Why It’s Important to Know the Difference Between CBD and THC

Two tinctures one says THC the other says CBD, with cannabis leaf sitting next to them on table

Two tinctures one says THC the other says CBD, with cannabis leaf sitting next to them on tableSince its widespread legalization, the rapidly growing industry of hemp and other cannabis products has raised continuous questions among consumers who plan on visiting a cannabis dispensary. As the market grows and expands, it is important to become educated, as there is still some confusion on the difference between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, what they do, how they are used, how they are legally different, and what potential benefits they may have. 

CBD and THC are two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus. CBD can be extracted from hemp or cannabis, both of which come from the Cannabis sativa plant. In order to be recognized as federally legal, hemp must contain 0.3% of THC or less. CBD is non-intoxicating. It works naturally with our bodies by binding to receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Popular CBD products are sold in the forms of topicals, gummies, oils, extracts, flowers, and more. 

Gummies, such as the pomegranate gummies manufactured by From the Earth, are easy, chewable gummy tablets and can be used to provide relief for anxiety, depression, and pain.

Other products, such as the ReLeaf Balm, are a topical balm that can be applied to sore or overworked muscles and is great for providing relief from inflammation and stiffness.

The main psychoactive compound in cannabis is THC, which is responsible for producing the ‘high’ sensation when you consume cannabis. Our bodies absorb THC & CBD whether it is smoke, eaten, or applied as a topical to our skin. Cannabis legalization has opened the door to a growing list of products including oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, topicals, drinks, and more.

At From the Earth, you can buy a variety of THC products Nighttime Tablets are a sleep aid that can help provide a good night’s rest without the groggy, hangover feeling that some over-the-counter meds can cause. 

While THC and CBD, have a few things in common, they also have some staunch differences and knowing those are essential to being a responsible consumer. 

 

CBD vs. THC: The Chemical Makeup

Though CBD and THC differ in many ways, at their core, they have the same chemical structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.  slightly adjusting how these atoms are arranged has varying effects on the body. 

Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which are molecules that help our internal functions run smoothly. Our endocannabinoid system is the bridge between body and mind, it’s what keeps our bodies in homeostasis. CBD and THC have very similar chemical makeups to our naturally occurring endocannabinoids, allowing them to interact with our cannabinoid receptors. When this interaction occurs, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals responsible for sending messages between cells, and also have an effect on pain reception, immune function, sleep, stress, and more. 

 

CBD vs. THC: Psychoactive Factors

Even though they share a similar chemical structure, both CBD and THC have very different psychoactive effects. CBD is classified as psychoactive, meaning  CBD is proven to help with issues like anxiety, depression, and seizures but it doesn’t produce the same ‘high’ experience that THC does.

In order to produce a high, the THC consumed will bind the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. However, CBD forms a very weak bond, if one ever forms at all, to these receptors. Without THC, unwanted psychoactive effects such as sedation or euphoria won’t happen. So in other words, without this bond, there is no high. 

 

CBD vs. THC: Legal Issues 

As the current situation in the United States stands, the legality of cannabis-related products is constantly changing and shifting.  36 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis at varying degrees for adult and medicinal use. The 2018 farm bill legalized hemp-derived CBD, this means it cannot contain more than .3% THC. Although this bill does legalize hemp-derived CBD, any CBD that was derived from a cannabis plant is still deemed illegal under federal law. 

Before purchasing any CBD products, it is important to educate yourself on your state’s laws. Should you possess cannabis-related products when they’re illegal, you could face criminal or legal repercussions. 

Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia have ruled medical cannabis with high levels of THC legal when prescribed by a licensed physician. Some states have taken it a step further and passed laws legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. To read up on the legality of these products as well as a cannabis dispensary in your state, check out this resource.

Tincture bottle and cannabis plant with THC and CBD molecules written overtop

 

CBD vs.THC: Potential Benefits

Due in part to their similar chemical makeup, CBD and THC share similar medical benefits as well. Some of the various health conditions CBD helps with are listed below.

 

  • Seizures
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Psychosis or mental disorders 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nausea
  • Migraine
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 

In turn, THC helps with the following conditions:

  • Pain
  • Muscle Spasticity 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Insomnia
  • Low appetite
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety 

As indicated by their lists, they help aid with many overlapping medical conditions. However, CBD doesn’t have the aftereffect of getting high.

 

CBD vs THC: Side Effects

The consumption of any sort of chemical has a side effect. THC and CBD are no different in this regard. However, what exactly these effects entail do vary between the two. CBD is well tolerated, even when used in high dosages. 

Potential side effects of THC:

  • increased heart rate
  • coordination problems
  • dry mouth
  • red eyes
  • slower reaction times
  • Impaired thinking or concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 

CBD side effects may include:

  • appetite changes
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • dizziness
  • Diarrhea

These side-effects are a direct result of the compound’s psychoactive properties. And while neither compound is fatal, excessive use of THC may have a connection to long-term psychiatric effects, especially in teens who consume the product in high amounts. 

 

Conclusion

Overall, THC and CBD infused products have designated medical benefits and are considered safe to use. But as with any drug, over-the-counter, or prescription, your medical history, and current medications should be taken into consideration prior to use. This is an important factor to ensure that you are using cannabis-based products as safely and effectively as possible. Before use, consult your doctor or physician to make sure you are using the correct and legal products.

 

Terpenes 101: What it is and How it Works

Woman holding cannabis up to nose, smelling aroma

Woman holding cannabis up to nose, smelling aroma

Being a part of the cannabis community you have probably heard the word terpene thrown around quite a bit. But do you actually know what it is and what it refers to? 

 

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes come from cannabinoids, just like CBD and THC, and are the aromatic oils that give cannabis its distinct flavors, like citrus, berry or pine. They also play two major roles in every plant’s life as they are the primary component of resin and they protect the flowers from predators.

Terpenes are the most common plant chemical in nature and found in a variety of plants such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs and cannabis. These microscopic aromatic compounds are what give cannabis its distinct aromas like citrus, pine, diesel, or spice.

Cannabis produces over 200 different terpenes though only about 30 of them are found in significant quantities. These terpenes are stored with fats and cannabinoids in delicate resinous glands known as trichomes. 

The way a cannabis plant smells or tastes depends on a number of factors. Everything from genetics, climate, weather, fertilizer, age, soil type, and even the time of day can impact cannabis’s terpene profile.

Terpenes are found throughout the natural world and in various consumer products.  Beauty products, essential oils and even perfumes are infused with terpenes. Some industries use synthetic terpenes which are commonly used for flavoring or as a food additive. 

 

What do Terpenes do?

Studies suggest that terpenes play a key role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains. The relationship between cannabis and its effects is known as the entourage effect. This explains that consuming the whole plant has greater effects than each of its individual parts. So terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other botanical compounds interact synergistically to produce enhanced effects.

While many of us use indica, sativa, & hybrid to describe the effects we are looking for, we really should be talking about terpenes. Indica and Sativa describe the plant’s anatomy – sativas grow tall and have long thin leaves, while indicas are short and stocky with wide leaves. Thanks to modern science, we know a few things about terpenes, and that is each has a unique set of effects it is known to enact. 

Let’s take Terpinolene for example. This terpene has fruity notes and is typically found in energetic, uplifting strains like Super Lemon Haze and Jack Herer. However, Pinene is often found in focused and relaxing strains like OG Kush,  Strawberry Cough, and Harlequin a CBD-dominant strain.. 

If you want to dive in more to see the connection between terpenes and your favorite strain of cannabis, check out this great, interactive strain finder from Leafly

 

Cannabis farm, cannabis plants, grow house

 

What are the Different Terpenes and Their Flavor Profiles?

Now that you know terpenes play such a large role in the flavor profile of cannabis strains, let’s take a look at each terpene and their unique flavors and how they affect you and your high. This way, the next time you stop by your local greenleaf dispensary, you will know even more about the cannabis you are looking for. 

 

Myrcene

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis and is often recognized for its earthy flavor and scent.  Outside of being used in beauty products or perfumes, myrcene is known to promote sleep and relaxation. It is also known for reducing inflammation and chronic pain, and is often recommended as a supplement for cancer treatments.One study found that myrcene makes up about 65% of the total terpene profile in some cannabis strains. 

Myrcene’s notable earthy smell is paired with spicy and musky notes.. Some cannabis strains that contain a high percentage of myrcene are White Widow, Blue Dream, and Special Kush.

 

Limonene

Like its name suggests, limonene has a citrusy aroma which comes as no surprise since all citrus fruits contain large amounts of limonene. Limonene is commonly used in cleaning products and cosmetics due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties  One study even found that it played a role in reducing the size of a tumor. 

Similar to myrcene, limonene is the second most abundant terpene in all cannabis strains but is not necessarily in all of them. It is known for its therapeutic properties and helps to improve mood and reduce stress. 

When shopping at your local From The Earthdispensary an indicator that a strain includes limonene is if they have “lemon” or “sour” in their name. This is because of limonene’s distinct zesty citrus aroma. 

Some cannabis strains with high amounts of limonene in them are O.G. Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Cookies and Cream, and Sour Diesel. 

 

Linalool

Linalool is a terpene that is also found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander. It is also the terpene most responsible for the recognizable smell of cannabis with its spicy and floral notes. 

You will find people who suffer from arthritis, depression, insomnia, seizures, and even cancer all turn to linalool for relief. It could be that, just like the aromatic herbs it’s found in, it too contains strong sedative and relaxing properties. 

The next time you would like to unwind and destress, check out some of these options from your local cannabis dispensary; Special Kush, LA Confidential, OG Shark, or Amnesia Haze

 

Humulene

This terpene is typically found in hops and contains earthy, woody, and spicy notes. Aside from cannabis, you can also find humulene in black pepper, clove, and sage. 

Some research has found a variety of medicinal properties associated with this terpene. It has been shown to be anti-proliferative, meaning it prevents cancer cells from growing in the body. It has also been proven to suppress appetite, which suggests that it could potentially help with weight loss. And like many other terpenes, it also fights against bacterial infections, is an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. 

Some popular cannabis strains you can find that contain high amounts of humulene are Skywalker OG, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies, and Pink Kush. 

 

Conclusion

When it comes to understanding cannabis, there are many things to keep in mind. Before heading to your local From The Earth dispensary, do a little research and decide what types of strains you are interested in. Think of the effects you are wanting to feel as well as the flavor profile you would like to try. Are you wanting something high in THC or CBD?

Then stop by your local From The Earth cannabis dispensary or head online to our website and make your purchase online. You can choose to have your items delivered to you or pick up curbside at the cannabis dispensary near you. 

(877) 278-1016