CBD vs. THC – do you know the difference?

CBD vs. THC – do you know the difference?

Products based on the Cannabis sativa plant are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their many therapeutic benefits. The power couple of cannabis compounds, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are without a doubt the most well-known cannabinoids out there.

The close relationship between these two Cannabis compounds means that they often get confused for one another. In reality, both have a very different effect on our bodies. In this article, we will take a closer look at CBD and THC to help you tell the difference.

You may also like…

A brief history…

The discovery of CBD, THC and other compounds in this plant, has brought to light an even greater finding,  the endocannabinoid system, a general neuromodulator found in our body that is responsible for maintaining balance in vital bodily functions.

Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, including THC and CBD, are known as phytocannabinoids and those that are produced inside the human body are called endocannabinoids. Both types of cannabinoids interact directly with the endocannabinoid system.

Other components in this system are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. THC and CBD connect to these receptors to generate different

responses in the body. The same thing happens with the endocannabinoids produced by our body, 2-AG and anandamide, which also connect to CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce certain responses.

With that said, let’s explore the parallels between these two compounds:


How does it act inside the body?
When introduced to the
endocannabinoid system, CBD
causes a larger release of 2-AG,
stimulating the CB1 and CB2
receptors, which produces the
therapeutic effects in the body.
The presence of CBD neutralizes
the psychoactive effects induced by THC.
Higher doses of CBD may
potentiate lower doses of THC, by
increasing the level of expression
of the CB1R receptor in the
hippocampus and the
hypothalamus (central nervous system)
THC connects directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which creates
signals and sends them to the
brain, producing psychoactive
effects. This connection gives THC
its mind-altering properties.
This phytocannabinoid is very
similar to the endocannabinoids
produced by the body, and can
influence appetite, memory,
movement and pain.
Given its similar structure to
endocannabinoids, the body is ableto recognize THC, leading to an
interference with normal brain
What are its medicinal benefits
used for?
CBD is used to…
Relieve pain (neuropathic, chronic,cancer-related, etc.)
Help treat chronic disease such as:
epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS),
Treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson´s, diabetes,
rheumatoid arthritis, among othersRelieve nausea and other side
effects of traditional cancer
Reduce inflammation
Treat skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis
Improve the state of mind of
patients with depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Combat bacterial infections

THC is used to…
Relieve side effects of
chemotherapy (nausea and
Reduce inflammation
Control pain
Relax the muscles
Help treat multiple sclerosis
Treat insomniaReduce tremors in
spinal cord injuriesImprove
digestive health
Treat glaucoma
Increase appetite
Control anxiety

Side effects
CBD has shown almost no side
effects, but it may cause:
Dry mouth and red eyes
Diarrhea Change in appetite and
High concentrations of THC may
cause temporary side effects,
such as:
Increased heart rate
Coordination problems
Dry mouth and red eyes
Slower reaction times
Memory loss
Short-term deterioration of spatial or verbal memory
These effects are part of the
psychoactive properties of this compound.

Both phytocannabinoids offer huge health benefits. It is best to combine them to enable the properties of CBD to regulate the hallucinogenic effects of THC.  

We hope you found this article useful and that you now understand the difference between CBD and THC. Why not take a look at our other articles on medicinal Cannabis?

You may also like…


  1. An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system [Hui-Chen Lu and Ken Mackie. 2017]
  2. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals [Zerrin Atakan. 2012]
  3. Update of Cannabis and its medical use [Bertha K. Madras. 2015]
  4. Efectos terapéuticos de los cannabinoides [Cord. José Antonio Ramos Atance. 2017]
  5. CBD Oil for Depression, Schizophrenia, ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar & More [John M. Grohol, 2019]
  6. The effect of cannabis use on memory function: an update [Schoeler and Bhattacharyya. 2013]
  • An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies [Iffland K1, Grotenhermen F. 2017]
  • Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules [Christelle M. Andre,* Jean-Francois Hausman, and Gea Guerriero. 2016]