Marijuana may be the most versatile plant as you can enjoy its psychedelic effects and at the same time reap its therapeutic qualities. The reason why cannabis is recreational and therapeutic is because of its rich cannabinoid content. Of the hundreds of cannabinoids, there are two prominent ones: CBD vs THC. This guide will help you understand the properties and the effects of each one.
What are Cannabinoids?
You may have noticed how most cannabis users prefer to check the THC and the CBD levels of the strain they want to use. This is because the amount of THC and CBD in weed makes the strain more therapeutic or highly psychoactive. It’s also important to consider cannabinoid levels to further understand any side effects of CBD and THC and prevent them.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a natural cannabinoid compound in cannabis that’s responsible for the plant’s medicinal qualities. CBD is best used for seizure disorders or epilepsy and may also be used to deal with pain, anxiety, dystonia (a muscle disorder), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and so many more conditions.
Keep in mind that when CBD levels are high, THC levels will be low and vice versa. Users who need medicinal cannabis prefer to use a strain with low or almost absent THC to benefit from CBD’s therapeutic effects. Meanwhile, those who prefer recreational prefers to use weed with high THC.
Why is CBD Important?
CBD has many therapeutic benefits and is not psychoactive. This means, if you use a strain with high CBD, you won’t have to worry about the potent psychoactive effects like hallucinations, paranoia, restlessness, and other THC effects.
- CBD can relieve anxiety
- CBD can treat seizures
- CBD protects the brain from neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, MS, Parkinson’s disease and stroke)
- CBD for pain relief (arthritis, MS pain, muscle pain, chronic pain, and spinal cord pain)
- CBD can treat acne
- CBD for cancer treatment
CBD Side Effects
Despite its many amazing advantages, CBD also has some negative effects. These side effects are possible if an incorrect CBD dosage is used. These include hallucinations, low blood pressure, depression, dizziness, and possible withdrawal symptoms like insomnia and irritability.
What are the Best CBD Strains?
There are so many amazing CBD strains but the following are ranked as the best among users:
This strain is a phenotype of Cannatonic and has a very high CBD: THC ratio of 30:1. It is used to deal with nerve pain, PTSD, and multiple sclerosis with no psychoactive effect whatsoever.
2. Charlotte’s Web
This is a special high CBD strain initially created for a girl named Charlotte Figi who needed treatment for Dravet syndrome. This is a rare and very severe form of epilepsy. Charlotte’s Web is now used to treat epilepsy, seizures, pain, anxiety, stress, and many other conditions.
3. Ringo’s Gift
This is a high CBD strain named after CBD enthusiast Laurence Ringo. It offers a cerebral high to make you feel uplifted and euphoric. It is effective for the relief of arthritis, muscle pains, migraines, and mild to severe forms of pain.
This is a very potent CBD-rich strain with a high CBD: THC ratio of 20:1. This makes it very effective for a variety of medical conditions with no psychoactive effects.
This is a sattva-dominant strain with high THC levels and delicious mango and sweet flavors. Harlequin has an uplifting high which can ease stress and fatigue.
Is CBD Legal?
Sadly, CBD is still illegal in most countries but some like Canada and some states in the United States are considering CBD for its therapeutic effects. In some countries and US states, you may need to show a license or a prescription to use CBD products. Take note that the FDA has not approved the use of any CBD product for any medical condition.
What is THC?
THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, a prominent natural cannabinoid compound in cannabis that produces its psychoactive effects. THC is the reason why weed makes you high and is sought more by recreational users.
THC levels are high in very powerful strains. For instance, indica cannabis strains with high THC levels can produce a couchlock effect while sativa strains with high THC can be very stimulating, causing sky-rocketing effects.
What are the Benefits of THC?
But contrary to most beliefs, THC also has therapeutic benefits. THC can stimulate the areas of the brain to release dopamine which can lead to euphoria. It can interfere with information processing of the brain which is important in retaining new information and memories. It also has several good effects like:
- THC can help relieve nausea and vomiting as side effects of chemotherapy
- THC can improve appetite especially those who are ill and are suffering from medical conditions.
- When taken in small doses, THC can improve memory
- THC can help deal with pain, especially chronic pain.
- THC can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
THC Side Effects
When THC is used incorrect amounts, you can expect very little side effects. However, some people are very sensitive to THC that may still experience side effects despite very minimal THC dose.
Common side effects include impairment in motor function, schizophrenia-like symptoms, restlessness, headaches, and anxiety. Common side effects are dry and red eyes and dry, cottonmouth. People who are new to taking cannabis or new to consuming high THC strains may experience severe responses to THC compared to people who are used to THC or have consumed THC strains before.
And just like CBD, THC strains can be consumed in different ways; some ways make the cannabinoid more potent like smoking or vaping. Eating THC edibles is the slowest way to benefit from THC because the edible has to pass through your digestive tract before it can be absorbed by the bloodstream.
What are the Strains with the Highest THC levels?
There are so many amazing high THC strains in the market but the following has to be the best of the best.
1. Lemon Meringue
This is a sativa-dominant strain and hence, can provide an uplifting effect. It is also used for anxiety, depression, fatigue, and headaches.
2. Laughing Buddha
This is one of the best sativas that can make you feel happy, giggly, and energetic. It has potential therapeutic effects as well: it can stop the pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and stress.
This strain has a high 22% THC which will make you energetic, euphoric, happy, creative, and relaxed. It is a strain for the relief of pain, depression, and physical or mental fatigue.
4. Silver Haze
You will fall for this high THC strain at 23%. Its buds are coated with amazing THC glands which can help relieve depression, anxiety, stress, pain, and lack of appetite.
This strain comes with 22% THC and can help you stay focused, uplifted, and happy. These are why Thai is used for depression, stress, and all kinds of pain.
Is THC Legal?
THC is illegal in many countries and states. In some states where recreational cannabis like THC-rich strains don’t require a prescription when purchasing. You simply need to be at least 18 or 21 years of age to purchase weed and other weed-related products
Comparing CBD and THC
Now that you have a clear idea of what THC and CBD are, consider the following comparisons.
CBD vs THC When it Comes to Potency
There’s no question that for users to get the most out of a recreational or medicinal strain, it has to be potent meaning, THC must be high and CBD must also be high. And obviously, you cannot compare the potency of a THC-rich strain from a high-CBD strain as these are two completely different compounds but take note, a strain must have higher CBD and lower THC to be therapeutic while a recreational strain must have high THC and lower CBD to be a potent strain.
CBD vs THC Flavors
Strain flavors will depend on the strain whether it’s a sativa or an indica. Sativas come with higher THC content and have a sweet and spicy flavor. On the other hand, indica strains are known for their acrid taste and come with higher CBD content. However, since most strains available today are a combination of indica and sativa, flavors as well as effects and side effects are now a combination of indica and sativa strains. It may now depend on the more dominant strain of what flavor or flavors are produced.
CBD vs THC Side Effects
CBD use has very rare side effects. A user will only experience side effects with CBD use when the proper dose is overlooked. Therefore, the common side effects of incorrect CBD dose are hallucinations, low blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia, and irritability.
Meanwhile, THC also has restlessness, headaches, dry and red eyes, and dry, cottonmouth. Those who are new to taking cannabis or new to consuming high THC strains may experience severe responses to THC compared to people who are used to THC or regularly take high THC strains.
CBD vs THC Products
Both CBD and THC are available in different forms. This allows users to choose the right product and consumption method that’s right for their needs. The most common way to consume CBD and THC is by smoking a joint or vaping potent oils. Other products are cannabis edibles, tinctures, concentrates, rosin, tablets/capsules, and many more.
Vaping or smoking cannabis is the most common and the fastest way to get high however, the high will not last. When it comes to consuming edibles, it can take time for an edible to kick in but when it does, you’ll get a lasting high. With this information, you will be able to choose the best one that applies to your condition.
CBD vs THC Legality
Cannabis laws are changing not just in the US but also all over the world. CBD is still a Schedule I drug in the US federal law. Hemp is no longer a part of the Controlled Substances Act however, the Drug Enforcement Administration or the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration or FDA consider CBD as Schedule I.
More and more states along with Washington D.C. have cannabis-related laws and most have made medical strains with high THC legal. This kind of weed may need a prescription from a licensed physician. Also, some states consider recreational cannabis and THC already legal. In states that have made marijuana legal for medicinal and recreational use, you will be able to buy CBD from local dispensaries.
So before you want to use CBD or THC products, you must check on local state laws. If you live in a state or country where cannabis use is illegal, you can get arrested or fined.
About Drug Testing
Both CBD and THC are stored in the fatty tissues of the body. These compounds can show on drug tests for weeks or days after you consume weed. Most of the drug tests detect THC and not CBD. However, there are also CBD tests that are sensitive to CBD.
Hemp is also capable of producing THC as well as CBD so a test may show you’re positive even if you have never used THC products. Also, there are cannabis products that say that they are THC-free but may not be entirely true. Therefore, it’s best to never consume CBD or THC products days before your test.
Always check and double-check product information online or from the product packaging to make sure of the strain’s THC and CBD content. And when you’re new to consuming the strain, always take a small amount first to determine its potency.
CBD vs THC, it’s hard to determine which is best because despite both being a cannabinoid, these compounds vary in effects, medical effects, side effects, and legality. Whether you’re taking high CBD or high THC strains, it’s important to consider the potency of the strain and taking the strain in moderation. Never overindulge to avoid side effects.