CBD VS THC – What Are The Differences?


Cannabidiol or CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC are two cannabinoids that are found in cannabis plants. When ingested, both CBD and THC interact with the cannabinoid receptors to offer many favorable results. There are many cannabinoid receptors in the human body and these receptors cause different physiological effects. These cannabinoids could help treat pain, appetite loss, nausea, eating disorders, muscle spasms, glaucoma, and many more health issues.

The most important difference between CBD and THC is the lack of psychoactive effects for CBD. Unlike THC, using CBD will not make the user high. Let us look into some more differences between CBD and THC.


Even though CBD and THC are found in cannabis plants and interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, there are some key differences between the two. These are discussed below.

Getting High

Despite both CBD and THC being cannabinoids, both interact in different ways with the receptors present in the brain of the user. Due to this, CBD use will not make a person high. Conversely, THC offers the high that we usually associate with marijuana. However, medical marijuana available in dispensaries is CBD dominant and will have only very low THC. Therefore, the user will not feel high on using medical marijuana.

The Source

As said earlier, both THC and CBD are cannabinoid compounds that are found in marijuana. However, when you are using CBD dominant medical marijuana, you are actually using CBD extracted from hemp plants, which is a member of the cannabis family of plants and closely related to marijuana. The THC dominant products are extracted from the marijuana plants, that is, the source of THC is marijuana and that of CBD is hemp.


Some of the states in North America have approved people using medical marijuana. There are differences in the way different states regulate and define the use, sale, or prescription of marijuana. There are no federal laws in place that allow the legal use of marijuana. Therefore, it is illegal to prescribe or use marijuana in all those states that do not allow people to do so. Many states have approved the recreational use of marijuana but in the case of medical marijuana, recreational use is not federally legal.

The case of CBD is different as it is federally legal after the Farm Bill of 2018. However, in some of the states, there are strict regulations in place regarding CBD usage. Therefore, it is important for you to look into state laws before planning to use CBD or medical marijuana products. If your state does not allow its use, you might face legal issues. Moreover, the laws regarding the use of recreational and medical marijuana are changing and you should check your local laws frequently.


Even though both CBD and THC have similar effects in treating some of the common health issues, there are also some differences in the uses. CBD is typically used to treat seizures, inflammation, migraines, inflammatory bowel disease, and common mental disorders like anxiety and depression. THC is used for treating muscle spasticity, insomnia, eating disorders, and glaucoma.

Side Effects

There are only very few side effects recorded for THC and CBD. In reality, there are not many serious side effects recorded for CBD. As per the World Health Organization, CBD is safe to use, even in large quantities. The only potential side effects of CBD are due to the result of interactions with other drugs that the person is having.

THC use can have some temporary side effects like redness of eyes, short term memory loss, feeling of high (elation), dry mouth, slow response times, and increased heart rates. On using THC, teenagers can experience negative psychiatric effects as their brain is still developing. Some of the studies claim that using large doses of THC on a regular basis might increase the risk of schizophrenia.

As of now, neither THC nor CBD has any serious side effects and neither can be fatal to the users when used properly.

Method Of Intake

Many people vape or smoke CBD or marijuana. However, this might not be a good method for people with some conditions. CBD products are available in many different forms like oils, tinctures, tablets, gels, gummies, creams, bath bombs, and other beauty accessories. THC is available in the form of edibles like brownies, smokable products, oils, capsules, etc. Vaping is a method that can be used to ingest both CBD and THC and it is preferred by many because of its high bioavailability and fast results.


Even though both CBD and THC are similar in what they help treat, the main difference is that CBD will not make the user high, whereas THC will make the person high. It is important to understand the laws of your state before using both THC and CBD.