Due to the recent legalization, Cannabis has gained the attention of many people around the globe. It contains 100 + cannabinoids, and among them, the most famous are CBD and THC. It’s important to note that CBD can also be derived industrial hemp while THC is can only be derived from Cannabis.  There’s a lot of misinformation out there on CBD’s ability to get you “high”, but we are here to tell you: it will not. The most important distinguishing factor between CBD and THC is that THC has certain psychoactive and sedative properties that aren’t present in CBD. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound which means that the user would not get high after consuming it in its many forms. 

The legality of THC and CBD

After the Farm Bill passed in 2018, all 50 states consider hemp as an agricultural commodity with legal status. Although CBD is still regarded as a schedule I controlled substance by the DEA. The memo clarifies that minute amounts of CBD in hemp seed and stalks are legal.

However, the legal status of CBD derived from hemp and its products may vary from state to state. Generally, the CBD products should not contain THC more than 0.3 %. Strains of Cannabis with a high THC to CBD ratio are only legal in states with a well-regulated, traditional Cannabis market.

Chemical structure of CBD and THC

Both THC and CBD have a similar molecular structure with two oxygen atoms, thirty hydrogen atoms, and twenty-one carbon atoms. The only thing that differentiates both of them is the arrangement of these atoms. Chemically both of them are similar to the endocannabinoids of a human body, which allows them to interact with the receptors of cannabinoids. This interaction is responsible for the release of neurotransmitters in the body responsible for regulating functions like stress, pain, and sleep.

Health benefits of CBD and THC

THC and CBD share many similar medical benefits. Although both provide relief from many similar conditions. In 2018, the FDA approved CBD prescription medicine; Epidiolix to treat difficult to control and rare forms of epilepsy.

CBD can help manage:

  • Seizures
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Psychosis Or Mental Disorders
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

THC can help manage health concerns such as:

  • Pain
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • Insomnia
  • Low Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety

Side effects

Both CBD and THC are prone to mild side effects. CBD's side effects are diarrhea, dizziness, weight loss, appetite loss, and fatigue, but are often more associated with drug interactions and can make certain medications like Lipitor less effective. It is always recommended that you consult a health care professional before adding anything new to your wellness regime. Side effects for THC can be much more pronounced and may include: 

  • Memory loss
  • Slow reaction time
  • Increased heart rate
  • Problems in coordination
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Red eyes

It is important from a legal and health and wellness standpoint that your CBD contain no more than 0.3% THC  with some brands offering 0.0% THC in their CBD products. It is also important to know that long term use of THC in large doses can lead to psychiatric issues. This has not been found to be the case with CBD products, though new studies are being conducted as to the long term positive benefits and negative effects of CBD. 

Drug test

CBD and THC are stored in the body's fat cells, so they can show up in the drug test even after weeks of consuming them. A standard drug test can detect THC concentration, but only CBD sensitive tests are helpful for the detection of CBD.

CBD and THC are considered generally safe to use, but if you are worried about the side effects and their interaction with the medicines you are taking, you should first consult a health care professional.