CBD and THC are two of the most popular cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interacts with CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce its psychotropic effects. While cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with the CB2 receptors of the ECS imparting its benefits. The biggest worry for people buying full spectrum hemp products is ‘Does CBD make you high?’ and the answer to it is ‘No’. This article will discuss the major difference between CBD and THC, read ahead to know more.
Shared below are the major differences between THC and CBD.
CBD Vs THC: Structural Difference
Both CBD and THC are natural cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. While THC is the major compound of marijuana, CBD is the major compound found in the hemp plant. They have the same molecular formula of C21H30O2 AS, and almost identical molecular weights of 314.479g/mol for THC and 314.464g/mol for CBD; but, they differ in their molecular structure. Hence, they are isomers having different chemical properties resulting in one being psychotropic while the other is not. However, you should know that they are formed from the same precursor compound Cannabigerol acid (CBGA).
CBD Vs THC: Chemical Properties
Similar to all cannabinoids, CBD and THC are highly soluble in organic solvents especially fats, lipids and alcohol; while their solubility in water is low. Their natural state in cannabis plants is in acidic form namely: cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). These are decarboxylated upon heating and we get the usable form of CBD and THC. Besides, THC is known to bind with glass, and hence it is stored in organic or basic solvents inside amber silicate glassware.
CBD Vs THC: Psychological Effects
From studies, it is understood that CBD is known to modulate THC’s psychotropic effect by its interaction with CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. This receptor is present in both the central and peripheral nervous system with a very high concentration in the brain. It is activated by neurotransmitters like 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide, as well as the cannabinoids THC and CBD. When you consume cannabis, THC stimulates it and produces the high. But, CBD acts as a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 receptor, i.e. it changes the shape of the receptor and decreases its sensitivity for compounds that stimulate it. This is also the reason for cannabidiols lack of psychotropic effect. Moreover, it can reduce the side effects of THC like paranoia, anxiety and short-term memory impairment.
These are some of the major differences between THC and CBD.