in CBD Education
One of the biggest questions we get from potential customers looking to get started with CBD oil products from HempMeds® is what is the difference between CBD vs THC. Knowing the difference between these two active compounds from the cannabis plant is key to confidently using CBD oil products.
CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, the active compounds that provide the effects from ingesting cannabis. Adding cannabinoids like CBD to your diet is acknowledged as beneficial to supporting homeostasis in the body. However, there are many opinions on the ideal way to supplement your diet with cannabinoids. Here we compare CBD and THC and help answer your question: What is the difference between CBD vs THC?
CBD VS THC
As we mentioned above, both CBD and THC are cannabinoids – or more specifically, phytocannabinoids since they are plant based. When consumed, these phytocannabinoids are considered ‘exogenous cannabinoids.’ The cannabinoids your body produces naturally are ‘endogenous cannabinoids’ or endocannabinoids.
PHYTO – PLANT | ENDO – WITHIN (YOU) EXO – OUTSIDE (OF YOU)
While THC is most plentiful in marijuana, CBD is present in higher quantities in hemp. There are over 100 known cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the most well known cannabinoids, mostly since they are the most prominent and their effects are the most understood. THC causes euphoric effects. CBD does not. That’s usually the conversation surrounding these two common cannabinoids.
One of the key differences between CBD vs THC when it comes to hemp oil supplements is that, unlike THC, cannabidiol or CBD is non-intoxicating. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound in cannabis that is responsible for producing euphoric effects. However, in CBD hemp oil products, THC is present in only trace levels, far below the intoxicating threshold.
Because CBD produces no known negative or intoxicating side effects, it is regarded as safe for use by anyone in your family. Yep, you read that right. It’s regarded as safe from baby to baby boomer.
Both CBD and THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system through specialized cannabinoid receptors to provide their effects, mimicking our own naturally occurring cannabinoids. There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain, male and female reproductive organs, eyes, and other areas of your body. CB2 receptors are located in greater concentration within the immune system, particularly inside the spleen.
This receptor based system acts as a ‘lock and key’ system to help regulate various molecular reactions inside the body.
THC has the highest affinity for binding with CB1 receptors. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind directly to either cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it acts indirectly against cannabinoid agonists. CBD also interacts with various other receptors throughout the body, like the 5-HT1A receptor, which is linked to serotonin. It is through this interaction with various systems within the body that these cannabinoids promote balance in our lives. Although they interact with the body through different channels, both THC and CBD are tied to maintaining homeostasis.
How does THC interact with the body?
There are many side effects that are commonly associated with THC, including its intoxicating effects. These short term side effects occur when the CB1 receptors are activated by THC. This increased activity is what then triggers the short term side effects of THC.
How does CBD work in the body?
If THC were the perfect puzzle pieces to the receptor signal system, CBD would be the “close enough” match. THC fits perfectly with its receptor. CBD, however, sits imperfectly inside of the CB1 receptors and instead acts as an antagonist, effectively blocking THC from binding to those sites.
It has been suggested that the cannabinoids in cannabis work best when they interact with your body as a group, along with the terpenes, flavonoids, and other chemical components found naturally in the plant. This is commonly called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is one of the key principles to healthy living. How come? Just as you don’t only eat one kind of food, your body will respond best to a full exposure of cannabinoids. Biology tends to respond best when there’s a full palette for it to interact with.
Pure CBD hemp oil contains a number of different cannabinoids at varying levels as well as all the other natural components of the hemp plant. This allows the body to process the hemp oil as it would the complete hemp plant.
Many of HempMeds® CBD oil products feature full spectrum CBD oil that includes all the same constituents as the hemp plant itself, providing the varied cannabinoids the entourage effect needs to be effective, as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and essential vitamins and minerals.
When you’re inside the HempMeds® CBD oil shop, a common first time CBD purchase is our Blue Label RSHO™. That’s a good place to start if you’re trying CBD for the first time and want to take advantage of the entourage effect.
You’re probably read or heard the term ‘full spectrum’ when researching cannabis. All it means is that the entirety of the plant’s compounds was preserved during processing. We’ll use our Blue, Green, and Gold Label RSHO™ as an example to explain it.
Green Label RSHO™ is where we process the hemp plant while juicing the cannabinoids and terpenoids with intent to deliver as near-as-possible a whole-plant product. This includes a slight earthy taste but is pleasant after initial tasting. Since it contains a higher terpenoid content, you may feel some of the known qualities contained within those molecules. Myrcene, for example, is known to potentially cause sedation. Other terpenes like linalool, alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and limonene each have their own unique characteristics that you may experience.
Our Blue Label RSHO™ goes through a process called decarboxylation. This process is to change the precursor, CBDa, into its active state, CBD. This helps to enhance the total CBD content of the product but some terpenes are lost in the process. While you’ll reduce your total terpenoid content, your total CBD content will increase.
Our Gold Label RSHO™ goes through an additional process after decarboxylation in which we use carbon dioxide to further purify the oil. During supercritical CO2 processing, we remove all the lipids, waxes, and other plant materials so there are only cannabinoids left. During this process, much of the terpene content is removed.
RSHO™ Special Blend is our strongest offering for both full spectrum and high CBD content. In it, we combine several decarboxylated oils into one so you get the best of both worlds.
However, it is also possible to create CBD products like RSHO-X™ that are completely THC free for those customers looking to avoid even trace levels of THC. This is done by isolating the CBD from the original hemp oil.
Like RSHO™ hemp oil, CBD isolate is extracted from non-GMO hemp using supercritical CO2. The CBD hemp oil is then purified using a proprietary process to filter plant material and winterized to remove excess waxes, producing an isolate powder with over 99% pure CBD. If you’re interested to buy in bulk contact us through our wholesale page.
Because it is completely THC free, HempMeds® CBD isolate is safe for use by all customers, including those subject to drug screenings that check for THC.
Which Is Best For Me?
Like with all our products, the ideal HempMeds® product is a personal choice. Many of our customers prefer the experience they get with a full spectrum CBD oil product like our original RSHO™ or Dixie Botanicals® products. However, there are those who instead prefer a CBD supplement that is completely free of THC like RSHO-X™ Liquid.