CBD and THC are often confused substances. However, they are two very different cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant.
In this article, we explain in a few points how to differentiate THC from CBD both in terms of their properties and their effects on the body. We will therefore discuss :
- The major differences between CBD and THC
- What cannabinoids are and what they are used for
- The effects of CBD on the body
- How to get the full benefits of CBD without the effects of THC
The major differences between CBD and THC
CBD and THC are part of the cannabinoid family. They are made up of about a hundred different molecules that give their particularity to each variety of plant from which they come. The cannabinoids that have been studied the most and whose effects on health we know are cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
The major difference between these two cannabinoids is the effect that these molecules have on the body. One will have psychoactive effects, the other will not. CBD is the cannabinoid best known for its therapeutic properties on the body. It has become an increasingly common ingredient in many health, cosmetic and wellness products. One of the major advantages of CBD is that it is free of side effects and unwanted effects. Unlike THC, it is not addictive. THC is a psychotropic substance that helps to alter the state of consciousness by causing a change in the mind. It will have intoxicating effects and will give you that "high" feeling, euphoria and feeling of being "high". CBD, on the other hand, works more by calming the nervous system.
The only thing these two substances have in common is their chemical composition, which is identical. However, the spatial organisation of their atoms is not the same. It is this difference that will cause the differences between CBD and THC. They will not bind to the same receptors in the body and therefore cause very different effects.
What are cannabinoids in concrete terms?
Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals found in hundreds of plants, including Cannabis. In fact, plant cannabinoids are called phytocannabinoids. Mammals (including us) also secrete cannabinoids called "endogenous cannabinoids".
But what are they used for? Our body has an endocannabinoid system. This system acts in such a way as to keep our organism in balance, whatever the external constraints. This is called homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system regulates essential biological functions such as sleep, appetite, metabolism, the pain system, neural development, cardiovascular function, inflammation, immunity, mood, stress and a number of other physiological and pathophysiological processes.
In conclusion, our body already produces endocannabinoids naturally to keep its internal environment in balance. So there is no harm in consuming cannabinoid-based products.
The effects of CBD in our body
Cannabinoids are therefore molecules that interact with the endocannabinoid system, which in turn can influence many processes in our bodies.
The endocannabinoids produced naturally by our bodies and the phytocannabinoids (from the plant) react to the same type of receptors called CB1 and CB2, which are distributed throughout our bodies. These receptors have the ability to change the messages sent to our brain. Taking CBD will activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors which are themselves connected to the central nervous system. As a result, these receptors can dampen the intensity of neural activity by scrambling the signals of nerve cells responsible for pain, stress and also inflammation.
Therefore, consuming CBD products such as capsules or flowers, allows you to fully enjoy the positive and relaxing effects of CBD on the body.
CBD and its benefits
Generally speaking, CBD has many therapeutic uses to improve the mental and physical state of the body. From a medical point of view, it can be used therapeutically to aid in the recovery of certain diseases.
- Relieves pain and inflammation:
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have proven to be very effective. It reduces the sensation of pain in certain diseases such as: diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's, fibromyalgia, strokes, chronic neurogenic pain, muscular pain or patients suffering from rheumatism such as osteoarthritis and arthritis. CBD acts as an analgesic, greatly improving the well-being of people suffering from these conditions.
- Reduces sleep disorders and insomnia:
Thanks to its relaxing and muscle-relaxing properties, CBD reduces stress and chronic pain. This results in a considerable improvement in the sleep phase and offers a deeper and more relaxing sleep.
- Improves mood and reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression:
CBD improves anxiety disorders of all kinds. By attenuating the intensity of neuronal activity, it can act on mild to moderate depressive states (stress, anxiety, depression, paranoia, anxiety attacks, etc.).
- Helps in the withdrawal of addictions (nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs): By reducing the feeling of anxiety, CBD allows to partially or totally calm the feeling of withdrawal of an addicted person (cigarettes, alcohol, morphine, cocaine). It allows to find a calmer mind and to improve the capacity of concentration.
- Regulates appetite and reduces nausea:
CBD may play a role in controlling appetite and digestion. Therefore, it can help people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. It also relieves symptoms caused by cancer treatments by reducing nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
- Improves concentration and memory:
By combining with dopamine (produced by the brain), a neurotransmitter responsible for memory and concentration, CBD improves concentration and makes you feel more stimulated.
- Helps prevent the growth of harmful micro-organisms and combat existing ones:
Some studies have demonstrated the action of CBD as an active substance on cancer. The cannabinoids CBD and THC are said to have the power to reduce the size of tumours and cancerous cells. However, CBD does not "cure" cancer despite its positive effects on metastatic cells. Numerous clinical studies still need to be carried out to find out more about its effectiveness.
- Help in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases:
CBD has been shown to be extremely effective against certain neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's disease and stroke. It contributes to the recovery of sick people by repairing and protecting nerve cells from the appearance of senile plaques and promoting the renewal of neurons.
- Reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures by half:
Some studies have proven the effectiveness of CBD on patients suffering from childhood epilepsy syndromes such as Dravet and Lennox-Gassaut Syndrome. Cannabidiol will bind to receptors linked to the nervous system and alter the message sent to the brain so as to reduce the chemical activity that triggers the seizures.
But how can you enjoy the benefits of CBD without the effects of THC?
The CBD found in Pure Extract CBD products and oils is derived from a plant other than Cannabis. It comes from hemp, a plant that produces more CBD and has a THC content of 0.2% or less. Hemp is a multifaceted plant from the same family as Cannabis, but does not have the same properties or physical characteristics.
Hemp is distinguished by its long stems, which can reach up to 3 metres, and its leaves are thin and less dense. The major difference between these two cousins is therefore in their flowers and leaves.
Cannabis, also known as "recreational hemp" or "Indian hemp", has flowers and leaves covered with a resin containing traces of the psychoactive compound THC, with a content of 20 to 40%.
Industrial hemp, on the other hand, contains only a tiny fraction of THC (0.2%) and is known for its high content of cannabidiol (CBD), which has relaxing properties and positive effects on health. That's why CBD Pure Extract sources its products from hemp farmers to create products with a high CBD content and a very low THC content. This allows you to take full advantage of the beneficial effects of CBD.
CBD can be consumed in many different forms, including flowers, resins (hashish), cosmetics, oils, food products, etc. Since CBD products contain virtually no THC and you don't get stoned, it is permitted and legal to consume in most European countries.
As you can see, cannabidiol is a molecule with a lot of potential. CBD is still being studied extensively in the health field and it is hoped that it will soon reveal its full potential to contribute fully to the future of medicine.