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THC and CBD – What’s the Difference?


icon  10 Jan, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Sam Wills

If you’re new to the world of marijuana, you might wonder what THC and CBD are and how are they different. It’s important to understand the effects of these two substances before you choose what type of marijuana you want. As you might be aware, different strains offer different effects and benefits. That’s because they have different levels of THC and CBD.

What are They?
THC and CBD are two of the many cannabinoids found in marijuana. They’re the two main ingredients of the plant and influence how a person reacts to marijuana consumption. CBD stands for cannabidiol and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. While THC is quite common in most marijuana strains, CBD is harder to find, especially in high quantities.

Until recently, people were only interested in THC and its effects. Research and investigation over the past few years has revealed the benefits of other cannabinoids found in marijuana. Scientists have focused primarily on CBD because of its potential value in medicine.

The Differences Between the Two

  • High – THC is the most psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and induces the high that many marijuana users desire from their products. However, if you want to avoid the high, you should choose strains with lower THC and higher CBD. The latter is non-pyschoactive and won’t induce a high. That’s one of the reasons why doctors often prescribe strains with high levels of CBD and low levels of THC to their patients.
  • Sleep – Many patients use marijuana to help with lack of sleep and related disorders. In such cases, doctors won’t recommend marijuana with CBD because it usually causes wakefulness and will keep you energetic for a long time. Strains with higher amounts of THC cause sleepiness and you’ll feel drowsy and lazy after you consume them. Doctors might prescribe two different strains for two different times of the day. You could take a high THC strain in the evening to get some sleep and a high CBD strain in the morning or afternoon to stay awake.
  • Anxiety – As THC is psychoactive, it can cause some side-effects. These include anxiety and paranoia to some extent. CBD can actually counteract these effects because it’s antipsychotic. It can ensure that marijuana users don’t get too high on THC and experience the negative effects of the compound. CBD is also known to combat psychosis not caused by THC. Researchers are currently investigating the potential benefits of using CBD in medication against schizophrenia.
  • Medicinal Properties – As mentioned before, CBD has the most potential when it comes to medication and treatment of several ailments. In their research, scientists have discovered that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotic, anti-pain, and anti-spasm properties. CBD achieves all of these results without causing problems like laziness, lethargy, and dysphoria that’s commonly caused by medication.
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Scientists have noted that all cannabinoids, including THC, have some medical benefit so it’s important to consider the ailment and then choose the strain.

Which Strain to Choose?
When you look at the collection of marijuana strains online, you’ll notice hundreds of different types of products but all are indica, sativa, or a hybrid of the two. The levels of CBD and THC differ from one strain to another, but there’s a brief description of what you can expect from the different types of weed.

  • Indica – Indica strains have a higher THC to CBD ratio, which means you’ll experience a high, and feel relaxed and sedated. It’s best to consume indica strains in the evening when you’re ready to read and get to bed or want to just relax for a while.
  • Sativa – Sativa strains have higher CBD to THC ratio, which means you wont experience a high but will gain a burst of creativity and energy. It’s best to consume sativa in the morning or daytime when you want to stay awake and focused.
  • Indica-Dominated Hybrids – Most indica-dominated hybrid strains provide a muted high without causing any drowsiness. You won’t feel like sleeping but will still feel relaxed and comfortable.
  • Sativa-Dominated Hybrids – Sativa-dominated hybrids will give you a cerebral high and you’ll experience a sudden burst of creativity and energy. Your body will still feel quite relaxed and comfortable, which is the effect of the THC from indica that’s bred into the hybrid.

Hybrids are rarely a 50/50 mix of both sub-species so you need to evaluate the effects of every product available in the market individually before you make your choice. Your doctor will provide good advice on the products. When you understand how CBD and THC work and how indica, sativa, and the hybrids work, you can determine how much to consume and when to consume it.

READ  The Science Behind Cannabinoids and the THC

The effects of CBD and THC have yet to be explored thoroughly; but if you want to gain the benefits of marijuana without the associated high, you should stick with high CBD strains.

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