CBD vs. THC: How to Know the Difference

CBD vs. THC: How to Know the Difference

Even if you don’t know a lot about cannabis, hemp or anything relative to the Big Green industry, chances are you’ve heard your fair share about both THC and CBD. But how well do you really know these acronyms, what’s the difference between them, or how they relate to hemp or cannabis? To make matters even more confusing, the CBD vs. THC debate has been highly publicized with the federal legalization of CBD, and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there to sift through.

Whether you’re a frequent cannabis user, someone interested in CBD for chronic pain or anxiety, or just plain-and-simply curious, you’re bound to be a little confused. So, we’re here to set the record straight about the difference between CBD and THC.

THC & CBD Come from the Same Type of Plants

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both cannabinoids that can be found naturally in cannabis plants, including hemp. Both CBD and THC are scientifically categorized as something called phytocannabinoids, which can cause a host of different reactions when introduced into the body. In reality, there are well over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, but THC and CBD are the two that have garnered the most attention over the years, both medically and scientifically.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC has been highly researched for medicinal purposes throughout the years, but it’s also the cannabinoid that has the most negative stigma attached to it. While THC does have therapeutic qualities, it’s mostly recognized as the compound in cannabis that causes the trademark high. It’s also the cannabinoid with some unwanted side effects and can have addictive qualities. Nevertheless, THC has also been shown to help with certain ailments in clinical studies, such as glaucoma, insomnia and chronic pain.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is rapidly becoming just as well-known—if not more so—for its therapeutic qualities than THC. But unlike THC, CBD doesn’t affect a person’s psychological state of being in any negative way. In other words, it doesn’t cause feelings of paranoia or the same euphoric high that THC does. Clinical reviews published by the National Institutes of Health give great praise to CBD for its proposed medicinal benefits. Some of the medical benefits that have been researched associated with CBD include relief from:

  • Anxiety and other mood disorders.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Inflammation.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Skin disorders.
  • Certain types of cancer.

Not only is CBD being studied for its proposed health benefits, but it’s also considered mostly safe, even at higher doses. Plus, it has no potential for becoming habit-forming, so people who take CBD products long-term can do so without worrying about gaining a dependency.

Understanding the Legality of CBD vs. THC

Understanding the legality of THC and CBD can be tricky, and it’s a topic that’s constantly evolving. On a state level, THC is only technically legal in states that have legalized cannabis for either recreational or medical purposes. So if you’re in one of those states and are 21 and older, you have the right to use cannabis products containing THC. On the federal level, however, THC is still listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, CBD is now legal in all states, as it’s been removed as a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). However, in order for medicinal CBD products to be deemed as legal, they must contain less than 0.3% THC. In states where both CBD and THC cannabinoids are legal, it’s not uncommon to find CBD oil and other CBD products that have certain percentages of THC that are far higher than what is legally allowed on a federal level. This is because the CBD industry is currently unregulated and there are few, if any, universal restrictions being imposed on CBD manufacturers.

To err on the side of caution, consumers often look for hemp-derived CBD products from a reliable company who conducts rigorous third-party testing to verify the ingredients and safety of their products. Hemp is a natural, non-intoxicating fiber of the cannabis plant that contains lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD. Therefore, those who want to stay away from the undesirable effects of THC are usually on the lookout for hemp-based CBD products. However, in states where THC is legal, there is a market for CBD that has a fair concentration of THC because both—especially when combined—can have beneficial effects.

The Pros of CBD Compared to THC

In a therapeutic sense, hemp-derived CBD does offer a host of advantages compared to THC, including:

  • It has therapeutic benefits without psychotropic effects.
  • It’s legal in all 50 states.
  • It will not cause a person to fail a drug test (though the formulation used must be hemp-derived CBD).
  • It can be consumed without inhibiting your ability to function normally.
  • It’s not habit-forming.

Additionally, because CBD is gaining ground as a shining star of cannabinoids and is legal, it has led the way for many new products to come to market. You can find everything from CBD lotions and tinctures to CBD-infused edibles. Picking up a CBD product to try can be as easy as walking into a local pharmacy or retail store or placing an order online.

Shop for THC-Free CBD Products From Curaleaf Hemp

At Curaleaf Hemp, we understand how important it is for a lot of consumers to try CBD without worrying about the effects of THC. Therefore, we carefully formulate every product completely free of THC and with only high-quality, hemp-based CBD, as well as other all-natural ingredients. And we always conduct third-party testing to verify the safety and efficacy of our products.

Explore our collection of pure hemp-derived CBD products designed to help you live life well, today.


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