With the rise of awareness of the many benefits of CBD come questions regarding its sister compound, THC, and the potential for more health-related benefits.
However, while the two compounds are essentially of the same molecular composition, their atomic structural differs enough to cause clear contrasting effects. What should you know about the differences betwen CBD and THC?
- Compositional Structure
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) both originate from the Cannabis genus; these cannabinoids interact quite easily with our own neurotransmission systems, communicating with the cells that relay messages about pain, stress, sleep patterns, immune function, and other neuropathic systems.
CBD and THC are essentially the same as far as molecular compounds, however their atomic structure is the difference in the effects they have on neurotransmitters.
Hemp plants (industrial hemp) contain less than 0.3 per cent of THC while plants classified as marijuana contain a higher percentage.
Certain CBD products are allowed but controlled by FDA as they are labeled as pharmaceutical drugs. Cannabis with greater than 0.3% THC still falls under DEA prohibition laws.
- Purposes/ Uses
THC does seem to show some medical benefits; THC is linked to inhibition of enzymes connected to development of Alzheimer’s; single molecule THC aids with nausea and acts as an appetite booster. THC also contains benefits along the lines of relieving cramp-related pain. However, the difficulty of managing the side effects may very well interfere with the potential benefits.
CBD on the other hand holds a myriad of positive results without the psychoactive side effects. Moderate doses of CBD can energize while larger doses can trigger sleep by reducing anxiety. CBD has also been connected to the following positive effects:
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Relieves nausea
- Eases effects of epilepsy like seizures
- Potential uses in cases of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)
- Helps in cases of multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Is not an intoxicant or hold psychoactive side effects but can have a positive influence on mental wellness in cases of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other psychosis
Some may argue that CBD and THC are “most effective together” as it seems that CBD opens up THC’s anti-inflammatory responses; however many of the healing properties contained in THC – while perhaps not as potent – are still very effective in the CBD form. As the psychoactive side effects of THC can actually interfere with its potential benefits, the healing properties found in CBD are effective without the harmful cognitive side effects.
- Side Effects
THC is well-known for its ability to give the user a “high” or sense of euphoria; more concerning, the compound also shows potential for long term cognitive effects: impaired thinking and reasoning, altered decision making, and reduced control over impulses; chronic use of THC implicates significant abnormalities in the heart and brain. THC use shows signs of increased heart rate, coordination problems, slower reaction times, and memory loss. The use of THC may be connected to long term psychiatric effects as well, especially among teens.
Unlike the intoxicant THC, CBD can have a positive impact on a person’s mental health from day to day, but lacks the harmful cognitive effects, leaving it to be the ideal compound for medical purposes.
If you are looking for alternative natural healing options, stick to trustworthy sources and CBD compounds; be sure to stop by Brookside Holistic Solutions and ask any questions about finding the right CBD product for you.