Despite the fact that CBD is becoming more mainstream by the day, and access to quality products is much easier, there’s still a lot of confusion about the difference between CBD (the component that brings balance back to the body) and THC (the psychoactive element associated with feeling “high”)—two of the most abundant chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant.
It’s understandable—because their chemical structure makes them appear to be almost identical twins (21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms for you science whizz kids)—but how they interact with the human body reveals an entirely different story.
One Tiny Atom. Wildly Different Outcomes.
You can see below that it’s the arrangement of a single atom that separates CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol):
It’s this microscopic difference that has far-reaching (and wildly different) impacts in the human body. Both compounds interact directly with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (specifically they bind with two receptors called CB1 and CB2) and while CBD and THC both bind to the CB2 receptor, they interact with the CB1 receptor differently. CB1 receptors are mainly found in nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, spleen, white blood cells, endocrine gland and parts of the reproductive, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts:
Image Source: LabRoots
Graphs & Charts Are Great—But What Does It All Mean?
Before you go into chemistry class overload, you’re ahead of the game by understanding that:
1) The chemical structure of CBD and THC are similar, but not the same, and that
2) Each compound binds differently with the CB1 receptor in the human body.
What this all means is that you will experience benefits and impacts unique to each compound. Here’s what they are:
If You Take CBD, This is What Might Happen:
First of all, let’s talk about what won’t happen—CBD is found in abundant quantities in the hemp plant and will not get you high. Hemp has less than 0.3% THC and some products even go the extra mile and take this out so they have 0% THC in them.
What CBD does do is:
- Helps promote a healthy state of balance in the mind and body
- Leaves you feeling more comfortable and ready to live your fullest life
- Refreshes and revives your body.
- Combats temporary, occasional discomfort
- Helps to release tension
- Stimulates and rejuvenates your body.
- Assist in relaxation before sleep
- Encourages a peaceful sleep.
Cannabinoids have a wide range of applications, but understanding the differences is crucial. Put yourself in the power seat of making an informed decision that is right for you, your lifestyle, and in taking a fresh approach to your wellness.