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What are the differences between CBD and THC?

The cartoon wants the THC be the terrible child of cannabis. The CBD, on the contrary, would be the origin of the benefits that we lend him. Further research actually shows that, despite completely separate effects, differences between CBD and THC are more subtle than it seems.

Cannabinoids, molecules still poorly understood

Le cannabis is at the center of many debates and almost everyone has a clear opinion on its use. Yet it is still poorly known. What we do know is that its molecular structure is complex. At least eighty-five cannabinoids different have already been identified. These are molecules, or more precisely acids, exclusive to the cannabis plant. These chemicals very different from each other act on certain receptors in the human body, causing effects that we know more or less.

Among the best known cannabinoids, there is of course THC whose full name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is the most common naturally occurring molecule in c. We owe him in particular his psychoactive effect, that is to say hovering. When faced with THC, we generally oppose CBD, or cannabidiol. Sometimes nicknamed therapeutic cannabis thanks to its calming effects, it is the second most studied cannabinoid after THC.

Having more perspective on larger-scale research will allow better understand the effects and differences between CBD and THC. The extension of the list of countries authorizing the use of cannabis will allow many new studies to see the light of day. Many eyes turn in this regard to Canada, the first large western country to have fully legalized cannabis, and, for medical and recreational use.

A molecular difference

No differences between CBD and THC in terms of chemical composition-min
No differences between CBD and THC in terms of chemical composition

When we study in detail the molecules of CBD and THC, we quickly realize that their structure is very close. Their chemical composition is indeed exactly the same. One THC molecule and one CBD molecule each have 21 carbon atoms, 3 hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. The only difference, apparently tiny, lies in the arrangement of these atoms between them and more particularly the position of a single hydrogen atom. On a human scale, this seems possible to ignore. In fact, the differences caused by the change of position of this atom are immense.

The scientist behind the isolation of the THC molecule is called Raphael Mechoulam. A year earlier, in 1963, this Israeli researcher was already successfully determine the structure of CBD, then only isolated. Thanks to him and his teams, the differences between CBD and THC could be better understood, especially regarding their respective effects.

The human body has a endocannabinoid system. Identified in the 1990s, it contains two types of receptors: CB-1 and CB-2. The former are present in certain areas of our brain while the latter are distributed between our immune system and our nervous system. Because of their molecular difference, THC and CBD do not interact in the same way with these receptors. The differentiation of their effects therefore lies mainly in this small detail.

CBD and THC, very different effects

THC has a psychoactive effect that CBD-min does not have
THC causes the consumer to lose control, which is not the case with CBD

THC therefore makes us hover. It is one of the tetrahydrocannabinols, listed as narcotic and therefore strictly prohibited by law. He is the main responsible for what is called recreational cannabis use, which is totally prohibited by French law.

CBD is said to be a sedative and a sedative. Cannabidiol is indeed a cannabinoid whose certain effects are recognized, but still little known. This lack of scientifically proven data still places him as an outsider whose apparent benefits are not enough to raise him to the rank of conventional medicine. CBD is not psychoactive, however and therefore not listed as narcotic. It is therefore not illegal.

The differences between CBD and THC are therefore mainly manifested in their effects. Some studies, however, suggest that the two molecules are more complementary than expected. CBD seems to slow down, and even counteract the effects of THC. Its calming effect would, for example, limit the feeling of anxiety sometimes caused by taking THC. These studies, which still require further study, even seem to demonstrate that CBD limits the feeling of addiction and could, in the right dosage, act as substitute for freeing oneself from the feeling of lack. The differences between CBD and THC, instead of opposing them, on the contrary increase their complementarity.

CBD legal Vs. THC illegal?

CBD and THC no visible differences on the plant-min
At the cannabis plant level, there is nothing to assess the differences between CBD and THC

There are very strict regulations governing the use of THC. In France, its prohibition is clear and it appears on a list gathering the various narcotics. No addictive action has, however, been recognized by the CBD. Cannabidiol is therefore not a narcotic. It does not make a priori dependent and also does not contain toxic substances. However, as with any other plant, it is necessary to ensure its production method to avoid contamination with external chemical substances such as pesticides.

So to say that THC is illegal and CBD is legal is to take a bit of a short cut. At the legal level, however, there are many differences between CBD and THC. European law actually states that plants with a THC content of less than 0,2% are legal plants. It is these same plants, and only them, that allow the creation of CBD products. Products with a high CBD content sold in France can therefore be considered as cannabis without THC. This is what makes CBD its nickname legal cannabis. Despite a sometimes vague legal framework, the European Union is increasingly interested in issues related to CBD. She would even think of solutions for develop the cannabis sector.

We are therefore at the beginning of the discovery of the possibilities offered by cannabinoids. Scientific research continues to provide answers as to their effects. The legalization of cannabis in certain countries, especially in Canada which authorizes CBD and THC, should allow science to make huge strides in cannabis research.

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