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CBD and THC are two names that you often hear in the discussions on cannabis. What are they? They are two compounds found in all cannabis plants although the individual percentages vary depending on the cannabis plant that you choose. If you take marijuana and hemp, two of the plants of the cannabis family, marijuana has a higher THC percentage (when compared with its CBD percentage) while hemp is known for its high CBD percentage.

In this article, we cover the similarities and differences between CBD and THC.


As we mentioned at the start of the article, both CBD and THC are derived from the same source; cannabis. They are two active cannabinoids extracted from the plants. In addition to CBD and THC, cannabis plants contain various other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more.

Chemical Structure 

The compounds CBD and THC are no different in their chemical structure. If you take a CBD and THC molecule, both comprise 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. If the molecules are made of the same type of atoms (in the same number), how come they have varying features? Well, the arrangements of atoms in the molecules are slightly different, and that explains how the compounds behave differently.

Both cannabinoids CBD and THC are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids produced in the body. The similarity facilitates the interaction of the cannabinoids with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Psychoactive Nature 

The psychoactive effects of CBD and THC have huge differences. Although CBD is psychoactive, its psychoactive effects are different from that of THC. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high in the users. Some studies have suggested that the psychoactive effects of CBD would be useful in treating conditions like anxiety, depression, and seizures.

Related: What is the entourage effect of CBD? Check here to learn more.

Legal Status

Laws related to cannabis are under constant evolution in the US. According to the US Farm Bill, CBD products derived from hemp are regarded legal if their THC percentage is below 0.3%. Marijuana-derived CBD products have a significantly high CBD percentage that is much higher than the allowable THC percentage as per the US Farm Bill.

The production, sale, and possession of marijuana products (high in THC) are dealt with according to the marijuana laws of the particular state you are in. The approach of different states towards marijuana and THC are often different from one another.

Both CBD and THC are known to have various medicinal properties that could be of great use to the world of medicine.

Related: What are the different methods of CBD consumption and which is the most effective? Click here to find out more.

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