Cannabis is an amazing plant. Between the male and female forms, over 400 phytocompounds exist. With each setting sun, new light shines on research that is making leaps bounds towards better understanding the activity of certain organic compounds. A few of these organic compounds are now more famous than others. The most famous being Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Increasing in popularity is now cannabidiol or CBD. Just what makes these two compounds so unique and interesting to us? What do they do? How do they differ? Despite coming from similar humble roots (no pun intended) the effective differences between THC and CBD are striking.
THC gets you High
For most of the 20th century, THC was pretty much the only chemical compound we ever heard about in the cannabis plant. C21H30O2, more specifically Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is most famous for its ability to produce euphoric, psychotropic effects. This happens because of THC’s intrinsic ability to attached to the cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors in our brain’s endocannabinoid system. Agitation of the CB1 and CB2 receptors effectively stimulates the reward system and delivers a “high.” Good times are not the only thing THC provides, THC also fights cancer and is an effective analgesic. However, the latter are attributes more commonly tied to CBD.
CBD gets you Healthy!
Cannabidiol, shockingly, is also C21H30O2. Known to most as CBD, is as different as night and day from THC. CBD does nothing with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. An enzyme, the FAAH enzyme in particular, prevents CBD from having an opportunity for interaction with the CB receptors. No high is felt. What is felt, on the other hand, is relief from a broad spectrum of ailments. Epilepsy, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, schizophrenia, inflammatory diseases, and reducing the proliferation of cancer cells are all widespread effects of CBD ingestion. Remarkably, this relief with a minimal risk of detrimental side effects.
So if ever in doubt, just remember – THC gets you high. CBD gets you healthy!