The Difference Between CBD and THC: A Complete Guide

It’s estimated that close to 147 million people globally consume cannabis. The WHO notes that this is close to 2.5% of the total global population. As Hemp and other cannabis products go mainstream, more consumers are seeking further clarification about the cannabis plant.

Most people would wish to understand the difference between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Today more consumers are now curious about the CBD alternatives they can consider. With such curiosity finding the right information is vital.

An excellent place to start your discovery journey could be to understand the difference between CBD and THC. With such information, it’s easy to know which cannabis products you can consider when you’re looking at the different types of cbd for sale.

If you are in search of more information, then you are in the right place. Here, we offer a complete guide on the difference between CBD and THC.

What Is CBD? 

CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. These are the chemicals that occur naturally in Marijuana plants. CBD has loads of benefits, and its use continues to gain traction today.

When categorized within a drug class, CBD falls within the cannabinoid class of drugs. The chemicals are insoluble in water and have a melting point of 66 degrees.

What Is THC?

On its part, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or (THC) is the primary active ingredient in the cannabis plant. THC is a close cousin to CBD, which explains the underlying confusion between the two. While THC equally has some unique benefits to the body, it has a psychoactive effect.

Both THC and CBD have certain similarities. However, there’re significant differences between CBD and THC, which every user should know.

Differences Between CBD and THC

The application of CBD and THC varies depending on the anticipated outcome. Before settling for either, here are critical differences between THC and CBD you need to consider.

Chemical Structuring

THC and CBD differ based on the arrangement of the atoms. Both CBD and THC have 21 Carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, the main difference is in the arrangement of the particles.

The atoms’ different arrangement explains the apparent distinction in the effects of the chemicals on the body. This slight difference in the atoms’ arrangement can alter how the body releases the neurotransmitters in the brain. When assessing the difference between THC and CBD, the particles’ structure in the compound counts as a significant variance.

Psychoactive Components

There’s a general misconception when it comes to the psychoactive element in CBD as compared to THC. CBD is psychoactive, just not as lethally psychoactive as THC. The reason THC causes a high is due to its superior psychoactive components.

Unlike CBD, THC Binds with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. This binding causes a high sense of euphoria, which is the reason for the hype regarding its use. On the contrary, CBD has a relatively weak bond with CB1 receptors, limiting its ability to cause a euphoric effect on the body.

When THC and CBD combine during binding with CB1 receptors, the combination minimizes the extremely adverse effects such as euphoria and sedation.

The Legality Question 

Anyone using CBD products often deals with the doubts around the legality of cannabis. In the United States, there have been ongoing conversations on the possible reconsideration of existing cannabis-related laws. Technically, CBD still falls under the Schedule 1 drugs category.

The federal laws, therefore, consider the recreational use of cannabis as a legally regulated context. However, Hemp is no longer under the Controlled Substances Act. The enforcement of the Farm Bill in December 2018 effectively made Hemp a legal agricultural commodity in all 50 States in the United States.

Up to date, at least 33 states have resolved to support cannabis-related laws. The laws seek to make the use of medical cannabis legal. This means that any traces of CBD found in the hemp stalks are legal.

Each state has varying interpretations of why CBD is legal while THC is illegal. The views on legality also vary depending on the amount of THC found in a given CBD product. If your state doesn’t have a legal, regulated cannabis market, it would be best to seek legal advice before stocking up on CBD products.

For you to own CBD products legally, then you need to have a varied medical prescription. The products must also be legal in such jurisdictions. Without such assurances, you might be in trouble with the law.

Medical Use 

Over the years, significant research has been ongoing to test the difference between CBD and THC when considering the medical benefits. While the two have notable medical uses, there are specific health conditions that each compound helps with when compared to the other.

CBD has loads of medical benefits. The chemical has been in use for a long time as a solution for seizures.

People struggling with inflammation also use CBD oils and other CBD products to reduce such cases of inflammation. CBD may also help you manage other common concerns, such as the recurrence of body pain.

CBD is also recommendable for patients struggling with psychosis or mental issues. Most Americans currently struggle with inflammatory bowel disease. In such cases, CBD can come in handy.

Other common conditions that CBD can help manage to include nausea, depression, and anxiety.

The use and medical benefits of CBD vary from those of THC. THC helps with issues such as insomnia, muscle spasticity, and glaucoma. People struggling with issues such as nausea and anxiety can also consider the use of products that are high in THC.

Low appetite levels are the other common concern that THC can help minimize. Most modern-day Americans struggle with poor feeding habits. With the help of a pharmacist, you can get a prescription with a fair share of THC.

These medical benefits vary depending on the concentration of chemicals in each CBD or THC product you buy.

Differences Between THC and CBD: Side Effects 

The human body exhibits varying responses when you introduce foreign bodies into the system. CBD is often well-tolerated when taken even in large dosages. However, with THC, the body tends to have more severe responses per dosage.

A common reaction to CBD is the change in appetite. Most first-time CBD users have to deal with fluctuating eating habits, which may not necessarily indicate other underlying health conditions. Fatigue is the other common side effect of CBD, which wears out with time.

First-time users of CBD also experience dizziness, weight loss, or diarrhea. These side effects may vary from one person to the next. Most people also experience a gradual tolerance as the body adjusts.

The inherence to specific psychoactive properties in CBD is the reason for such side effects.

Compared to CBD, THC tends to have more pronounced side effects. In some of the more rare but possible scenarios, THC may cause memory loss. Such instances of memory loss may be temporal but may also last longer in other cases.

THC may also cause anxiety in some users. This is more in instances where these individuals are first-time users. Another common side effect of CBD is an increase in heart-rate.

Most users of products with high THC also notice a significant concern with coordination. The recurrence of coordination problems could be because of the mind alteration effect familiar with THC. Recurrence use of THC may also lead to dry mouth and red eyes.

It’s easy to notice such physical changes, more so in people who abuse cannabis. Compared to users of CBD, THC consumers experience slower reaction time. These side effects may vary from one person to the next.

The Difference in the Type of Products and Concentrates

Beyond the structure, side effects, and legality of THC and CBD, there’re also other notable differences in both of these compounds’ packaging. Considering its legal use, CBD has more products and tinctures that are currently in the market.

CBD products come in six common forms.


Tinctures are perhaps the most used forms of CBD today. The process of consuming these tinctures involves dropping a few drops of the CBD compound under the tongue. Most people prefer this medicine due to the quick reaction in the body.


Capsules are the other standard option for CBD users. Most CBD dietary supplements come in the form of capsules.


Some CBD users also opt for concentrates. CBD concentrates typically contain a moderately more potent dosage of CBD. This is when compared to other options such as capsules and tinctures.

Topicals and Sprays

You may also consider topicals and sprays when looking for CBD products. However, they tend to have a slower reaction time compared to concentrates.


Vapes are the other viable option when considering the different types of CBD products. Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling CBD.

On the other hand, most THC products come in uniquely different forms from the CBD options discussed above. Budder is the most common form of THC. The concentrate is a wax-like cannabis ingredient that tends to be softer and oiler.


Budder is denser than most of the other marijuana-related waxes. Budder has a unique texture considering the unique process used in its preparation. When considering the differences between CBD and THC, it’s notable that concentrates such as budder are much richer in terpenes.


THC products also come in the form of crumble. This is a brittle version of budder, given the lower heat levels used to prepare this product. However, compared to other THC products, crumble retains its full flavor.


Shatter is the other standard THC product found in most weed shops. This is among the purest cannabis extract that’s readily available. However, depending on the state, owning shatter could easily land you in trouble.

Sugar Wax

Sugar Wax is the other option you can consider when looking for THC products. Although it bears certain similarities to shatter, sugar wax often goes through the process of butane extraction. Most sugar wax tends to be yellow or amber in color.


Most marijuana dispensaries consider crystalline to be the purest THC isolate. The is because the extraction process for this isolate often tends to be detailed and unique. Most crystalline products may have as much as 99.9% pure THC content.

As noted, a significant difference between CBD and THC is that most THC products are regulated. Before stocking any of these THC forms, ensure that you understand the local laws in your state. While some CBD products may be legal, most THC concentrates are subject to regulation.


CBD edibles are a growing trend that not only provide a longer lasting and stronger hit of CBD, but are also more enjoyable to consume, especially for people who don’t like to smoke or dont like the concentrated taste of CBD from a tincture. Edibles come in all forms from sweets like gummies to baked goods. So if you want to buy the best CBD gummies in UK or the best CBD brownies in the US, make sure to do your research for reputable CBD producers that specialise in edibles.

Where to Buy CBD vs THC products

Over the years, the United States has made strides in the legalization of specific CBD products. Today, there are medical CBD dispensaries and shops that stock and sell CBD products. However, these stores and dispensaries must meet the set regulatory standards for them to qualify.

On the other hand, THC products are salient in weed shops, and it is easy to access delta 9 online across specific States. It is important to make sure where you purchase your cannabis is regulated, and legal, as this can lead to complications later down the line if this is not the case. This has led to harsh regulatory frameworks being implemented in most States where THC products are accessible. If you want to get the best quality CBD products, you can consider looking up more of this helpful info about the legality of delta-8.

These Are the Main Difference Between CBD and THC

As CBD use becomes more common across the United States, there’s a growing focus on knowledge. Most CBD users are curious to know the existing difference between CBD and THC and the various options in the market today. With this helpful guide, you can now understand the THC and CBD differences and how they affect your use.

When comparing CBD vs THC, the fundamental differences are in the legality, atom structure, side effects, and medical benefits. However, the two also have underlying differences in their actual packaging. When considering THC vs CBD, it’s also important to consider where to source the specific product you could be looking for in the market.

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