The likelihood of you knowing what each of these acronyms mean is quite high. However, there is also a likelihood that you thought they were the same thing. This is not correct, and we are here to help you understand so that the potential fear you have behind one or the other is gone! Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may seem daunting, but this post will explain what they are and what they are not in simple terms that anyone can understand. Without further ado, let’s begin.
What is CBD?
To begin, let’s start off with some basics. What is CBD? CBD is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis sativa plant is naturally found and comes in a few different variations. One variation is the hemp plant. The hemp plant is federally legal and contains high amounts of CBD while it contains low amounts of THC. The reason this plant, in particular, is federally legal is because of this 0.3% or less of THC that it contains. This is not enough to get a person ‘high’ but has other potential benefits.
What is THC?
THC is another cannabinoid that is a bit more well-known because of the psychoactive component. This cannabinoid is found in high quantities in the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant is another version of the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana is not federally legal because of the high amounts of THC. The ‘high’ effect is often referred to as a euphoric feeling. Because of this inebriating effect, marijuana is only legal in a handful of states. In these states, it can be used for recreational uses, medicinal purposes, or both!
Which is better?
This is not the correct question to ask, because neither one is better than the other. They are two very different cannabinoids that do different things. Of course, if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana and you’re over the age of 21, perhaps marijuana could be something to try. However, CBD is legal throughout the states (with exceptions in certain states) and can be used for multiple different reasons. It’s truly up to you to see which is right for you.
What are the uses of CBD?
There are several different uses of CBD. Here are a few popular ones:
- Skincare: CBD topicals generally don’t make it to the bloodstream this doesn’t mean that they cannot assist in the health of your skin. In this study they concluded that those with and those without skin conditions had improved skin health after the use of CBD topicals. They used a few different tests to note before and after the use of a CBD topical. Their evidence was supported with photographic evidence.
- Promote a sense of calm: Giving a sense of calm in those who have feelings of anxiousness could be helpful to many. In this study, they used brain scanning to exam subjects who have SAD (social anxiety disorder). Those who were given CBD showed a decrease in their social anxiety disorder. Those who did not receive the CBD did not have any decrease and remained the same.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: CBD has been researched for the possibility of joint health benefits. In this study they looked at dogs who are older and have joint health issues. During this study, the researchers asked pet owners to administer CBD to their dogs two times a day for four consecutive weeks. The owners were to take a weekly test to show if anything had improved. At the end of the four weeks pet owners described their dogs to be more mobile. Therefore, the CBD may have helped with their joint health. Good news!
- Antibacterial properties: There has been research coming to the front of the potential antibacterial properties of CBD. In this study they concluded that CBD had the capability to kill certain types of bacteria.
- FDA approved medications: There are quite a few FDA approved medications that contain CBD. Epidiolex is the most well-known. This medication assists those with two severe types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. There are also a handful of others that assist those going through anti-cancer treatments and the nausea it often causes. These are called Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone).
What products are available?
Now, that you’ve read the reasons people use CBD. Here are the ways that you can get CBD into your system
- Vapes: Vaping CBD is one of the quickest ways to get CBD into your system. This way of using CBD has a high rate of absorption as it directly enters the bloodstream via inhalation. Because the CBD gets right into your bloodstream, you feel the effects the quickest. This may be great for some, but, like inhaling anything, it could have negative effects on the lungs.
- Softgels: A softgel is a capsule that contains CBD and looks similar to a pill or vitamin supplement. Once the capsule is swallowed it goes through the digestive tract and then ends up in the stomach. Once there the CBD is absorbed as the capsule is broken down. The CBD is absorbed by the stomach and enters the bloodstream from there.
- Topicals: CBD topicals are a bit different than the others as they don’t tend to ever reach the bloodstream. With that being said, you may be able to reap benefits from the pores on the surface of the skin. These are best used frequently and in the same area. They come in lotions, creams, salves and even hand sanitizer for antibacterial purposes.
- Tinctures: This type of CBD gets into the bloodstream quickly similar to vapes. When the dropper full of CBD is placed in the mouth it’s taken into the bloodstream from the pores there. A tincture is an oil like substance that is added to carrier oil like coconut or avocado oil. Some tinctures come flavored to mask the earthy hemp taste that some don’t particularly enjoy.
- Edibles: Chew a treat full of CBD! Edibles come in all sorts of different types. Gummies, cookies and even chocolate. These are fun and yummy ways to get CBD into your daily routine.
The real winner is understanding the difference between the two different cannabinoids and using them to their full potential.