CBD vs. THC: Know the Difference
CBD or cannabidiol is a little controversial and while safety concerns surrounding this chemical compound can be totally valid, it's absolutely NOT POT. In other words, basking in a warm tub of CBD bath products is not the same as smoking weed.
What makes it not pot? Simple answer: THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the substance responsible for giving the 'high' sensation.
CBD and THC are the most common and most active cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. While CBD and THC are both derived from the same plant and both interact with the endocannabinoid system of your body, they’re actually not the same and are very different in so many ways.
This guide will help uncover some of the main differences between these two and why understanding the differences may help you make well-informed decisions about your dispensary purchase on a CBD-derived product AND may also help you feel confident about using Tub Therapy CBD bath treats.
THC is intoxicating while CBD is not
The most important distinction between the two is that THC produces the high sensation while CBD does not induce these euphoric sensations.
THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for the bouts of euphoria and stoned feeling when smoking weed. CBD, on the other hand, contains extremely small traces of THC so it’s actually non-intoxicating. Rather, studies have shown that CBD alters your state of mind differently in a way that it helps you improve your response to daily stressors and manage anxiety.
CBD may be psychoactive but just not in the same manner as how THC affects your brain. While the effects of THC may make you feel lethargic, unmotivated, paranoid, or anxious, CBD by itself offers a different effect by helping people feel more relaxed and producing a clearer, calmer mental state.
THC can be extracted only from marijuana plants while CBD can be extracted in both marijuana and industrial hemp
Hemp and marijuana are the 2 kinds of the cannabis sativa plant. Although both plants are related, marijuana is not the same type as industrial hemp.
While CBD can come from either marijuana or hemp, hemp has a higher CBD content while cannabis with a greater concentration of THC is considered as marijuana. This being said, only marijuana has enough THC in it to make you stoned while hemp products are non-psychotropic.
CBD products such as CBD soaps and bath bombs are made from industrial hemp with a low THC level of less than 0.3% THC which is the legal limit imposed by the FDA.
CBD and THC interacts differently with our receptors
We all have an endocannabinoid system that utilizes CB1 and CB2 receptors to regulate signals from and to our brains. While both THC and CBD both interact with our endocannabinoid system, they work very differently and yield different effects.
What are CB1 and CB2 receptors?
CB1 receptors are found in the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord to mediate the central nervous system response to cannabinoids. These receptors play an essential role in memory, mood, appetite, and emotional regulation and since CB1 receptors are also found in the spinal cord region, this explains why cannabinoids may impact pain management, motor control, and memory.
CB2 receptors are found in the nervous and immune systems to help modulate inflammation as well as immune response. These play an important role in pain management, immune function, inflammation and also adjusts your body’s response with addiction by balancing out dopamine production.
How does CBD and THC interact with these receptors?
CBD does not bind well with CB1 but works by stimulating your CB2 receptors and thus assisting your body to produce more of its own endocannabinoid chemicals to create a balance. Typically, the majority of the receptors that CBD interacts with are neurotransmitters associated with serotonin so this explains why CBD is touted as an anxiety alleviator and pain suppressor.
On the other hand, THC latches on to CB1 receptors and this affinity causes the high sensation associated with marijuana. When THC binds with CB1, CBD starts modulating the psychoactive effects of THC which reduces the feelings of euphoria and sedation.
In other words, CBD can counteract the strong intoxicating effects of THC and will keep it from activating those receptors by binding to cannabinoid receptors. This causes a less intense psychotropic effect.
CBD and THC affects the experience of pain differently
CBD and THC may have similar effects for treating medical conditions however, there are some variations including how they manage pain.
Although further studies and clinical trials are still ongoing, early studies have shown THC to have a greater effect on the way the mind perceives pain while CBD may work to reduce physical pain.
These studies suggest that CBD may be more effective for inflammatory pain most specifically caused by arthritis or injuries and the growing popularity of CBD topicals in the market can be attributed to this finding.
While THC also has anti-inflammatory effects, it impacts serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate levels which are known to balance the mood and transmission between the nerve cells. This means, THC may reduce pain signaling and may alter the perceived intensity of pain instead of actually diminishing the physical pain. Because THC produces a high, it is this ‘feel-good’ sensation that makes pain more tolerable.
CBD vs. THC Takeaway
CBD and THC may be derived from the same cannabis plant but there are many differences between these two, the major difference being CBD will not get you high while THC will. This makes CBD NOT a controlled substance unless derived from marijuana which THC is typically extracted from (while CBD is extracted from hemp).
If you are new to CBD products and still on the fence, we suggest you start with using topicals such as lotions, serums, soaps, and bath bombs. Tub Therapy CBD bath products are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC so you can enjoy a luxe cleanse in CBD goodness without getting buzzed. Any mood boosting effects from immersing in a CBD bath are that of feelings of well-being in response to a relaxed mind and body that a quality bath can give you.
Sources: Healthline.com, Webmd.com, Insider.com, Analytical Cannabis