When people hear that CBD comes from the cannabis plant, some of them automatically associate it with marijuana and the euphoric high that it is known to produce. This misconception can deter certain individuals from ever trying CBD products, even when CBD can actually help them. In actuality, the component in cannabis that is responsible for producing a high is known as THC – not CBD. What exactly are these two compounds, and how are they different? We’ll lay out all the essential facts so you can better understand what they are and determine if CBD is right for you.
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of cannabinoid – a chemical compound that is naturally produced by the cannabis plant. It is only one of over a hundred types of cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis, among other well-known counterparts like THC. CBD can provide a wide array of therapeutic benefits for the body and mind, and does not produce a high of any sort. Certain strains of cannabis, such as industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa), contain high levels of CBD (and low levels of THC), making it the ideal type of plant for producing CBD products.
WHAT IS THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another type of cannabinoid that can be found in cannabis. It is the component that gives people that well-known euphoric high. THC also offers many different types of therapeutic benefits, with some overlapping similarities to CBD. Marijuana (Cannabis indica) naturally contains high levels of THC and low levels of CBD.
HOW ARE CBD AND THC DIFFERENT?
Although CBD and THC both possess the same molecular structure, they differ in the arrangement of the atoms. This, in turn, results in different effects on your body. CBD products are primarily used to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiousness, combat negative states of mind, and help with pain management. Products high in THC, on the other hand, are used for both therapeutic and recreational purposes because of the high. With more and more people turning to natural remedies to help them with everyday stress and pain, CBD products have become the go-to choice as it allows the individual to carry on with their daily tasks and routines without the type of mind-altering effects that THC produces.
It is important to note, however, that many products are infused with full-spectrum CBD – meaning that the CBD oil contains a full range of cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC. Currently, CBD is federally legal in the United States – as long as the product does not contain more than 0.3% THC (which is insufficient to get you high). Reputable companies will adhere to these strict regulations and ensure that their CBD products do not exceed the maximum legal levels of THC, which is why it is always recommended that you only purchase your CBD from trusted brands.
If you’re sensitive to THC, some products contain broad-spectrum CBD, which does not contain any amounts of THC whatsoever. For those who do not want anything else in their CBD (including terpenes, amino acids, and other goodies for the body), there is also CBD isolate, which typically comes in the form of a white powder or a crystalline.
WHY DO SO MANY CBD PRODUCTS CONTAIN THC AND OTHER COMPOUNDS?
There’s actually a good reason why full-spectrum CBD is so popular, even though it contains minimal amounts of THC. Other than cannabinoids, cannabis plants are also full of terpenes (which gives plants their own distinctive aroma and flavor), amino acids, and other active compounds that all work together to provide you with maximum therapeutic benefits. This is what’s called the entourage effect. Unless you’re sensitive to THC or absolutely do not want it in your system for whatever reason, full-spectrum CBD is an ideal choice to help you get the most out of your CBD products.