The hemp plant Cannabis Sativa is well known to most people. However, it is often associated with its “intoxicating” effect. However, the cannabis plant as such is not a drug. The THC contained in cannabis is responsible for the psychoactive effect. The cannabinoid is the best researched in the world, but it is not the only ingredient of the hemp plant. Equally important and well known is cannabidiol, CBD for short, and this cannabinoid has no psychogenic effect! What differences there are and what the terms CBD and THC mean, is explained in more detail below!
The similarities - THC and CBD are not fundamentally different
Cannabisblüten können CBD und THC enthalten. Einige Sorten enthalten beide Wirkstoffe, andere nur einen. Eines der Dinge, die THC und CBD gemeinsam haben, ist, dass sie Cannabinoide sind, die natürlich in der Cannabispflanze vorkommen. Forscher sind seit Jahren damit beschäftigt, beide Substanzen zu untersuchen. Bekannt ist, dass THC im Gegensatz zu CBD einen Rauschzustand hervorruft, weshalb seine Verwendung in Europa verboten ist!
Eine weitere Gemeinsamkeit ist, dass sowohl THC als auch CBD über das Endocannabinoid-System auf den menschlichen Körper wirken. Dieses System ist ein Teil des Körpers und findet sich nicht nur bei Menschen, sondern auch bei Tieren. CBD und THC nutzen also die gleichen Verbindungen im Körper, stammen aus der gleichen Pflanze und wirken dennoch völlig unterschiedlich.
Definition of CBD - the big difference is the legality
The active ingredient CBD is extracted from hemp, which has been bred in a special way. The goal of this special breeding is that the plant no longer contains THC or only a small amount. Marijuana with THC contains less CBD in comparison.
CBD is not the only one among cannabinoids that can be used without psychoactive effects. The hemp plant contains well over 100 cannabinoids, so far THC is the only one known for intoxication.
The biggest difference is actually in the effect and legality. While CBD has a non-intoxicating effect and is therefore legal, THC is still classified as a drug by most countries and is prohibited.
The advantages of CBD in contrast to THC
CBD has long since ended its shadowy existence and is an important topic in research. Many users report that the use of CBD has a positive impact on their lives. CBD items are used for a variety of reasons. For example, the cannabinoids are said to lead to more vitality, reduce pain, decrease anxiety, and alleviate sleep disorders.
CBD cannot officially be sold as a dietary supplement because there is no approval for this yet. While the data is available, production is still done as a flavoring. The most common dosage form is CBD oil.
Another popular dosage form is CBD liquid. It is said to have even stronger effects and is mainly used with a vaporizer. Among the biggest advantages of CBD is that the side effects are very low. Among other things, slight dizziness can occur if CBD is dosed too high. However, this is possible with all substances of the hemp plant.
How is CBD used?
CBD is used in most cases as oil. There are also CBD products in the cosmetics sector. There is a difference in the concentration of individual CBD oils. Low-dose CBD products have a concentration of 5% or 10%. High-dose CBD, on the other hand, is sold with 15% or 20% active ingredient strength. During production, it is important to note that the THC content must not exceed 0.2%. Only then is the purchase of CBD legal.
A distinction must be made between mono products and full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum CBD is more popular, as it triggers the entourage effect and thus has a stronger effect.
What are the disadvantages of CBD?
Looking at the low side effects and the frequently reported efficacy, CBD has hardly any disadvantages. Production has increased rapidly in recent years as the group of users grows. One drawback is that the terms cannabis sativa, cannabinoids, and hemp are still exclusively associated with “intoxication.” The difference CBD-THC is not even known to most newcomers!
Equally new to many people is that the body itself has cannabinoid receptors. The human organism can produce endocannabinoids itself! This is one of the reasons why CBD and also THC cause a lot of interest in medicine. Marijuana as such can even be taken already on medical advice. However, this is legal only if the doctor issues a prescription!
Who has recognized the difference between THC and CBD, now asks the question whether CBD can be just as effective, only without high feeling! There is a lot to be said for this and it is one of the main reasons why research is so interested in the topic.
What are the benefits of THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most researched cannabinoid of the hemp plant. There is more than one study showing that THC can have positive effects on human health. One example is pain. In Germany, people with chronic pain have the possibility to obtain a prescription for marijuana upon request. The medical community is well aware of the effects of hemp. One of the reasons why likewise in Germany now a legalization of THC is aimed.
A clear advantage is that the effect and structure of THC has been researched in detail. The substance has an intoxicating effect, which is the only reason for the still existing prohibition. The only trigger of the psychoactive properties is the cannabinoid THC. THC, like CBD, is capable of triggering the entourage effect when combined with terpenes and flavonoids. This means that the range of effects increases further.
The disadvantages of THC
The nature of the effect is the biggest problem with THC. While there are different strains and substances on the market, when THC is present, the psychoactive effect is triggered. This means that sensory perception is impaired. Users can no longer drive a car, are unable to operate machinery, and lose track of time. As a permanent medication, the substances are therefore problematic to say the least.
If CBD is able to provide similar efficacy, without the intoxicating component, the interest of research is clear.
Hemp, marijuana, cannabis - what is actually what?
For laymen it is difficult to distinguish between CBD, THC, cannabinoids and drugs. Those who talk about hemp often mean marijuana, as the differences are not known. To avoid misunderstandings, we will now go into some of the most important terms:
- Hemp: Basically, hemp is an umbrella term for a plant. It is used for the extraction of cannabidiol and other (non-intoxicating) cannabinoids. In the EU, hemp may be cultivated if the respective variety is deposited in the certified catalog. The hemp plant contains cannabidiol, but no (or only little) THC.
- Marijuana: Marijuana also contains cannabinoids, but mainly THC. Cultivation of the plant is completely prohibited in Germany (and many other EU countries). Marijuana is also referred to as “the classic cannabis plant”. It contains a smaller amount of CBD and other important compounds from cannabinoids. Cannabis sativa are often crossed with each other to develop varieties that have a particularly high THC content.
- Cannabis: Initially, only the plant itself is referred to as cannabis. The term does not say much about the effects of individual flowers. A distinction must be made between Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa has the strongest THC content, whereas Cannabis ruderalis has a high CBD content.
Are CBD and THC dangerous or harmless?
When you have cannabis flowers in front of you, you can’t tell at first glance whether they are CBD or THC flowers. They are identical in structure, but the effect is very different. While THC is not only intoxicating but can also have some strong side effects, CBD has been classified as harmless by the WHO. The production of CBD is legal, the consumption and cultivation of THC is not.
Due to the massive influence of THC on the perception, the intake is considered dangerous. There is also the fact that marijuana is usually smoked as a joint and smoking is generally unhealthy. CBD, on the other hand, is usually applied as an oil or vaporized via a vape pen.
As long as there is no legalization of THC, no recommendation is possible anyway. Illegal items with CBD or THC are an absolute “no-go”, here there is always the danger that unsuitable substances have been added. If you want to enjoy the cannabis plant safely, choose only legal CBD products.