CBD vs THC: Learn the Difference


CBD and THC are both popular cannabis compounds. While they may have the same chemical structure, they are quite different in the way they interact with the body. Both prominent cannabinoids are found in plenty in different types of the cannabis plant as well. in this review, we highlight the key differences between CBD vs THC.

Introduction to CBD vs THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most common cannabinoid found mostly in marijuana plants. It’s psychoactive and this means that it can alter the way the mind functions. Even though it has some medicinal benefits, THC is mainly used for entertainment purposes since it’s good at producing a euphoric high feeling.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive compound found mostly in the hemp plant. It’s the second-most prevalent compound after THC. The naturally occurring substance has a wide range of health properties. Besides that, it has a versatile profile and that’s why it exists in multiple forms.

CBD vs THC: Main Differences

The difference between these two prominent cannabis compounds lies in the way they affect the body as well as their properties. To help you differentiate between these two compounds, here is an overview of their key differences.

Chemical Structure

These two compounds have the same chemical formula. This features 2 oxygen atoms, 21However, the main difference lies in the way they have their atoms arranged. The different chemical properties are what give THC and CBD their unique profiles.

Psychoactive Properties

THC and CBD affect different types of brain receptors. CBD isn’t psychoactive so it won’t get you high. On the other hand, THC is a psychoactive compound and it will definitely get you high.


While both compounds come from cannabis plants, they are sourced differently. While CBD can come either from hemp or marijuana, it’s often derived from hemp plants. This is because the marijuana plant contains high THC content and so CBD from such sources will contain high THC content. On the other hand, THC mostly comes from the marijuana plant.



Before you even consider using THC or CBD products, it’s important to consider their legality. For starters, CBD products from hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC content are legal federally. This is after the legalization of the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, you are allowed to buy CBD products without a prescription. However, you need to understand that the federal legality of CBD doesn’t apply in all states. This is because there are some states that are yet to legalize the use of CBD products and you must, therefore, exercise caution.

On the other hand, THC is classified under Schedule 1 drugs and it’s included in the US’s Controlled Substance Act. This means that it’s not legal for use under federal law. However, there are a few states such as Washington DC that have enacted policies that allow the use of medical marijuana. Besides that, states such as Nevada, Alaska, and Arizona have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. This means that taking THC products in such states isn’t illegal.

Read More: The History of Marijuana Legalization in the United States

Drug Tests

Which between these two compounds can make you fail a drug test? first, you need to understand that no drug tests are usually conducted to check the presence of CBD in the body. This means that CBD can’t make you fail a drug test. Drug tests are usually conducted to check the presence of THC content. If THC’s presence is detected in your system, then you will fail the test.

Note: You still have to be careful when buying CBD products. this is because there are still some companies that sell contaminated CBD products with high THC content. If you are not careful, you might end up consuming more than trace amounts of THC.

Potential Benefits

CBD and THC, just like other cannabinoids, have several benefits. CBD is popularly known as one of the most effective sources of alternative medicine and it can help alleviate symptoms that are associated with:

  • Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • PTSD
  • Seizures

THC, on the other hand, can be effective in alleviating symptoms that are associated with conditions such as:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Tremors

Note: In some instances, THC is usually combined with CBD to produce the entourage effect. This is a potent synergistic effect that provides the body with better and long-lasting benefits.

The Bottom Line

CBD and THC are two of the most popular compounds from the cannabis plant. CBD mainly comes from hemp plants because THC is from marijuana plants. They normally produce different effects on the body. However, they are all great in promoting good general wellbeing. In some instances, both compounds can be combined to produce the synergistic entourage effect.

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