The difference between CBD and THC

CBD and THC, respectively cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabidol, are the most popular cannabinoid substances among the 100+ different types of cannabinoids present in Cannabis.

The difference between CBD and THC is very marked, although often, starting from the similarity of the products through which these two substances are taken and found on the market, there tends to be confusion.


The first major difference between CBD and THC is the type of effect produced. THC is a chemical compound known to be responsible for producing psychoactive effects. When high levels of THC are consumed, sensations that alter sensory capacity, consciousness, perception, and behavior can be identified.

CBD, on the other hand, does not produce any psychoactive effect. Also with cannabidiol-rich cannabis oil, THC levels are low or almost non-existent, to generate psychoactive results. Furthermore, cannabidiol acts as a chemical inhibitor of THC, therefore any possibility of perceiving alteration effects is canceled.

Another important difference between CBD and THC concerns the molecular structures that compose them. Both are structural isomers, therefore they have the same chemical composition, but the molecular structures of which they are composed differ from each other. The two cannabinoids share the molecular formula of C21H30O2 and the molecular weight of 314.4 g, while their atoms are ordered is different.

It’s the relation with the endocannabinoid system that differentiates CBD and THC.

Both CBD and THC interact with the SEC through the two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the brain, in male and female reproductive organs, in the eyes and other areas of the body. The CB2 receptors are instead found in a greater concentration within the immune system, particularly in the spleen. THC communicates mainly with CB1 receptors. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, does not bind directly to any of the cannabinoid receptors and acts indirectly with all receptors in the body, starting, for example, from 5-HT1A, which is related to the production of serotonin.

endocannabinoid system with cannabidiol

Finally, the side effects of the two substances, which are very different from each other. Scientific studies testify that CBD is safe for people of all ages and does not cause any damage to health. With THC, scientists believe that the consumption of large doses could pose a potential risk to the health of children and adolescents. Other side effects related to THC are feelings of euphoria, sedation, and hunger, dry mouth, red eyes, anxiety — all effects not related to CBD. These are temporary side effects, which occur when CB1 receptors are activated by THC. These are temporary side effects, which occur when CB1 receptors are activated by THC. All the scientific studies on CBD have instead clarified how it is a substance that, even in the face of constant use, does not cause any kind of effect at the neurological, psychiatric and clinical level.

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