Are Cannabis And CBD The Same?
With the increase in cannabis consumption thanks, in part, to its legalization in different parts of the world, many are seeing to understand it better. Especially in terms of medicinal uses, it’s important to understand the differences between cannabis, THC, and CBD. ‘Cannabis’ is the plant name, and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two main active ingredients found in the plant. Both of these ingredients engage with the body and brain’s cannabinoid receptors, but each produces its own set of distinct effects.
Cannabis and THC
The Cannabis plant’s main psychoactive ingredient is THC. So for Cannabis users, it is the THC that gets people the high feeling of using the drug for recreational purposes. THC works partly by mimicking the effects of some of the body’s neurotransmitters; these transmitters monitor and control eating, sleeping, pain perception, and other crucial functions.
The main effects of THC include feelings of relaxation, an alteration of the senses, fatigue, hunger, and reduced aggression and anxiety.
What is CBD?
Cannabis is the only known plant that contains CBD (Cannabidiol), and this is the part of Cannabis that is most often used for medical purposes. The difference between CBD and THC is difficult to understand as they are both found in the cannabis plant, and while they have the same chemical formulation, their atoms are arranged differently; this different arrangement gives THC its psychoactive effect, while CBD has a pain-relieving effect.
CBD has an extensive list of medical benefits: pain relief, stopping or easing seizures in epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s, inflammation, acne, psoriasis, depression, nausea, anxiety, ADHD, schizophrenia, heart disease, IBS, and many more conditions and diseases.
Are Cannabis and CBD the Same Thing?
So when it comes to the question, “Are Cannabis and CBD the same thing?”, the answer is that Cannabis refers to the plant in which CBD is an active component, the other active component being THC. CBD is the ingredient most often used for medical purposes or in natural supplements.
The other active component of the Cannabis plant, THC, is an illegal drug due to its immediate psychoactive effects on users, including impaired judgment and reasoning, lethargy, and fewer impulses control. Chronic use of THC has also been found to have significant effects on heart and brain health.
CBD does not carry the harmful cognitive effects that THC carries; ironically, CBD can actually counteract THC’s psychoactive effects. Thus, plants with higher THC levels and low CBD levels produce a more intense ‘high’. Plants with lower levels of THC but higher levels of CBD produce a weaker more relaxed feeling, mainly due to pain reduction.
With the ever-increasing popularity of medical Cannabis, growers are working on strains that feature higher levels of CBD to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. Currently available in Cannabis dispensaries in countries that have legalized marijuana, Cannabis is fast becoming one of the most popular means of pain reduction for people suffering from a wide range of conditions and diseases, both mental and physical.