There are many differing opinions in the ongoing debate of CBD vs THC that only those familiar with why anyone uses these substances will fully understand. Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, chemical compounds that alter certain receptors cells in your brain that affect neurotransmitters. Both substances are also classified as phytocannabinoids since they are both derived from plant materials.
Presently, there are around a hundred or so known cannabinoids, but CBD and THC are the most well-known because of their properties and easy availability. THC and CBD offer the largest number of benefits for the least amount of processing, but they also have other qualities that set them apart from one another. Here, we will discuss what those differences are, and their effects on your body.
Are They Safe For Your Body?
Before we discuss the difference between CBD and THC, it’s important to remember that the body produces its own cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids. So, ingesting either CBD or THC is not harmful to your body, since you’re only adding to those cannabinoids that are already naturally found there. You will still need to exercise moderation in your consumption but it’s worth remembering that neither CBD or THC is harmful to your body.
CBD vs THC – What’s the Difference?
What sets CBD and THC apart from one another are their sources, their side-effects, and the type of receptors that they influence. THC is usually found in marijuana, whereas CBD is typically found in hemp. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, and actually counteracts many of the effects of THC, which is precisely why it has been deemed safe for use by people of all ages. In contrast, THC is the cannabis component that is most often associated with feelings of euphoria and ecstasy. It stimulates certain receptors in the brain to release dopamine, which is what causes feelings of euphoria in the people who consume it. The good news is that THC does not have any negative side effects, so even though it does stimulate feelings of euphoria, it can’t harm your body either. However, this is only true if you consume THC in moderate amounts. Over-consumption can affect your dopamine and hormone levels, and this true for both THC and CBD. If you’ve never used these substances before then be sure to start out easy and increase dosages gradually.
Do CBD and THC have differences that extend beyond their sources and effects? Yes, they do. Both substances manipulate the Endocannabinoid system in the body, which is made possible through two special receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the eyes, the genitals, the brain and a few other locations throughout the body, while the CB2 receptors are typically found in the spleen and the immune system. These receptors control some of the body’s molecular reactions, such as the release of dopamine and other hormones. CB1 receptors respond directly to THC, whereas CB2 circumvent the binding process and will instead try to create a situation where cannabinoid antagonists are suppressed. When cannabinoids interact with these receptors, they stimulate the release of certain hormones. For example, CBD is associated with serotonin linked 5 HT1A and other similar receptors, whereas THC is linked to dopamine. In any case, both THC and CBD serve to sustain different processes in the body, which in turn keeps the body healthy. They might affect different receptors, and THC generates more feelings of euphoria, but both cannabinoids serve to strike a healthy balance for the body.
There is still plenty to know and learn about the differences between CBD and THC debate, especially since scientific research is ongoing. The difference between these two substances can seem relatively minor compared with all of their benefits. Both CBD and THC serve to maintain homeostasis in the human body, and they share many chemical features. THC offers a psychoactive effect which is why individuals choose to use it recreationally, whereas CBD tends to offer more health-oriented benefits like pain relief and is approved for use by people of all ages. The two cannabinoids also affect different receptors and have varying effects on the body. While THC and CBD are certainly two different substances, they both carry a lot of the same stigma. It’s important to understand how they function, particularly if you’re thinking about trying them for your health’s benefit.