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CBD vs THC: The Difference Explained

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

With a rising demand for natural medicines, cannabis compounds, like CBD and THC, are becoming increasingly popular due to their wide range of health benefits. While the close relationship between the two compounds may lead some to assume that both have the same impact on the body, a comparison between the molecular structure of CBD vs THC reveals the exact opposite.

BY Aaron Cadena


The Difference Between CBD and THC

If you didn’t already know — CBD and THC have the exact same chemical makeup: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.

The two are nearly identical twins.

What differentiates the two compounds, however, is the arrangement of a single atom, which you can observe in the illustration below.


CBD vs THC: How Each Affects the Body

While CBD and THC both bind to the CB2 receptor, they interact with the CB1 receptors in different ways.

Because of its molecular structure, THC is able to bind directly with CB1 receptors. When this bond is formed, the reaction creates signals that are sent to the brain, which results in the psychoactive effects of “getting high.”


In stark contrast, research shows that CBD does not bond directly with the CB1 receptor, and its presence can even negate the bond between THC and the CB1 receptors, effectively neutralizing the psychoactive effects induced by THC.


While THC certainly offers tremendous health benefits, its mind-altering effects aren’t preferred by everyone. CBD, on the other hand, can deliver many of the same benefits of THC without inducing its psychoactive effects. Plus, when using CBD vs THC, you typically won’t be breaking the law… And that brings us to our next subject… READ MORE





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