The Crucial Differences between THC and CBD in Cannabis

The Crucial Differences between THC and CBD in Cannabis

Chances are, if you are to bring up the topic of CBD oil or cannabis to those who have not experienced it or are not educated on it’s medicinal uses, you will find one or all of the stereotypical misunderstandings present. A friend or family member may claim that it kills brain cells, that it can permanently impact your memory or damage your nervous system. That it is as bad or worse than alcohol or other recreational drugs. These claims are not without warrant, however it is worth noting that in comparison to legal drugs like caffeine, alcohol and other over the counter pharmaceuticals, it is physiologically impossible to actually overdose on cannabis. [1] Still, the crucial health differences in smoking and vaping are also worth noting. [2]

Despite these knee-jerk misinformed reactions, ever since Jack Herer’s early pioneering investigation into the real reasons why hemp was banned globally, people have been questioning whether or not there is legitimacy to his claims. Perhaps there was a reason why Thomas Jefferson was keenly interested in this fascinating plant.

One of the most astounding of Herer’s arguments is that Cannabis was an essential component of ancient civilization as early as 6,000 B.C. and used the world over, not as a party drug, but as a legitimate medicine that had a wide range of immense, measurable physiological and psychological benefits. [3] In some cultures, Cannabis was even considered to be sacred, an essential component of ancient religious ceremonies. [4]

While there are plenty of arguments on both sides of the spectrum for medical marijuana, for the sake of brevity this article will instead focus solely on the non-THC variety of cannabis, called hemp, and the differences between THC and CBD. It will be aimed at the newcomer to these critical health care topics, especially for those who are interested in benefitting from crucial medicinal components of CBD, without needing to also deal with the mind altering aspects associated with high concentrates of THC.

So, let’s look at the facts.



CBD is just one of 60 compounds found in cannabis, the ingredients of which are called cannabinoids. While THC is typically the compound that medical studies have usually targeted due to the typical mind altering, Cheech and Chong-esque effects it produces, CBD is quite another thing entirely. Essentially, CBD and hemp will not get you stoned, and CBD will actually work to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, making it more appealing to those who need to maintain concentration on the job.

This is because CBD is effectively non-psychoactive, while still being a major component of Cannabis sativa. [5] Since 2013, interest in CBD has medical and scientific interest in CBD has continued to rise. [6] One of the initial pioneering studies in 2013 concluded that CBD benefits include anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agents. This means there is a potential for CBD to act as a medicinal treatment for epilepsy, neuroinflammation, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia. [7]

One of the most interesting mysteries currently being investigated in CBD studies is why the brain has built in receptors for these particular cannabinoids. There have even been some researchers who have speculated that the brain has actually evolved over time to incorporate Cannabis as a medicine, considering that the brain does not actually process it in the same way that it does alcohol, in reacting to it as a poison.

CBD1 receptors are distributed throughout the brain, though concentrated in particular areas associated with movement, coordination, pain, sensory perception, emotion, memory cognition, autonomic and endocrine functions. [8] CBD2 receptors are also found in the immune system, seemingly functioning in relation to reducing inflammation as well as certain kinds of pain.

Interestingly though, scientists are discovering that CBD does not have a great deal of impact on CBD1/CBD2 receptors, in comparison to THC, which has a great impact and regulates the CBD1 receptor. It’s easy to draw the conclusion that, until recently, this is the reason why many strains of cannabis tend to be high in THC and considerably lower in CBD.

So why is THC psychoactive while CBD isn’t? As Barcott explains:

“When we’re talking about cannabis and psychoactivity, we’re dealing exclusively with CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system. The difference between CBD vs. THC comes down to a basic difference in how each one interacts with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor. THC binds well with CB1 cannabinoid receptors. CBD has low binding affinity for CB1 receptors. That’s where the two diverge. Think of it like an electrical plug connecting to a wall socket. A THC molecule is perfectly shaped to connect with CB1 receptors. When that connection happens, THC activates, or stimulates, those CB1 receptors. Researchers call THC a CB1 receptor agonist, which means THC works to activate those CB1 receptors.” [8]

This is not to say that THC has no medicinal benefit, however. In fact, THC has been demonstrated to have antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-tremor, anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulating and anti-emetic properties, that remain in harmony with the positive medicinal effects of CBD.

Alright enough with the science jargon already, what are the essential proven health benefits of CBD and why should you care?

1. Dramatic pain and Inflammation relief

2. Reduces anxiety

3. Cancer Fighting Properties

4. Relieves Nausea

5. Antipsychotic Effects

6. Treatment of Seizures and Other Neurological Disorders

7. Lowers Incidence of Diabetes

8. Promotes overall Cardiovascular Health


Is CBD Legal?

CBD is currently being investigated by the DEA in order to investigate its pharmacology and abuse liability while identifying gaps in the published literature thus far. [10]

In December of 2016, DEA published a rule regarding CBD, reiterating that all cannabis extracts, including CBD, are considered to be Schedule I substances. Despite this, it remains available online and in retail stores around the country. [11]

Currently CBD is legally allowed in 44 states, but there are six states which outright outlaw CBD concentrate products: Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, and West Virginia. Still, CBD appears to remain an extremely low priority for most law enforcement agencies.

To make matters even more confusing, CBD isolate products remain in a legal grey area, while hemp products that contain CBD remain legal. For example, hempseed oil is federally legal, but this is not the same thing as CBD oil. [12] In any natural or whole foods grocer, it’s common to find hemp protein and granola, so there seems to be no issue there.


Kannaway, the Legal Solution to CBD Needs

So, you’re interested in CBD but the internet is saturated with different products, each company claiming they are the best. How do you make an informed decision as a consumer?

While most companies who are currently selling CBD oil can only legitimately claim 44 states in legal territory, Kannaway is a company who has fought the good fight, earning the right to claim legality in all 50 states.

Kannaway is on top of the competition in the CBD market currently, and is also a company of firsts. They were the first major company to provide CBD products to consumers, and have incredibly rigorous, lab tested results that prove their low thc, high CBD products are worth their weight in gold.

An additional benefit to Kannaway is that they are actually interested in helping the consumer to grow their own business within their own product line. If you decide to make a life long committment to CBD products and want to save a tremendous amount of money, consider reviewing Kannaway’s Brand Ambassador program. This feature alone really sets them apart from the competition.


Final Thoughts

* CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it will not get you stoned, and will actually work to counteract the sleep inducing effects of THC.

* While many companies can only claim that CBD concentrate oil is legal in 44 states in the US, Kannaway alone has claim with legal rights fought in court, to all 50 states.

* CBD benefits include acting as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia

* Many strains of marijuana are known for having abundant levels of THC and high-CBD strains are less common; however, with the medical community paying more attention to the therapeutic effects of CBD, that is beginning to change. CBD is being used to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory impairment.

* If you decide to make a commitment to CBD, Kannaway is also the only company currently offering to help grow your own business selling their pristine, professional grade products.




[3] See Herer’s The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy.

[4] Ibid.


[6] For more info on the three varieties of cannabis see here.

[7] See the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology







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