Two Sides of the Same Coin: The Difference Between THC and CBD

difference between thc and cbd

The news recently has been filled with stories about cannabis and the products created from it. Everything from medical marijuana to hemp and CBD oil is making appearances in stories across a wide range of sectors. 

Now it’s the question of whether you should vape THC or CBD. 

There are some large differences between the two products which we will take a look at below. 

Keep reading, and you will be able to not only tell the difference between THC and CBD, but you will understand exactly which one it is that you want to be using. 

The Science of THC and CBD

Before we start looking at the differences between the two products, let’s first understand what makes them so similar. Only then can we understand why they draw so many close comparisons to one another. 

Both the CBD molecule and the THC molecule look incredibly similar. Had it not been for the presence of one single atom, they would have been identical twins. 

Both molecules have the same components in their makeup:

  • 21 carbon atoms
  • 30 hydrogen atoms
  • Two oxygen atoms

What separates them is the THC, Tetrahydrocannabinol, has one less oxygen-hydrogen bond than its counterpart CBD, Cannabidiol. 

That single atom accounts for a vast difference between the two end products. 

What is the Difference Between THC and CBD?

THC is the core component of marijuana and is the chemical that is responsible for the mind-altering effects of the drug. 

CBD is the core chemical in-based products which are primarily known for its pain relief properties.

Understanding How THC Works

There are cannabinoid receptors in our brains. These receptors are associated with some different processes including:

  • Time perception
  • Pleasure
  • Thinking
  • Coordination
  • Memory

When ingested, THC attaches to those receptors producing the hallucinogenic effects we associate today with getting high. 

One in the bloodstream, THC stimulates to production and release of dopamine, the hormone that promotes a feeling of euphoria. 

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The impact of THC on the hippocampus is what produces the hallucinations which can, depending on the quantity of THC ingested, last up to two hours or perhaps even longer. 

Understanding How CBD Works

Much like THC, the CBD molecule is also a cannabinoid but actually works as a THC inhibitor. Reducing the effects of its rival chemical. 

CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical, which means it does not interfere with the brains normal processes, at least not in any greatly noticeable way. CBD is also a product of the cannabis plant and is the dominant chemical in hemp and hemp-based products.

You can also get CBD-rich cannabis which is used for its medicinal properties rather than recreational purposes.

There are a plethora of medicinal benefits of using CBD including:

  • Pain relief
  • Inflammation
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety

It could be used for treatment against numerous illnesses and conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes 
  • MS
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy

The medical benefits are broad, which helps explain the popularity of CBD. 

The Legal Difference Between Two Substances

While THC and CBD have different effects on the body, they also have different effects on the law.

In fact, there is a lot of confusion in many places over where the law stands on these two compounds, a fact only made more complicated by all the changes going on recently cannabis and its compounds are all over the global news

Cannabis and the THC associated with it are largely illegal, although changes are afoot on that front.

THC has been legalized in twenty states and Washington, but it is still more heavily slanted towards the negative side of the law than CBD is. That being said, CBD is not legal in every state either.

There are thirty-three states that have made CBD and CBD oil legal in some way, shape, or form. 

Much like with their chemical makeup, there is very little separating THC and CBS when it comes to the letter of the law. 

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Which is Safer For You: CBD or THC?

When looking at THC and CBD, there is a simple question always needs to be asked. Which is safer? You don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way for the sake of a vape session. 

Ultimately, CBD is the safer of the two substances, since it lacks the mind-altering capabilities of THC. If you are going to be smoking or vaping either of the two, better choose the one that has more proven benefits and less potentially harmful side effects. 

The Difference Between THC and CBD is Minimal 

When you run through the information on these two chemicals and try to determine which one is better than the other, you will find that they are both remarkably similar. 

Both have medicinal properties, though they are used for treating different ailments. Both come from the same base source and usually travel together, with one being the dominant chemical from substance to substance. 

The real question is not about the difference between THC and CBD, but rather what are you hoping to gain from vaping either one. 

If you are in pain and are looking for something to help ease that, then CBD is what you would want. If you’re looking to chill and have some fun with friends, maybe THC is the better choice. 

It depends more on the external factors than anything directly relating to the chemical compounds themselves. 

They are also not your only options when it comes to vaping. There are many different vaping sets, liquids and tools on the market that all offer an enjoyable experience. Check out some of our other posts for more information on vaping in all its forms. We have plenty of information to help you make the best-informed decision on what you can vape next.