What Is The Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD, or cannabidiol, and THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, are both major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

THC and CBD both interact with the endocannabinoid system through its two receptors CB1 and CB2. The main purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to keep the body in homeostasis, which means keeping it in balance. Since cannabinoid receptors are located all over the central and peripheral nervous systems, both THC and CBD have a wide effect on the body from reducing pain and inflammation to balancing sleep and mood.

CBD and THC have different effects on endocannabinoid system, THC activates the receptors while CBD blocks them and can indirectly activate them (confusing, I know). The point is, THC and CBD have very different, often opposite, effects on our system. But they also have similarities between them and often work in synergy together.

Let’s look at the differences and similarities between CBD and THC.



The largest difference between THC and CBD is that THC is psychoactive while CBD is non-psychoactive and even can be anti-psychoactive, which means it can actually counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. This means that THC alters the senses of sight, smell, and hearing while CBD might make you slightly more sensitive, but it doesn’t alter or change your “reality”. 

Other differences are:

  1. While CBD can help you focus, improve your memory and improve brain function, THC does the opposite; it impairs memory and reduces cognition. While long term effects of both are still being studied, acute effects of both are very clear. One should not be taking THC while driving or performing activities that require motor reaction or cognition; there are no such limitations when taking CBD.

  2. THC’s psychoactivity can worsen symptoms of anxiety, mental illness and even might trigger a psychotic episode. On the other hand, however, that feeling of “high” can have its own benefits. It can help with certain types of anxiety and psychological trauma, and it might help people get more creative and “get out of their head”, causing a more joyful state of being. CBD doesn’t have some two different effects however, CBD only lowers anxiety, reduces psychotic symptoms and overall helps mental state.

  3. CBD is known to balance appetite, while THC only boosts it, aka causes the munchies.

  4. THC can make you sleepy and tired, thus helping you sleep, but it’s not very productive during the day. CBD has a wide range of effect on your energy level; it can help boost it, and it can also help you come down at the end of the day by regulating cortisol.

  5. There is still a debate about whether THC is addictive or not, but people definitely can become psychologically dependent on it and abuse it. There is no such concern with CBD, since it actually helps people get rid of addictions.

While there are so many differences between THC and CBD and it’s sometimes even hard to imagine that they both come from the same plant, there are actually many similarities between them too. Certain health benefits are actually improved when THC and CBD are working together.

I started taking CBD oil about 6 months ago at the recommendation of my Dr. I was like “eek!” not understanding the difference between CBD and THC and NOT wanting any “drug” effects, and I can definitely say it’s not like that at all. I was really happy when I got recommended your product. Got it a couple of days ago - speedy delivery and a hand written note was lovely.”
— Cheryl Knopp

 Both CBD and THC:

  • Reduce pain

  • Are anti-inflammatory

  • Are Antioxidants

  • Relieve nausea

  • Reduce seizures

  • Help with cancer treatment

The important thing to understand is that we are all very different and might have very different experiences with both THC and CBD. One must be cautious taking THC, especially when it’s in edible form. CBD, however, doesn’t have many side effects, but you do want to figure out the dosage that brings you the most health benefits.