Cannabis is nothing new, yet still there are plenty of people who are not aware of the difference between the two major chemical compounds found in the plant, despite how much they enjoy using it. With state and local legislation catching up to the demand for the legalization of cannabis use, it is helpful to understand the main differences between CBD and THC.

Scientists Actively Research Cannabis

Just in case there is even one person somewhere who does not know, cannabis is also known as the marijuana plant. Between the medical use and sweeping legalization allowing recreational use of cannabis, researchers have been dedicating their study to cannabinoids. These are the chemical compounds that make up the active principles of marijuana. Not surprisingly, extensive research on these compounds has been restricted due to marijuana’s history as a Schedule 1 drug.

The Main Difference in the Compounds

There are more than 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis, but there are two that have captured the attention of researchers. The first is THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound. This is the one that gives people the “high” when they smoke it. The second one is CBD, or cannabidiol, derived from hemp. This one is the non-psychoactive compound and the one that is generating the most interest.

Pot Has More to Offer than a High

CBD is generating excitement in the medical field. Researchers have discovered that the compounds found in cannabis match precisely to the receptors that are present throughout our bodies. These receptors are so closely mated, in fact, that they have been given the name “the endocannabinoid system.” Retired cardiac surgeon, Dr. David Allen, compares the significance of this discovery to the application of sterile surgical technique in terms of saving lives.

Determining Dosage is a Personal Thing

CBD has proved to be effective in reducing inflammation. It has also been found to influence hormone secretion regulating appetite, mood and energy levels. At this stage in the production of CBD products, there is yet to be determined an industry-wide standard.

For those who live in a state that allows recreational use of marijuana, it is possible to consume CBD products in various forms including tinctures, oils, edibles, vaping or patches. As you shop at a dispensary, you can experiment with different products to determine what dosages work best for you. Low-dosing is one way to get started and then adjust doses according to how you respond to the effects.

Isolating or Combining THC and CBD: That is the Question

Both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant, but industrial hemp is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as long as it does not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Growers have been cultivating marijuana plants to enhance the “high” a lot longer than they have been tinkering with terpenoids and cannabinoids for which direction the physiological effects can be refined to achieve homeostasis, the body’s natural state of balance and well-being. What has become clear is how the compounds work better in concert than when isolated. This is referred to as the “ensemble” or “entourage” effect.

Dr. Allen explains in his video that future doctors need to learn the significance of this substance and how it contributes to homeostasis. As both doctors and patients learn the appropriate doses to treat a host of physical conditions, we are going to see cannabis change medicine as we know it. Dr. Allen goes as far as saying more people will be saved through manipulation of the endocannabinoid system than are saved by surgery.

Speak with your doctor or healthcare professional to determine if CBD or could be helpful in treating your personal medical condition.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.