CBD vs. THC: What's the Difference?

We're exploring a topic that's creating a buzz in the world of natural products: What is better, THC or CBD? You might have heard these terms before, but what's the real difference?

Don't worry, and we won't dive into complex scientific jargon. Our aim is to break it down for you in the simplest way possible. So, if you've ever wondered about the distinctions between these two potent compounds found in the cannabis plant, you've come to the right place.


What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant or Industrial Hemp. Most people use CBD to help improve mood, discomfort, and sleep symptoms. Those taking CBD do not have feelings of "euphoria" or "get high." CBD is often taken in the form of capsules, topical creams, gummies, oils, and edible products.


What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is a psychoactive compound from the cannabis indica plants or Marijuana. It can cause those who use it to have feelings of "euphoria" or cause a "high." THC is most commonly found in the Marijuana plant and is typically smoked, but it can be found in edibles, capsules, oils, etc., like CBD products.


What's the Differences Between CBD vs. THC

While they have similar chemical makeups, they interact differently with the endocannabinoid system. THC attaches itself to the CB1 receptors. When the THC stimulates the CB1 receptors, the user gets that "high" feeling, amongst other benefits and side effects.

CBD attaches itself to CB1 vs CB2 receptors, which may produce the same benefits that THC offers without the "high." Let's discuss what the benefits are below.


CBD vs. THC Benefits

CBD and THC have been used to potentially help improve many different symptoms. Here is a list of possible benefits of THC and CBD and their differences.


Benefits of CBD

Cannabis and CBD use can be traced back as far as 2900 B.C. This cannabinoid has been used to assist the human body in many ways through the years.

The reason CBD is able to be used is because the cannabinoid works in sync with our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is comprised of neurotransmitters that bind to receptors throughout our central nervous system, immune system, and organs.

Endocannabinoid System

Because of the ECS, when our body takes in CBD or other cannabinoids like it, it is able to process and send this cannabinoid to these receptors, which may assist with the following:

  • mood
  • sleep
  • discomfort

There could be other benefits of using CBD, but more research is needed to know the exclusive benefits that CBD may offer.


Benefits of THC

Anyone who has used Marijuana or has heard from someone who has used the plant before may already have a general idea of what THC has to offer.

Typically, THC is most well-known for giving the user a feeling of euphoria and complete relaxation when taken in high doses. THC has some of the same benefits as CBD and may assist with the following:

  • mood
  • sleep
  • discomfort

The main difference between CBD and THC benefits is that THC can provide a high feeling of euphoria, whereas CBD does not. CBD vs. THC have many similarities concerning the benefits, but the side effects is where they stand apart.


Side Effects of CBD vs. THC

Before taking something, it's always important to know if you are at risk by taking it. Common knowledge that THC is potentially risky when taken, but does CBD? Let's dive into the possible side effects of both.


CBD Side Effects

The CDC and the National Library of Medicine have listed these as potential side effects of CBD:

  • Liver damage
  • Interference with medication
  • Diarrhea or changes in appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • appetite changes
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • dizziness
  • sleepiness and drowsiness

The a limited number of studies on the side effects of CBD, so this is not a complete list. However, CBD side effects typically do not occur unless you've taken more than 1,500 mg of CBD at once or in one day.

Taking too much CBD is not an issue because most users who take CBD only need anywhere from 10mg to 100mg of CBD per day. However, more research is still needed before we know the full list of possible side effects of CBD. Always wise to consult your physician before taking it.

women fatigued by CBD

THC Side Effects

According to the National Library of Medicine, THC has these potential side effects:

  • Dysphoria (discomfort or unease)
  • Paranoia
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Dry Mouth
  • Euphoria
  • Low Blood Pressure

This is not a complete list, and there could be more potential side effects based on each individual using THC. The amount of THC that a user would have to take to see these types of side effects is as little as 15 to 20mg+ of THC.

Taking THC in higher amounts puts the user at risk for the possible side effects listed above. Although, when THC and CBD are taken together, CBD has been known to counteract some of the effects that THC may cause.

Both are different and have side effects when discussing CBD vs. THC. Important to research these before starting use.


The legality of CBD and THC

According to the CDC, a law was signed and passed by Congress in 2018 that removed hemp from the federal controlled substance list. This act was called the Agriculture Improvement Act.

This legalized CBD if it comes from the hemp plant. Some states still have hemp on their controlled substance list, which means that CBD is not legal in those states. Important to check your state and local laws regarding CBD before purchasing and using it.

THC has a more complicated answer when it comes to legality. Many states have legalized the use of THC in the form of Marijuana. Some states have legalized it only for medical use, and some states have legalized it for medical and relaxing use. Still, 13 states have not legalized Marijuana.

legality of CBD oil

The FDA explains that the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, or the Farm Bill, states that CBD derived from hemp can only contain 0.3% or less THC. Still, 3 states with zero tolerance for THC, meaning that CBD must contain no THC to be legal. Important to double-check your local and state laws regarding THC before purchasing and using it.


How to take CBD and THC

CBD and THC have many forms of use. You can frequently find them in products such as gummies, edibles, capsules or softgels, oils, and smokables.

When taking CBD or THC, you will want different milligrams of both. Depending on your body's weight, age, tolerance, and gender may also determine how much CBD or THC you should take.

Typical CBD dosage amounts range between 10mg to 100mg per serving. You would want anywhere from 5mg to 15mg of THC when taking THC. For more dosing information, visit our Blog "How much CBD should I take."


Drug Testing

The body stores CBD and THC in fat, and they can remain in your system for 11 to 28 days, potentially appearing on a drug test during that time. Cheaper drug tests that you can buy at the store test specifically for cannabinoids. Whereas higher-end drug tests (usually used by companies) test for THC.

This means there is a potential that you can test positive for THC even if it is under the federal limit of 0.3%. If you are subject to drug testing, check with whoever is handing out the test to see if you can take CBD or CBD products with THC.



CBD vs. THC there are many similarities but also many differences. Both have great potential to improve wellness when taken daily, but both may also cause issues when taken in excess.

Important to note that both CBD and THC have their own separate benefits, but when paired together, they make a powerful combination. CBD helps to counteract the negative effects of THC, and both work together to assist in general wellness.

If you are looking for a combination of CBD and THC, the product for you is Full Spectrum CBD oil. You can find Full Spectrum CBD oil with a range of CBD and THC potencies. We recommend trying our GreenIVe Full Spectrum CBD Oil, which contains less than 0.3% THC, paired with high-quality CBD. We promise you'll love it within 30 days or your money back.

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