CBD & THC: What’s the Difference?
If you’re looking for a natural way to heal your pain, medical marijuana is a popular and effective option. With increased technology, cannabis cultivators are able to extract individual cannabinoids or make specialized strains for medical patients.
When you walk into a dispensary, you probably notice different percentages of THC and CBD. But what do these mean? These are both cannabinoids; the main difference is that THC is psychoactive and gives you that “marijuana high” you feel when you get stonged, and CBD is non-psychoactive and so it doens’t give you that “pot high” feeling.
Both cannabinoids help reduce pain. But which cannabinoid is better? Here’s your ultimate CBD vs THC guide and how they both work to decrease pain. However, we feel that a shift in thinking needs to take place… instead of it being viewed as CBD vs TCH, they work best together and so we think it would be more appropriate to refer to the two as CBD and THC instead of CBD vs THC.
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. Marijuana users have different THC views; some want that high and desire high-THC strains while others don’t want the high associated with marijuana use. But THC’s only purpose isn’t to make you high. THC has many health benefits.
The Endocannabinoid System and THC
Before discussing THC’s benefits, let’s discuss our endocannabinoid system. All living mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of a myriad of cannabinoid receptors that interact with cannabinoids.
THC has special receptors called CB-1 receptors. These receptors are found in different areas of the body, but primarily the brain and the nervous system. When you feel pain, your nerve cells communicate with your brain cells. Your nerve cells tell the brain there’s pain, so you start to feel pain.
CB-1 receptors help cut off this communication. Your nerve cells won’t communicate with the brain, therefore you won’t feel pain.
Does THC Treat Pain?
Yes –but with other effects. There are cannabinoid receptors in the nerve cells, but the majority of CB-1 receptors are located in the brain. This is why you experience such an intense high when you smoke high-THC marijuana strains.
There’s also one downside of using THC for pain: it only masks the pain, it doesn’t treat it. CBD will be discussed later, but more CBD receptors exist in your immune system and other vital areas. This helps to treat your pain better.
But there’s one main THC factor that conquers over CBD: terpenes. The flavorful and fragrant terpenes not only improve a strain’s taste and smell, but they also have analgesic benefits. These terpenes are more powerful in THC-dominant strains.
Which THC Strains to Buy
THC is beneficial in treating pain and many cannabis users want to treat their pain by getting “high.” But you need to know the right weed strains.
Marijuana strains are separated into three categories:
- Hybrid (a combination of sativa and indica strains)
For pain, indica strains work the best. Unlike energetic sativa strains, indica strains make you feel relaxed and sleepy. These are the strains preferred by most cannabis users and have the best medicinal marijuana effects.
So look for high-THC indica strains such as Blackberry Kush, as these strains will make you feel relaxed, chill, and calm. Keep in mind, these strains often make you sleepy. Don’t take these strains while you’re out or when you’re operating a vehicle or machinery.
Cannabinol, or CBD, has no psychoactive effects and is becoming very popular within the medical marijuana community.
When extracted from marijuana’s sister plant –hemp, CBD is completely legal. Cannabis cultivators are able to grow plants with high-CBD and low-THC. They can also isolate CBD and extract it with no other cannabinoids.
Many medicinal users prefer high-CBD strains because there are no psychoactive effects. Rather, CBD improves a myriad of ailments and symptoms including pain.
The Endocannabinoid System and CBD
Like THC, CBD has cannabinoid receptors. But CBD has cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Like THC, CBD has cannabinoid receptors, called CB-2, in the brain and the nervous system. This is why you feel slightly relaxed while on CBD, but not fully high.
CBD also controls the line of communication between brain cells and nerve cells. But unlike THC, CBD can disrupt pain and decrease it over time.
One dosage of CBD can last in your system for three or four days. But when used consistently, it can last in your system for as long as six weeks. Since the cannabinoids are still present in your system, you’ll continue feeling the benefits.
There are also CB-2 receptors in your immune system, so your body learns to respond to pain and inflammation better. CB-2 receptors are also present in other vital areas, such as your stomach. This makes CBD great at treating multiple forms of pain; unlike THC, which can really only treat nerve pain.
Does CBD Treat Pain?
Yes –CBD treats pain as well as THC. Since CBD doesn’t give an unwanted high, most patients prefer taking CBD-dominant or CBD-only strains. CBD can also treat many forms of pain and can decrease pain over time.
Which Strains to Take?
If you only want to take CBD, there are plenty of CBD-extracted products from hemp. This is your best bet to ensure the CBD has no psychoactive properties and is just as effective as the marijuana plant.
But if you’re consuming full bud, your plant needs to have higher or equal amount of CBD over THC. A couple of strain examples include ACDC and Harlequin.
CBD vs THC: Which Treats Pain Better?
The answer is pretty surprising: neither treats pain better. The real answer to this question is not CBD vs THC, but CBD and THC. Using both cannabinoids together can offset pain better than using each individual cannabinoid.
Since both cannabinoids interact with different cannabinoid receptors, there’s a dual effort when treating pain. CBD and THC will also stay in your system for several weeks, masking and treating the pain for long-term relief.
You’ll also receive a full body analgesic relief as well as flavorful terpenes that help ease any pain. CBD and indica-dominant THC strains will also relax you and help you sleep.