As the legal use of hemp and other cannabis products grows, consumers are becoming more curious about their options. This includes cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus.


CBD can be extracted from hemp or cannabis.


Hemp and cannabis come from the Cannabis sativa plant. Legal hemp must contain 0.3 percent THC or less. CBD is sold inf the form of gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, and more.


THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high sensation. It can be consumed by smoking cannabis. It is also available in oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more. Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, but they have quite different effects.


CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, CBD does not cause the euphoric effects that occur with THC. Some people may prefer to use CBD because of the lack of this side effect.


CBD is used to help with other various conditions, such as:





Psychosis or mental disorders

Inflammatory bowel disease





THC is used to help with the following:



muscle spasticity



Low appetite




CBD vs. THC: Side effects


CBD is well tolerated, even in large doses. any side effects that occur with CBD use are likely the result of drug-to-drug interactions between CBD and other medications you may be taking.


THC causes temporary side effects, such as:

Increased heart rate

Coordination problems

Dry mouth

Red eyes

Slower reaction times

Memory loss



CBD’s side effects may include:

Appetite changes


Weight loss



These side effects are part of the compound’s psychoactive properties and neither compound is fatal. However, high THC use may be connected to long-term negative psychiatric effects. This is especially true for adolescents who consume large amounts of THC, though there is no conclusive evidence that using cannabis causes psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.

CBD vs. THC: Drug testing

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are stored in the body’s fat. They can show up on drug tests for several days or weeks after you use them.


Not every drug test will be able to detect CBD, but CBD-sensitive tests are available. Most standard drug tests will look for chemicals related to THC, so THC or marijuana use might show up on a screening.


Likewise, hemp can produce some THC in addition to CBD, so a test could be positive for THC even if you have not used it. It is important to note that products that claim to be THC-free may not be free of THC, so if you are drug tested, you should not use any CBD or THC products.


Why do people talk about THC content in CBD oil if THC and CBD are two different compounds?


CBD and THC are two of the most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Both cannabis and hemp produce CBD and THC.

However, cannabis has a higher concentration of THC. Hemp has a higher concentration of CBD.


The average cannabis strain today contains about 12 percent THC. CBD oil may contain small amounts of THC because it is present at low levels in the hemp plant. CBD can have no more than 0.3 percent THC to be legal at the federal level.


Takeaway CBD and THC both have medical benefits. They are also both considered safe but consider the possibility of side effects and interactions with other drugs you are taking. Talk with your doctor or a qualified cannabis or CBD clinician before use and if you have any questions.

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