CBD vs. THC
Both CBD and THC are CANNABINOIDS, and they both interact with the ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS) to produce a variety of effects. But beyond that, they have very different characteristics.
To get a better understanding of what they do and how they differ, let’s get acquainted with a couple of key concepts:
What’s a Cannabinoid?
A compound found in the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids) as well as in the body (endocannabinoids). Cannabinoids are also created synthetically.
… and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
Most people will not have heard of the endocannabinoid system and its importance in regulating the body’s internal environment. This is not surprising considering its discovery and scientific explanation came long after cannabis had already gotten a bad rap.
The ECS is one of the body’s major regulatory systems and its goal is the maintenance of a stable internal environment—or homeostasis. This involves keeping some pretty important parts of you balanced and running smoothly, including:
- Nervous System
- Digestive System
- Stress & Mood
- Appetite & Metabolism
- Immune Health & Inflammatory Response
The endocannabinoid system is comprised of cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) and their corresponding endocannabinoid molecules. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are present all over the body. They can be found in the brain, organs, glands, immune cells, and connective tissues. When cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with these receptors, various side effects are produced.
- Psychoactive—It gets you high
- THC accomplishes its psychoactive effects by binding directly to CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the brain and nervous system.
- Can’t get you high.
- Actually, it’s believed that CBD moderates the psychoactive effects of THC, curbing anxiety and paranoia.
- CBD doesn’t bind directly to CB1 and CB2 receptors, which is why it doesn’t produce intoxicating effects.
- It interacts with the ECS by enhancing the natural positive effects of certain enzymes and proteins.
- This explains CBD’s many therapeutic benefits.