CBD vs. THC: Properties, Benefits, and Side Effects

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids found in cannabis plants that include hemp and marijuana. The vast majority of humans would tell you that they’ve heard of both cannabinoids. People know they are things contained in cannabis but they may not be able to actually compare CBD vs THC. You will see that despite many similarities, the two cannabinoid compounds are very different in the way they impact the human body.

There are, in fact, vast differences between these two cannabinoids. There is also common ground between them. Let us explore their differences as we appraise the properties, benefits, and side effects of each, helping you fully understand both.


Both CBD and THC can be extracted from hemp or marijuana. The biggest difference is from which they come.

Hemp only has .03% THC. The content of THC is much higher in marijuana -- sometimes as high as 25%. Both cannabinoid compounds impact the endocannabinoid system in the body.

One key difference is THC is a psychoactive compound. It impacts the brain, in other words. This means that THC can impair cognitive function and slow reaction times.

You should not use THC if you are planning on driving or operating any heavy machinery. CBD, on the other hand, has been proven to improve focus. Many people with ADHD find that their critical thinking and awareness skills are improved when using CBD. Many choose to use CBD products over THC products for this improved cognitive function.

molecular structure

Both compounds share some benefits and they also differ by helping with some things better than the other can. Let’s explore these in greater detail.


It is easier to break down the uses of each cannabinoid separately. Let's start with CBD:

Primary Uses of CBD Include -

● Inflammation

● Pain

● Seizures

● Mental disorders

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

● Nausea

● Anxiety

● Depression

● Migraine Headaches

Primary Uses of THC Include:


● Anxiety

● Poor appetite

● Pain

● Insomnia

● Muscle spasms

An added benefit of using CBD: it will not impair your cognitive function, therefore making it legal in all fifty states. This is the biggest difference that separates CBD from THC. CBD is available to many in states that do not offer medical marijuana and it also offers an alternative for those who do not want the head high that comes from using THC.

Medical marijuana is not legal in all fifty states and you can be issued a ticket or arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. This is the reason that CBD products have become so popular since legalized. The accessibility and added safety have made it a logical choice for many who cannot use THC at work or while driving.

Potential Side Effects

CBD is fairly free of side-effects, which are rare. Some people may find that if they use too much CBD at one time, diarrhea is problematic. Very few report headaches or stomach pains. None of these symptoms are permanent. If CBD is stopped, the symptoms will subside -- typically in a few hours. You may gradually increase your dosage again, carefully. This will avoid ongoing side-effects.

THC is completely different. Since this is a psychoactive cannabinoid compound, it can cause paranoia, hallucinations, slow motor skill function, and cause sleepiness. This is not a good product if someone has a mental illness that may enhance the paranoia or, as aforementioned, someone operates heavy equipment or drives for a living.

Other Remedies

The Choice Tends to Be Personal

Which you choose to use is largely up to you. If you live in a state with legalized medical marijuana, you may freely choose this. If you are not happy with the head high, you might try CBD instead. CBD can help as much as THC, depending on the issue you are seeking help with.

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Sandra Juliana Ericson is a Blogger and Strategist who partners with CEOs, executives and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional business, human-to-human. After spending nearly a decade working Blogger and Strategist, Sandra knows what truly audiences want to read, what will grab their attention—and it’s not mastering the writing flavor of the week. It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them. In addition to her extensive Blogging and Strategical experience, Sandra is a trained writing coach. Sandra holds a BA in mass communication.
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