CBD vs THC: Why is Cannabidiol Non-Psychoactive?

cbd vs thc

Have you ever wondered what’s the main difference between CBD and THC? You probably know that both will make you feel good, yet one can alter your mind and perception profoundly, whereas the other won’t. Here we will go into depth on CBD vs THC competition, on why THC affects your mind the way it does, and why CBD will not alter the way you perceive things. 

CBD vs THC: What’s the difference?

When it comes to psychoactive side-effect of hemp, the key role goes to CB1 receptors. These receptors are concentrated in the brain and central nervous system, and they interact with THC in one way, and with CBD in another. THC has an affinity for binding with CB1 cannabinoid receptors, whereas CBD has a significantly lower binding affinity, and this is their primary difference. In other words, one will fly you high above, all the way to Imaginationland, whereas the other will keep you grounded and tucked in your comfort zone.

Researchers also refer to THC as a CB1 receptor agonist, because once THC enters your system, it stimulates or activates CB1 receptors. The reason why this is possible is because THC partially mimics anandamide, also referred to as “the bliss molecule” of the body. Once the receptor is affected, our appetite is enhanced, as well as the pleasure we receive after the intake of food.  

CBD, on the other hand, is referred to as the antagonist of the CB1 agonist, and as mentioned, it has a low binding affinity with these receptors. This means that it can suppress CB1-activating qualities of THC, so when consuming it, you reduce the impact of THC on your receptors.

How it works in real life?

cbd versus thc

For example, let’s assume you have a vaporized cannabis flower with 24 percent THC and 0.2 percent CBD. Unfortunately, this amount of CBD is insufficient to suppress the high percentage of THC, which practically makes it useless in this situation. As a result, you will feel really high and you are also prone to experiencing a heightened feeling of paranoia.

However, if the cannabis you consumed had 6 percent CBD instead of 0.2, it would be an entirely different story. With a sufficient amount of CBD, it can act as a THC dampener, and while you are still going to get high, the heightened sense of paranoia is highly unlikely to occur.  

However, because of this difference, some have mistakenly labeled THC as a “bad cannabinoid” and CBD as a “good cannabinoid” and legislators have placed regulations that limit cannabinoids to “CBD-only” in Southern states. However, one of the cannabinoid researchers, Raphael Mechoulam, has provided some additional information regarding this topic.

He speaks about the so-called “entourage effect” that theorizes how THC and CBD can be more efficient together, rather than in isolation. The product that emerged as the embodiment of this theory is called Sativex, and its THC to CBD ratio is nearly 1:1.

What are High CBD Strains?

differences between cbd and thc

Recent studies have revealed that CBD has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-anxiety properties, and it is not accompanied by the psychoactive effects that are common for THC. In other words, CBD can be used for more than one purpose, not just to counter the side-effects of THC. It can be a useful tool for conditions that are difficult to treat, like PTSD,  multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.

Furthermore, there is a condition called Dravet’s Syndrome, which is pretty rare, but it has received a lot of attention from the public lately. It is a form of epilepsy that affects children, and it has high treatment resistance. The seizures are life-threatening, yet the current treatments, diets and surgeries have had mixed results. However, a new hope appeared on the horizon thanks to the CBD strain called Charlotte’s Web.

Charlotte’s Web got its name after a young girl named Charlotte, who was the first patient to try the CBD strain. Charlotte’s parents started to witness improvements almost immediately after the first use, and the number of monthly seizures had dropped from 1200 to three.

Soon afterwards, more parents whose kids were plagued with the same problem started turning to the CBD strain as a means of treatment for Dravet Syndrome. Due to this success in treating the condition that was once thought to be untreatable, FDA approved the study to examine the effects of CBD on epilepsy.

The important thing to note about these CBD strains is that they are almost completely THC free, and if you look into it, you will see that the parents who relied on it as a treatment for their kids, state that it does not affect the children in a psychoactive way. Some other CBD rich strains are:

  • Harlequin
  • Cannatonic
  • Sour Tsunami

Also, just to clarify, the children are not smoking this hemp, it is used to create an oil that children consume in small doses.

Hopefully, this clears things up a bit. Now you know why CBD is not psychoactive, how it interacts with THC, as well as how it can help people who need specific treatment. The CBD vs THC battle can officially stop.