Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant can be further divided into the Hemp plant and the Marijuana plant. The Hemp plant contains a higher CBD to THC ration while the marijuana plant contains a higher THC to CBD ration. Both of these chemicals affect the human body and brain receptors, but they differ significantly in their effects.
CBD is a major non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It means when you take CBD for medical purposes, you will not experience unwanted discomfort, or it does not affect your cognitive abilities.
According to the report of the World Health Organization, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence in humans. Also, it affirms that currently, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of CBD3.
THC is the chemical that makes you high. It acts like cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body. Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain, and they are associated with cognitive activities. THC activates these receptors and affects a person’s memory, thinking, concentration, coordination, pleasure, and movements4.
It is evident that CBD and THC are entirely different things, but people often worry about unwanted behavior and other health issues while taking CBD products. Why is it so?
As they are both prominent compounds of the cannabis plant, some products may contain both of them. For example, full-spectrum CBD oil may contain a low concentration of THC. According to some studies, such combination brings the entourage effect that is a phenomenon when all cannabis compounds create a particular effect on human body5 – This is what you would find more predominately in a full-spectrum CBD oil opposed to a broad and you would not have this entourage effect in an isolate formulation.
However, one does not need to worry about the health risks associated with THC. The legally permitted amount of THC is merely 0.2% in the UK. Furthermore in the UK cannabis products can be only produced from Industrial Hemp which contains less than 0.3% THC as opposed to the marijuana plant.
1. Welty TE, Luebke A, Gidal BE. Cannabidiol: Promise and Pitfalls. Epilepsy Curr. 2014;14(5):250-252. doi:10.5698/1535-7597-14.5.250
2. Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS, Hallak JEC, et al. A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation. Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(32):5131-5140. doi:10.2174/138161212802884681
3. Cannabidiol (CBD). https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf. Accessed October 15, 2019.
4. Webb CW, Webb SM. Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis: A Patient Survey. Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2014;73(4):109-111.
5. Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x