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Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of about 113 cannabinoids in the cannabis sativa plant. Let us look at these two compounds and compare them.


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These two compounds both interact with the CB2 receptor but they work differently on the CB1 receptor.  THC binds with the CB1 receptor to create the feeling of being high.

However, CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not bind with the CB1 receptor.


Due to its psychoactive properties, THC is illegal in most countries. However, CBD is not. However, it is still in the grey area of the law in the U.S.

CBD manufacturers claim the 2018 Farm Bill essentially gave the green light to CBD products. However, there is still a lot of confusion about its legality. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of epilepsy.

Medicinal benefits

It should be noted that both THC and CBD have medicinal properties. They are effective for different ailments including pain, seizures, insomnia, tooth decay, and gum disease among others.

Chemical structure

THC and CBD have a similar chemical structure. Both cannabinoids have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, 2 oxygen atoms. However, the difference between the two arises from the position of a single atom.

Side effects

As stated before, CBD is well tolerated and is considered safe except for the drug to drug reactions between CBD and other medications. Some people have experienced some minor side effects from taking CBD such as nausea, sleepiness, and fatigue to name a few.

However, THC has various side effects which are mostly linked to its psychoactive property. It can reportedly cause brain damage and even mental illness. Some of the most common side effects of THC include increased heart rate, dry mouth, memory loss, dizziness, and sleepiness.

Drug test

Both compounds are discoverable in your blood no matter how long or no matter at what time they entered your system. This is because they are stored in fat in the body. However, in most instances, the test conducted is for THC and not CBD. However, people using CBD should be careful as low levels of THC may be found in their blood.


THC and CBD can be gotten from both industrial hemp and marijuana. Marijuana has a higher level of THC and a lower CBD. On the other hand, hemp has high levels of CBD and low THC.

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Issue of appetite

THC has been found to stimulate appetite.  This is because it binds with the CB1 receptor.

However, this is not the case with CBD.  CBD actually lowers the appetite.