What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?

What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?

The last decade or so has been a renaissance for cannabis products. More and more states are beginning to relax their laws surrounding possession and recreational use and as a result these products are being researched for their potential use in medications and to treat general mood disorders like depression and anxiety. For people interested in exploring these products, the market is saturated with brands, percentages and names that might be unfamiliar and confusing. It can be hard to know where to start if you’re looking for CBD products. CBD edibles are a great place to start, but it helps even more to be more familiar with the difference between the compounds CBD and THC. These are the main compounds found in the cannabis plant and understanding what they are can help you make better purchase decisions in the future.

Hemp vs. Marijuana Plants

First let’s clear up some common confusion about hemp and marijuana plants. These two plants are essentially the same, with one big difference. Hemp plants are defined by containing less than 0.3% THC and marijuana plants contain over 0.3% THC. Marijuana plants are the ones most will recognize. Their iconic leaves, buds and scent give them away instantly. Hemp plants will have the same leaves, but often don’t bud and are usually used to make products like fabric and paper. They are also used to extract the compound CBD, which we’ll get into in the next section.


CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in both the hemp and marijuana plants. It has exploded in recent years claiming to be a miracle cure for anxiety, depression and insomnia. But the research is still being done on this compound and what its true effects on the body are. User testimonials suggest that it can support a better mood, better sleep and better appetite and is relatively safe to use in small doses.

For those with extenuating health issues or medications, it’s important to consult with your physician and learn if there are any interactions to look out for. CBD edibles are a popular method of consumption and are most often found in the form of gummies. CBD has become popular among populations looking for some relief from their daily stress without the unwanted effects of THC. Another important note about CBD is its relationship to the hemp plant. In general, CBD is extracted from the hemp plant to avoid higher levels of THC.


THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is present in concentrations less than .3% in the hemp plant and over .3% in marijuana plants. It is the compound famous for its perception altering and euphoric effects on users. In other words, it gets you high. THC is known to support better appetite, sleep and mood for users and has become widely accepted as use for anti nausea medication in cancer patients. For high concentrations of THC, the marijuana plant is best to cultivate for its higher percentages of the compound.

THC is extremely effective, which is why so many researchers believe there may be positive effects with CBD use as well. THC is welcome by some, but avoided by others. With all its positive effects, it can cause negative reactions for certain individuals. Cannabis products containing this compound can cause feelings of paranoia and result in an unpleasant experience for the user.

Labels to Look For

When specifically shopping for CBD edibles, it’s important to look for a few things on the label. For one, look for specific dosage information. Gummies and edibles without detailed information about what’s in them are ones to watch out for. They likely aren’t toxic, but they could contain less than ideal components. There are tons of online retailers that sell cannabis products for purchase even if you live in a state where you can’t visit a dispensary. For users new to THC products, it’s a good idea to visit a store where you can ask a retailer about the different strains and effects available. When searching for concentrates, look for full spectrum extracts that are derived directly from the plant.


THC and CBD are related, but have different effects and are extracted from slightly different versions of the plant. Hemp is generally used to extract CBD due its low concentration of THC. The opposite is true for the marijuana plant. These plants produce flowering buds that contain high percentages of THC depending on the strain along with CBD. CBD and THC work together, but can be ingested and extracted separately depending on the plant it was taken from. Those looking for a way to support a relaxed attitude and state of mind without getting the euphoric high from marijuana should explore the many options of CBD edibles available today.