CBD vs THC – The Differences, Benefits and Effects

In the ever-growing CBD market, consumers are becoming more curious about their options. Cannabinoids are a group of natural compounds found in cannabis plants.

There’s CBD, which is the acronym for cannabidiol -a non-psychoactive ingredient typically derived from hemp or marijuana with medical applications like treating anxiety and epilepsy; while THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol – this psychoactive effect makes up the most popularly known component associated with getting “high.”

CBD oil is a natural product that can be extracted from hemp or cannabis plants.

Hemp and cannabis come from the Cannabis sativa plant. Legal hemp must contain 0.2% THC, but there are many products on the market that have no or low levels of this psychoactive ingredient because they sell it as CBD instead for those looking to avoid the ‘high’ sensation.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a euphoric sensation. It can be consumed by smoking cannabis.

Despite the growing hype around CBD, there is still some confusion about how this cannabinoid works and how it differs from THC.

We’re going to take a look at CBD vs THC and explain those differences to you.

Is CBD Legal in the UK?

CBD is legal in the UK as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 puts controls on other forms of marijuana which includes higher percentages with respect to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but these laws don’t apply for industrial Hemp approved by the UK Government for CBD oils and other CBD products.

Your Body, CBD and THC

There is still much research to be done on what your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is but it is thought to regulate physiological and cognitive processes, including fertility, pregnancy, pre- and postnatal development.

Two cannabidiol receptors have been identified in research- CB1 and CB2. And bascially, if someone consumes THC, through smoking marijuana for example, they will get a “high” as THC binds itself to the receptors. Unlike THC, CBD does not.

Is CBD Psychoactive?

CBD is widely thought of as not psychoactive with the argument that the chemical structure of cannabidiol does not “bind” to your body’s cannabinoid receptors. However the definition of psychoactive is a chemical that can alter brain functions so produce mood and perception changes.

So, as you can see CBD is psychoactive but does not have the intoxicating THC affect, or withdrawal symptoms on the body THC has. If you think CBD being psychoactive is a scary thought you need to remember caffeine for example falls into the same category, as does chocolate!

Is THC Psychoactive?

THC is psychoactive and does bind to your body’s cannabinoid receptors.

CBD and THC may have similar chemical structures, but they don’t produce the same psychoactive effects.

CBD is psychoactive; but is not psychotropic – meaning it won’t give you that high THC can give you and all of the other side effects.

CBD doesn’t produce the high associated with THC. This is because it has a calming, soothing effect on your body’s endocannabinoid system.

Unlike CBD, THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in your brain – producing a high sensation.

CBD vs THC – Medical Benefits

CBD and THC both have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several conditions, but CBD doesn’t cause any psychoactive side effects like euphoria that occur with THC use.

CBD can help to relieve the symptoms of various conditions, such as:

  • seizures
  • inflammation
  • pain
  • nausea
  • migraine
  • depression
  • anxiety

THC Side Effects

CBD has been shown to be well tolerated in the vast majority of people. Even if CBD does cause side effects, they’re likely caused by interactions with medications you may be taking and not from an unsafe amount or quality of this supplement alone.

On the other hand, THC causes temporary side effects, including

  • increased heart rate
  • coordination problems
  • dry mouth
  • red eyes
  • slower reaction times
  • memory loss
  • anxiety

It is possible that heavy intake of high THC can lead to long-term negative psychiatric effects. This especially true for adolescents who consume large amounts over time.

At My Health Shield, we offer CBD products that have no psychotropic effects so you can enjoy all the health benefits of this natural supplement. Our CBD products are perfect for regular or beginners. Choose from oils, gummies and more!

Similarities between CBD and THC

Both CBD and THC are the two most well-known chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They are two natural compounds.

CBD and THC are both psychoactive substances – they can cause changes in mood, thoughts and feelings – but only THC is psychotropic – so produce that high.

CBD and THC have the same chemical formula but the difference is in the way the atoms are arranged. They both do access your body’s endocannabinoid system.

In the UK most common form of CBD can be found in hemp derived CBD products. CBD is extracted from hemp and then blended with a “carrier oil” such as hemp seed oil.

It’s important to remember that cannabis is a class B controlled drug which is listed in the “Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

In the UK, companies have to apply for a licence to produce hemp derived CBD. Licences are only granted for the cultivation of cannabis plant with a very low THC content. THC content cannot exceed 0.2%.

CBD isolate in its pure form is not a controlled substance. It is very rare for someone taking CBD to return a positive drug test.

Is THC Legal?

You will find THC on the UK government’s list of controlled substances and THC would return a positive in most standard drug tests.

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis is cannabis products that are available on NHS prescriptions in the UK. There are only three licensed cannabis medicines available and they are only prescribed for very specific medical treatment.

Epidyolex is used as a medical treatment for children and adults with epilepsy. Epidyolex is contains CBD oil but does not contain THC.

Nabilone is used as a treatment for chemotherapy patients. Nabilone has been designed to perform in a similar way to THC through a synthetic cannabinoid so is often described as a man-made form of cannabis.

Nabiximols (Sativex) is a cannabis based medicine used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Sativex contains equal parts CBD and THC.

You can find out more about “medical marijuana” on the NHS website.

Nonprescription CBD Products

There are of course many nonprescription CBD products available to buy. Legally these have to be THC free.

Many people use CBD products on a regular basis to help treat many health conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, inflammatory issues and sleep products.

Such is the sheer volume of CBD supplements available, we’d recommend only looking out for the best quality.

Here at My Health Shield, our CBD products are 100% THC free, 100% natural, organic and pesticide free.

It’s important to say that we are not making any health claims about CBD and if you do have any concerns about using CBD products you should contact a healthcare professional.


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