CBD or THC: The Benefits, Legal Implications, & Drug Tests Results

CBD or THC

Posted on March 28th, 2022

As cannabis becomes legal in more states, people are talking about two compounds:  CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The cannabis plant contains more the one hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. But CBD and THC are the most prevalent.

Now, there are two main varieties of cannabis plants: marijuana and hemp. But what’s the difference between them? Well, marijuana contains high THC concentrations, while hemp contains little THC, but lots of CBD.

Why does THC concentration matter? Cannabis products that contain THC can make you feel ‘high’. On the other hand, hemp-extracted CBD products aren’t intoxicating, because they contain no more than 0.3% THC.  But which is better for you, CBD or THC? Read on to find out!

How does CBD or THC Affect the Body and Brain?

CBD or THC

Both compounds interact with the receptors in your body that are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters. Then, those “messengers” impact functions like sleep, memory, mood and pain.

There are two main types of these receptors: CB1 and CB2. And they’re scattered throughout your brain and body. Now, THC typically binds with the receptors in the brain, helping impact mood, and pain, while also giving you that euphoric feeling. In contrast, CBD seems to interact with the receptors differently,  influencing them without overwhelming them and getting you high.

What is the Legal Status of Cannabis?

According to the National Institute of Health, there are currently more than 160 active or recruiting clinical trials involving cannabidiol. And some states authorize THC use for nerve pain, multiple sclerosis pain, Parkinson’s disease tremors, Glaucoma, and nausea.

Cannabis use laws change all the time. While many states allow medical marijuana with THC, it’s still federally illegal. Some states allow recreational marijuana use it’s still illegal under U.S. federal law.

In December of 2018, Congress legalized hemp as part of the Farm Bill. Still, there are strict rules on how and where you can sell and use CBD products.

What is CBD?

CBD (canabidiol) is one of 113 identified chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extracts. A CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form as it does not contain any other plant components such as terpenes, essential oils, or THC. Hemp plants typically contain very low amounts of THC.

Cannabidiol is the second most active ingredient in the cannabis plant after THC and usually derived directly from the hemp plant. CBD products are used by many people to help alleviate anything from chronic pain to Crohn’s disease and diabetes to multiple sclerosis. Many people use it to help relieve anxiety and to treat insomnia. So far only one CBD-based drug, Epidolex, has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of certain forms of severe childhood epilepsy.

What are the Benefits of CBD?

Research, clinical trials and reports from users suggest that CBD may be beneficial for the following conditions:

Anxiety

Many people say that using CBD makes them feel less anxious.

Insomnia

It may help with falling asleep and staying asleep for longer

Chronic pain, pain from arthritis due to inflammation.

Studies show that CBD can inhibit inflammatory conditions and neuropathic pain, both of which are difficult to treat with conventional drugs.

Addiction

May help reduce cravings for tobacco and drugs like heroin, opiates, alcohol and stimulants.

How to Take CBD How to take CBD tincture

CBD products come in many different forms and strengths including capsules, oils, extracts, patches, and topical creams applied directly to the skin to relieve muscle or joint pain. A CBD tincture or spray administered under the tongue is the quickest way to get the benefits directly into the bloodstream. Epidiolex is a prescription drug approved by the FDA for use on certain types of severe epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.

While there are some wild claims that CBD can cure cancer, research has shown that CBD may prove beneficial for helping to manage anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia in certain individuals.

Before using CBD products it is recommended that you talk to your doctor to ensure that it will not react with any medications you are currently taking and to buy it from a reputable source.

What is THC?

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. The term THC refers to the Delta-9 THC isomer. CBD and THC both interact with the body’s own endocannabinoid system but have different effects. Both are similar in structure to the body’s natural endocannabinoids which makes it easy to interact with its own cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body and the brain. This interaction is what triggers the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemical compounds are responsible for relaying messages between the cells and regulate things like pain, stress, sleep, and immune function among others.

THC is needed by CBD to bind to the CB1 receptors and in turn, helps to reduce some of the psychoactive effects such as feelings of euphoria and sedation caused by THC.

How can you take THC?

THC is the main compound in cannabis that is responsible for producing a psychoactive high. You can consume it orally or sublingually in the form of oils, edibles, capsules, tinctures, and more.

What are the Benefits of THC?

Products that contain THC can be used to help with the following conditions:

  • pain and inflammation
  • muscle spasticity
  • insomnia
  • glaucoma
  • nausea
  • low appetite
  • anxiety

CBD or THC in Drug Testing

Cannabinoids are stored in body fat and can show up in drug tests several days or even weeks after using them. Depending on the amount of THC and CBD in products it may show up in standard drug tests or where CBD-sensitive tests are available. Most standard drug tests look for chemicals that are related to THC which is why THC or marijuana will show up on a drug screening.

It is important to note that even though some products claim to be THC-free they may contain traces of THC. It is therefore advisable not to use any products that contain THC or CBD before being drug tested. While the cannabis plant has a higher concentration of THC, the hemp plant has a higher concentration of CBD.

Both CBD and THC have medical benefits, however, for those who are sensitive to having a high, it is better to use products that contain CBD derived directly from the hemp plant.

Why Choose CBD or THC?

One of the most important reasons why people choose CBD over THC is that it does not produce any psychoactive effects that can affect a person’s ability to stay alert or experience an unwanted feeling of euphoria or a high.
A second important reason is that people who have to undergo regular drug testing at work should not use cannabis products with a high content of THC as it will most likely result in a failed test.

Scientists believe that CBD can help relieve anxiety which in turn affects a person’s ability to deal with pain, potentially making them feel more comfortable. CBD can also offer pain relief in physical ways and has shown promising results in providing pain relief in people suffering from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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