CBD vs. THC: What Are the Differences?


CBD and THC are the two most known of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Both THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system but elicit different natural effects. CBD and THC are also regulated very differently.

Many adult rec consumer and medical marijuana patients have the same question when just started out with cannabis: what are the differences between CBD and THC. Here we will look at differences between CBD and THC, as well as how they are alike.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most prominent cannabinoids found in cannabis, the plant genus that includes both hemp and marijuana. While there are over 100 different cannabinoids so far known in cannabis by researchers, CBD and THC are the most studied and best understood.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are organic compounds found in cannabis. These natural components of the plant interact with a body’s endocannabinoid system, which sends signals to help regulate a wide variety of different bodily functions. At this time, the endocannabinoid system is understood to interact with processes in the body that affect our experience of the following:

  • Pain
  • Memory and Cognition
  • Sleep
  • Immunity
  • Mood
  • Appetite

So far, members of the scientific community have already identified over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis plants, which interact with your existing endocannabinoid system to affect neural signals in the brain. Of all of those different types, though, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are believed to be the most important for producing the known effects of cannabis.


Even though their basic definition as cannabinoids is similar, there are some large differences between the effects of CBD compared to THC. For starters, they don’t bind with the same cannabinoid receptors. THC binds with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors, and CBD doesn’t. Interaction with the CB1 receptors is responsible for the delightful, intoxicating high most people think of when they think of cannabis.

Since CBD doesn’t form bonds with CB1 receptors, which means it can’t cause a high all by itself. Even further, studies are starting to suggest that CBD inhibits the ability of other organic compounds like THC to bind with those CB1 receptors. In other words, high levels of CBD in cannabis may reduce the effects of that strain’s THC. This is definitely worth considering when you search for a cannabis strain with potent psychoactive effects.

Should I Choose Strains Without CBD, Then?

Even though CBD may reduce the effects of THC, there are still a lot of people who swear by it. There may even be significant benefits unless you’re just looking for strains with the highest THC potency. Some people have turned to CBD all by itself in their attempts to get pain relief, reduce anxiety, and sleep better, among other things.

Beyond that, CBD is believed to produce little to no side effects. Some cases of drowsiness or dry mouth have been reported, but some research has confirmed that CBD is very safe in terms of side effects. It may even help people who occasionally experience unwanted effects from THC, which may include the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired Memory
  • Dizziness
  • Red Eyes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Delayed Reaction Time

There isn’t enough scientific research (yet) to say with certainty that CBD can prevent any of those symptoms when they’re unrelated to THC consumption. That said, it’s not an unreasonable conclusion to think that CBD could help with the side effects of THC since cannabidiol is believed to prevent bonding between the CB1 receptors.

How to Choose a Strain for CBD and THC

Here at Acres Cannabis, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of strains that can match just about any cannabinoid profile you’re looking for. We offer extremely potent strains with nearly 30% THC potency and no CBD, or much more balanced options with nearly equal amounts of CBD and THC. If you’re only interested in exploring the benefits of cannabidiol without getting high, we even offer CBD products that don’t contain any psychoactive THC.

Our experienced budtenders can walk you through all the options, so come see us in person 24/7, place your order online, or contact us to learn more.

Image Credit: stockish

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