Drawing the Line: The Difference between CBD and THC


For the typical cannabis enthusiast, the cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) appear only as common terms they hear or see while exploring through a variety of cannabis-based products. 

From drinks, snacks, capsules, to other items, the initials of CBD and/or THC have always been present, listed as parts of the product’s main ingredients. But what distinguishes the two? Which one is safer to consume? For premium CBD oil and other CBD products, check Kushly.

Believe it or not, although both come as natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, there is much more to what separates these two.

Curious to know what these differences are?

Check them out:


  • Chemical Structure:


Ever wondered how THC’s chemical structure differs from CBD’s? The truth is, both compounds have the exact same chemical composition, namely 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, before you rush to the nearest cannabis shop and order both, it’s important to note that the two are only “nearly” identical. 

The word “nearly” indicates there is a slight difference in how the atoms are arranged. Because of this, although both compounds have the same chemical composition, the slight difference in the arrangement of the atoms account for different effects on your body.


  • How they affect the body:


Perhaps, the biggest difference between the CBD and the THC concerns their psychoactive effects. In particular, the cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it doesn’t produce the sensation of being “high” linked to the consumption of marijuana.

On the other hand, THC is psychoactive, which means it can change brain function and lead to alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behaviour.

Now, what causes this?

Due to the arrangement of the chemical composition of THC, it binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain, which releases a high, euphoric feeling. CBD, on the other hand, binds very feebly to CB1 receptors. In fact, it can inhibit the binding of THC with the receptors and dull the psychoactive effects.


  • Side effects:


Aside from the euphoric, high effect THC produces, there are many more side effects that separate it from CBD. In particular, THC also causes other temporary side effects such as increased heart rate, coordination problems, dry mouth, slower reaction times, and even memory loss. CBD, on the other hand, has no recreational or hallucinogenic effects, even when consumed in large doses.

It always pays to be informed. The next time you visit the best cannabis shop in town, make sure to check on the ingredients of their THC or CBD products and see for yourself which between these two compounds is present.