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As more states legalize cannabis for recreational use in the US, the talk about marijuana has reached new heights. The cannabis plant has over a hundred compounds called cannabinoids, and of all these compounds, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most interesting ones. CBD products that are available in the market come from the hemp plant, while THC is the compound that’s psychoactive and causes the high that we all associate with marijuana. So, what are the differences between CBD and THC? Here’s what you need to know.

The basics

You would be surprised to know that the chemical structure of both CBD and THC is the same, but what makes these two different is how the atoms appear in the molecular structure. Both react with the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which affects the neurotransmitters, causing different effects. While the molecular structure of these two natural compounds are the same, both don’t have the same effects. Note that CBD is not psychoactive – which is probably the biggest difference between the two. So, if you are using a CBD product, it wouldn’t produce the high that marijuana offers. THC, on the other hand, works on the CB1 receptors found in the brain that causes all the effects that we know.

Are CBD and THC products legal?

In simple words, marijuana is illegal as per federal law, but many states have now legalized the use of it. If you happen to live in a state where marijuana is legal, you can buy CBD and THC easily. Also, majority states have made medical marijuana legal, including products that have a high concentration of THC, but to access medical cannabis, you need a prescription. Please check the state laws before you buy any product that’s related to hemp or marijuana.

Benefits and other aspects

Both CBD and THC have been associated with similar medical benefits, which is why some people prefer CBD because it isn’t associated with the high that may be considered as a side effect. Medications such as Epidiolex that has CBD has been approved by FDA for epilepsy conditions. THC, on the other hand, works best for conditions like depression, insomnia and anxiety.
Marijuana compounds have been studied for treatments, and the results have been positive. Do your homework and make sure that the products you buy are safe. For medical marijuana, you need a card and must only buy from a dispensary.