Revisiting the CBD vs. THC Distinction

chemical strucure of cbd and thc difference

Revisiting the CBD vs. THC Distinction


There is a growing interest in the medical benefits of the cannabis plant.  In 2016, Forbes projected a 700% growth rate in four years. Right now, researchers expect the industry to hit the $22 billion mark in three years. Many more states in the United States are legalizing medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. The Vaping industry is also experiencing significant increase in users. In the United States alone, there is $52.5 billion demand. Individuals are now aware of CBD and THC benefits more than before.

As this explosion takes place and more people come to be interested in the whole Cannabis industry, there is need for more clarity and understanding. People need to have true and helpful information that will help them make decisions as well as to understand the dynamics of the industry.

One such clarity is the distinction between the CBD and the THC. The distinction is helpful to understand the health benefits of the cannabis plant and the differences in legal regulation between the industrial hemp plant and the cannabis plant. Also, the distinction will help users and buyers to make an informed buying decision.

What is CBD?

Derived from cannabis plant, CBD is a phyto-cannabinoid compound that has proven to be therapeutic and essential for a good health regimen. It was first discovered by Dr. Roger Adams, who separated CBD as an isolated chemical compound from cannabis sativa plant, in 1940. But Dr. Raphael Mechoulam was the first scientist to describe the chemical structure of CBD in 1964.


When it comes to extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, there are different methods you can consider.

A conventional method of extraction is the use of liquid solvents. This method involves adding liquid solvents like ethanol or hexane into a bowl that contains the flowers of a hemp plant. The liquid absorbs and extracts the CBD (with its flavors) compound in the hemp flowers. What you have left after evaporating the liquid is pure CBD.

Alternatively, you can use a closed loop extractor machine to seamlessly extract CBD from the industrial hemp plant. This extraction method makes use of CO2 and it contains three chambers. One of the chambers contains CO2 in its solid state, and the other contains the hemp plant material.

C02 pumped from the first chamber into the second chamber while temperature is kept high so that the CO2 is now in a liquid state. At this stage, CBD and its flavors are extracted from the hemp plant. The resultant solution is held at a lower pressure at the third chamber so that CO2 is separated from the CBD extract.

In some other applications, oil is used as a means of extraction. But this method is somewhat conventional. Now, let’s take a look at some of the unique benefits of CBD.

Uses of CBD

Known to be a potent remedy for treating various kinds of diseases, CBD is highly effective with reducing anxiety, depression, and addictions. The list is endless. In some other applications, it functions as pain relief for headaches, joint pain, body aches, and chronic back aches.

The CBD compound is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and anti-proliferation, making it a good remedy for curing cancer and its numerous symptoms.

Patients who suffer from certain health conditions like osteoporosis, epilepsy, heart diseases, diabetes, ADHD, OCD, autism and arthritis enjoy long-lasting relief by consing CBD.


There are a good number of differences between THC and CBD. Both components, which are sourced from the same cannabis plant, have the same molecular formula. However, CBD does not contain the psychoactive and the euphoric effect which is often associated with THC. Unlike THC, you don’t get stoned when you use CBD. Instead, CBD helps you get over the effects of THC.

Common conditions like memory loss, cognition problems, anxiety, and lethargy that arise after consuming THC are not present in CBD.

Legality of CBD

Industrial hemp-derived CBD is legal both at the federal and the state level. However, the legality of CBD derived from the cannabis plant lies chiefly on its use – whether you want to use it for medical or recreational purpose. Cannabis is legal for recreational use in 10 states and for medical use in 33 states including Washington DC. It is illegal in three states while the other fourteen states have some regulations guiding its use as a medical product.


What is THC?

The Cannabis plant has biomolecules that are instrumental to the health benefits they provide.

These biomolecules include the flavonoids, the terpenoids and over 60 cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the two common phyto-cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant. The two components have great health effects.

It is one of the compounds found in the resin that is produced by the glands of the marijuana plant. THC has the chemical formula C₂₁H₃₀O₂, and the molecular mass is 314.464 g/mol.

The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive element in cannabis that gives the high feeling. The THC looks like the anandamide, which is a natural compound in the brain. When THC is in the body, it attaches itself to the neurons and causes a change in brain communication.

It is for this reason that THC produces the high feeling whenever there is an intake of cannabis.

The uses of THC

Many have framed the CBD vs. THC question in terms like “CBD vs THC for cancer”, “CBD vs. THC for anxiety” as if it is only one of them that offer certain health benefits.

THC is a core component in some products like oils, lotions, balms, and creams that are applied topically. They are also used as syrups to be taken sublingually and as edibles.

THC has some health benefits that include the relief of pain, headache, and anxiety, anti-inflammation, improving appetite, improved relaxation among others.

Drugs like Marinol and Dronabinol have THC as a critical component. The latter has been successfully used to treat nausea and vomiting as well as improve appetite.

Therefore, phrases like “CBD vs. THC for cancer” or “CBD vs THC for anxiety” are misplaced. THC possesses massive health benefits like CBD.

The negatives of THC

The psychoactive and euphoric component of THC is a significant issue with the compound.

It stimulates the production of dopamine leading to feelings of Euphoria. THC is also known to affect memory, concentration, coordination and time perception. It can lead to decreased IQ and deteriorated cognition, dry mouth, lethargy and even increased anxiety.

THC can result to hallucinations. In many cases, it often leads to long-term psychomotor impairments.

Socially, THC can lead to a problem with driving. Drivers under the influence of THC create the risk of accidents on the road. It also has some of the social risks like dropout rate and violence rate that are associated with alcohol.

Similarly, THC has many complications when used with some other drugs.

The Legal status of THC

The legality of THC and cannabis in general in the United States depends on whether it is for medical use or recreational use.

Cannabis is legal for medical use in 32 states of the United States and Washington DC.

Ten states have also legalized the recreational use of Cannabis, and the expectation is that the numbers will increase in 2019.

Latest polls even show that about 2/3 of Americans are in support of the use of cannabis while new investment in the industry totaled $10 billion in North America.

Why it Matters

Understanding these differences is essential on many fronts. Although there are CBD and THC benefits, there are also some important reasons to understand the distinction.

The Issue of Legality

CBD derived from industrial hemp have extremely low levels of THC and are considered legal for medical and recreational use.

However, CBD derived from cannabis plant might have higher levels of THC. When the level is higher than 0.03%, the resultant product is considered as marijuana which is legal for medical use in 32 states and for recreational use in only 10 states. CBD and THC levels constitute a fine line between legal and illegal.

Therefore, when using any CBD product, you need to be sure about the levels of CBD and THC as to avoid any legal conundrum.

Choosing products

Before purchasing a CBD product, it is essential then to be sure of the CBD and THC levels. You should take this precaution to ensure you are getting the maximum health benefit without the psychoactive element.

Health and wellness

THC does not result in addiction or dependency but the psychoactive effects can lead to some health challenges. It is therefore imperative to know the level of THC in any product you use for your own health and safety.


Earth E CBD

At Earth E CBD, we value your health and wellness. Our CBD products are derived from the best hemp plants with responsible regards to industry and environmental standards.

We have a whole range of products including CBD oil, tinctures, capsules, creams, vaping devices, edibles and other accessories. You can be assured that our products will not get you high or leave you with any psychoactive effects.

The customer service team is dedicated to answering your questions and guiding you through the buying process.

For maximum health and wellness, choose Earth E CBD.



As the CBD industry expands, it is important to keep up to date with crucial and relevant information.

The distinction between CBD and THC is not just an academic matter. It is a distinction that will help you make correct product choices, stay within legal limit and enjoy maximum health and wellness.

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