What is THC and CBD?
Better known as tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is one of the two molecules we think of when we talk about cannabis. This molecule is most popular for the psychotropic effects it provides to its consumer. This molecule is the most present in the cannabis flower.
CBD, which is also known as cannabidiol, is the second most talked about molecule when it comes to cannabis. Also present in large quantities, this molecule has virtues that are very useful and interesting for the medical set.
These two molecules are very interestingbecause of their distinctive effects, but also because their compositions are very different. THC, for example, has psychoactive effects, which means that it acts on the brain of the consumer, while CBD has anti-inflammatory virtues as well as several other virtues like acting against anxiety. It also acts on the nervous system of the consumer.
But we have to be careful, because a lot of research is still being done on these two molecules in order to have the most data possible. Of course, CBD and THC are not the only molecules present in cannabis, but they are the most interesting from a scientific point of view.
Often put in parallel and often associated, these two molecules have very specific differences for their use.
CBD is legal, but not THC?
Although the chemical composition of these two molecules is the same and each of them has 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms, their legality is very different.
First of all, it is important to know that the human body has receptors designed to receive these two molecules(CB-1 and CB-2). Among all these receptors, some are located in the brain and others are hidden throughout the body. This is where the first difference between these two molecules can be seen, since CBD will tend to approach the receptors that are hidden in the body, while THC will prefer to go to those located in the brain of the consumer. It is this difference, which may seem very small and is indeed the case, that will differentiate the effects of each cannabis molecule, especially CBD and THC.
Thanks to the studies conducted in different laboratories around the world on these two molecules and their effects, we can easily differentiate between a molecule that is useful for medicine and pain relief and one that has psychoactive properties and is not useful for the medicinal body. As you can see, CBD is far more useful than THC because of these medicinal properties, but we'll go into that in more detail below.
But we shouldn't rush into saying that CBD is legal and THC is not. Today, the marketing of CBD is clearly on the rise and many small traders are getting into the business. You would have understood it well, CBD is on legal sale in France and it also contains THC, or rather, a tiny dose of THC that should not exceed 0.2% in order to not provide any harmful effects for the consumer.
The different effects provided by CBD and THC
CBD and THC work through receptors located in our body and provide different and distinctive effects that can vary between each individual. Their effects are quite different and CBD even seems to attack THC.
Indeed, when a consumer uses cannabis and consumes it, he automatically ingests CBD and THC. The THC will stick to the CB-1 receptor on which it will provide different effects such as :
- A physical and moral dependence on this substance that can cause serious health and financial security dangers.
- Unusual fatigue for the user, which can be dangerous if he needs to be alert, such as when driving a car.
- A decrease in physical abilities is also observed in some users.
- Breathing difficulties are also possible for regular or occasional users.
- Vomiting and nausea may occur, especially if it is the first time or if the user is not used to it.
- Discomfort may occur in occasional or regular users.
- An increase in heart rate has been observed when using cannabis.
- Because of its route of administration and method of use, cannabis is often "smoked" and thus increases the risk of developing lung, throat or mouth cancers.
- Even more surprisingly, THC may cause paranoia and hallucinationswhich are often mediated and dangerous for the subject.
There are also populations known as "at risk" for whom, consuming cannabis and especially THC, is not recommended like pregnant women, because it can reduce the resistance of the placenta against bacteria present in the woman's body.
CBD is totally different from THC, as it counteracts the effects of the latter. When a consumer consumes these two molecules, he can have the effects of THC, but what he does not always know is that CBD will attack THC to prevent it from providing its effects. A real guardian angel !
Subjected to various studies since 1960, CBD is extremely interesting for the beneficial effects it provides to consumers and that we will see together:
- It helps reduce anxiety, which is a source of anguish for millions of French people on a daily basis.
- It helps patients who are victims of sleep disorders, such as chronic insomnia.
- It fights against nausea and vomiting and is particularly used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- It helps reduce anxiety attacks, particularly through its action on consumer anxiety.
- CBD is known toreduce the variousinflammations that one can undergo.
- It has been proven that CBD can fight against epileptic seizures, especially in young subjects.
- This molecule also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases of which we can all be victims.
- It also has properties against skin diseases.
- CBD helps to prevent diabetes, thanks to these molecules and its action on the body.
- Another amazing fact is that CBD is helpful for people with schizophrenia by reducing seizures and their intensities.
- It helps reduce pain related to osteoarthritis and aches and pains.
- It will also help reduce certain addictions due to its relaxing effects.
But these beneficial effects don't stop here, as CBD has recently been shown to be useful in the fight against pain related to neuropathic diseases, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.
It is important to note that CBD is not a drug, nor a substitute for cannabis! Unlike THC, it does not contain psychotropic effects and does not make you addicted.
As you can see above, CBD and THC are quite different in terms of the effects they provide when consumed, although their composition is identical. It is also possible to see that CBD is much more suitable for a so-called "therapeutic" use to help some people fight the effects of certain diseases.
Different to the point of being used in contradiction?
These two molecules, which are very different in their effects, seem to play a role against each other. Consumers of non-legal cannabis (containing, on average, 15 to 25% THC) can use "legal cannabis" in order to reduce their consumption and no longer risk the harmful effects of their consumption.
CBD is used to "wean" heavy cannabis users who want to escape from this bubble. But beware, withdrawal from cannabis can have adverse effects:
- Anxiety can increase considerably
- The subject can become violent and be subjected to hysterical and violent outbursts
All these moments are the consequence of the lack of THC supply in the brain receptors and this can cause various mental disorders.
CBD will act by reducing anxiety and bringing a feeling of well-being without creating a "high" for the consumer.
A different plant for CBD and THC
In this article we have often talked about cannabis, but this is not really the case with CBD, as it comes from another plant that has been used for years for different purposes such as very resistant fabrics and this plant you certainly know from having seen fields and thinking it was cannabis: hemp.
The resemblance between the cannabis plant and the hemp plant at first glance is obvious, yet they have very different properties if you take a closer look. First of all, you have to know that they belong to the same species "Cannabis Sativa L" and the first big difference comes from the basic quantity of THC produced by these two plants.
As you can see, hemp, from which CBD is produced, contains 0.2% THC and the cannabis plant contains more than 0.2% THC. Cannabis used for illegal and recreational consumption contains between 10 and 20% THC once the flower is harvested and processed. Proportionally speaking, the CBD content is much higher than the THC content in hemp, while in the cannabis plant it is almost equal or even lower. The difference between THC and CBD in recreational cannabis gives this "high" effect, because the percentage of CBD is lower than that of THC, which increases the effects of the latter and therefore prevents the action of CBD to counteract these effects.
This allows the culture of this plant legal, because it contains a percentage of THC which is legal in the eyes of the French law (although the field of the CBD is still vague after this one). When you walk through the countryside and come across plants that look suspiciously like cannabis in an entire field, you will know that this is hemp and that it is completely legal as it cannot be used for recreational purposes.
The different uses of hemp
Hemp is used a lot in our daily lives without us realizing it. It is a plant that can be used as a fabric, because it offers a great resistance under tension, but it can also be used as a thermal insulation material, for cosmetics (especially CBD in cosmetic form), for animal bedding, or even in some medicines.
The benefits of CBD are no longer to be proven, but studies are still essential to secure the consumption in the form of oils, vaporizations or flowers and resins. Moreover, these beneficial effects for the body are not all found and following different tests and studies, we can surely have nice surprises. It is not, in any case, illegal in France, although it remains discreet on the subject and on the personal consumption without medical certificate, as long as it respects a certain percentage of THC.