We know CBD and THC are different. But how? Not only is this one of the most frequently asked questions in the cannabis industry, it’s a tough question to answer in a quick and concise way. Below is a very basic primer for how CBD and THC differ.
One plant, many compounds
CBD & THC have so many similarities: they are both derived from the same plant, both have medicinal benefits, both can provide relief from certain conditions, both can be consumed in a variety of methods. With so many parallels, it’s a bit easier to set them apart by their primary difference: THC gets you high, CBD does not.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid and the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. The THC content of a plant is the primary measure of potency. You’ll find the THC content listed as either a percentage or a milligram measurement on all products containing THC at Adult Use retailers in Maine.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a key compound of the cannabis plant, but it is not psychoactive. So while CBD can relieve pain and produce feelings of calm & relaxation, it does not provide the euphoric feeling or “high” that THC does.
What’s CBD good for?
CBD’s medicinal properties can treat a wide array of health concerns and provides excellent relief for many consumers. The most well-known benefits are pain relief, reduction of anxiety & depression, migraine relief, and seizure prevention. One compound for all of these things? Yes indeed. CBD is notoriously well tolerated by consumers and negative reactions, such as reduced appetite or drowsiness, are rare and temporary.
What is THC good for?
Other than getting us high, THC has several medicinal benefits. You are probably familiar with THC being used for pain relief or in conjunction with cancer treatments: as a nausea reducer and appetite stimulant, it is often paired with chemotherapy. It can help with other conditions such as the management of Crohn’s Disease and Insomnia and has been shown to reduce muscle spasms. Like CBD, the side effects are temporary and limited. THC’s side effects are well known: bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, delayed reaction time, short-term memory loss.
Why is CBD for sale everywhere?
In the last few years, you may have noticed CBD products in the strangest places. Gas stations, convenience stores, even pharmacies and grocery stores are carrying CBD-infused beverages, candies, topicals, and other products. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp, which CBD is derived from, making CBD federally legal to use. But like many substances, just because it is legal at the federal level does not mean that there is a national CBD policy. Each state can make their own rules when it comes to CBD.
Is THC legal?
THC is still prohibited at the Federal level. But it’s legalized for medical use in 38 states and for recreational use in 19 states. Here in Maine we have both adult use and medical cannabis storefronts. Adults age 21+ can purchase THC and CBD products at all HIGHLY locations.