddenly, CBD research came out in droves, and its popularity skyrocketed. Now, it is slowly becoming common knowledge that CBD is not psychoactive nor harmful.
However, just because THC is psychoactive does not mean it is necessarily harmful. While THC can impair your judgment and have undesirable side effects, it also presents myriad health benefits of its own. Medical marijuana licenses are common throughout the United States so that users can legally benefit from THC’s therapeutic properties such as nausea reduction and appetite stimulation.
The Difference Between CBD and THC’s Effects
The following benefits have been observed by many users but will not necessarily be experienced by everyone. Cannabinoids affect everyone differently, and we suggest you consult a physician before incorporating them into your supplementation routine.
Note that the only FDA-approved medical use of CBD so far is in a drug that is used to treat certain types of epilepsy.
Discover CBD’s Benefits for Yourself at Green Gorilla™
We hope you understand the difference between CBD and THC and are confident you know what to expect when you choose a product. When you want to try CBD for yourself, don’t just choose the first brand you see, and certainly don’t just choose the cheapest drugstore option. Just like any supplement, CBD is not an FDA-regulated drug, therefore, manufacturers can get away with putting cheap and ineffective ingredients in their product and still labeling it “organic CBD.”
So, how do you find a CBD product you can trust? Look for organic certification and third-party lab reports. Having quality and purity verified by trusted, independent organizations is the only way to trust that you know exactly what’s in your product. Every third-party lab test should come with a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) which details every ingredient in your product.
Green Gorilla™ was the first USDA Certified Organic hemp CBD brand in the country, and we emphasize that same high-quality standard in every ingredient. We use hemp from our own sustainable, regenerative farms to produce the premium CBD found in all of our products from THC-free to full spectrum CBD oil, capsules, gummies, and skincare.
Give CBD a try and see how it affects your wellness lifestyle!