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THC vs CBD - The difference between the components of cannabis

Do you know the differences between the two main components of Cannabis sativa THC and CBD?
19 October, 2021 by
THC vs CBD - The difference between the components of cannabis
Alina Hryn

The Cannabis sativa plant consists of several cannabinoids with different characteristics. Cannabinoids, in particular CBD and THC, are chemical compounds that exert their effects through receptors in the body. Receptors are located in different cells in our body and are part of a system that is affected by the intake.

They are located in the hippocampus, the actual working memory of the brain, which is the interface between short and long-term memory. However, there are also receptors in the nerves and ganglia (nerve nodes), in the kidneys, and even in the lungs and the reproductive organs. So we have receptors in all parts of the body, and that is why cannabis use not only affects perception.

But enough of so much biochemistry for now. Now that we know how cannabis interacts with our bodies, let's look at the differences between CBD and THC.

Differences and similarities between THC and CBD

Cannabis contains more than 100 cannabinoids, but there are two that stand out in particular, having very different effects and being subject to different legal regulations. We are talking about THC and CBD. THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol, while CBD stands for cannabidiol. Both THC and CBD are components of the Cannabis sativa plant and can be found in the seeds, stem, and flower of the plant. THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects is generally present in greater quantities than CBD. Since it is now possible to balance the percentage of CBD that counteracts the effects of the high, nowadays you can enjoy the therapeutic effects of CBD without experiencing the usual intoxicating effects of THC. 

Similarities

Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids and act on the endocannabinoid system, which is present in all mammals including humans. It is the communication system of our cells that is naturally activated in order to balance the physiological body functions (homeostasis). This system can be artificially stimulated by phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids of plant origin such as CBD and THC. However, the effects produced are different from those naturally occurring in the body. Both cannabinoids play an important role in this process, as they work perfectly together by regulating each other. Depending on the desired effect, cannabis strains can be chosen that contain either more THC or CBD. 

If you are suffering from an illness or injury, you may need more CBD, but if you want to relax and watch a movie while eating a wide variety of snacks, you are better off with THC. 

However, without a good CBD balance, you would probably never finish watching the movie because you would either fall asleep or forget what the movie was actually about. The key is to find the right balance between CBD and THC.

similarities-between-THC-and-CBD

Differences

The main receptors of the endocannabinoid system are located in the central nervous and immune systems and are called CB-1 and CB-2. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis and connects to these two receptors in the human brain. CB-1 controls pleasure, appetite, memory, and concentration, while CB-2 reduces the sensation of pain and plays a role in homeostasis in certain organs such as the kidney and liver. 

As a result, THC is also the cannabinoid responsible for making you crave a pizza after smoking a joint and immediately fall asleep afterward. It increases appetite, makes eating more pleasurable, and causes fatigue. Consequently, THC is an excellent remedy for insomnia or loss of appetite. But THC also affects short-term memory. The next time you can't remember what you were talking about in the middle of a conversation after consuming cannabis, you will know it's due to THC. In general, the strains with the highest THC content are the most popular for recreational use. But it is also the component that is either completely banned or at least controlled in most countries.

CBD, in turn, interacts with receptors such as GPR55 or 5-HT1A. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, although it supports THC in many ways to achieve a pleasurable smoking experience. In fact, CBD counteracts the negative effects of THC in several ways. Therefore, the CBD to THC ratio is extremely important in determining the intoxicating degree of marijuana. 

CBD reduces the anxiety that is a characteristic effect of THC, even to the point of paranoia and has antipsychotic properties that offset the stronger effects of being high. CBD is also associated with alertness and energy, which counteracts the feeling of tiredness caused by THC. So if you're looking for a calming effect, it's best to have a low CBD ratio. In terms of memory, CBD also reduces the memory lapses caused by THC, so you're more likely to wonder where you left the keys you're holding in your hand with the low-CBD varieties.

CBD is also the most widely used component in strains for medicinal use. Its anti-inflammatory properties are far superior to THC and since it has no psychotropic effects, it is safe to use for any patient.

The medicinal use of CBD

There has been extensive research and development in this direction in the recent past. CBD has a high medicinal value and is in great demand for medicinal purposes. As it is not a psychoactive substance, strains with a lot of CBD cause a high just like THC, but the mind remains much clearer than with ordinary hemp, which contains very little CBD. Recent research has shown that CBD has many positive medicinal properties in contrast to THC. In addition to all these properties that are already known, new applications are constantly being found in the course of ongoing research experiments.

The legal situation of THC and CBD

In principle, the use of narcotics is not prohibited, but legally it is considered as non-punishable self-harm. It is recognized by the law that one can also use drugs acquiring them beforehand from a legal point of view. Nevertheless, plants and parts of plants belonging to the genus Cannabis as well as their secreted resin (hashish) and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) belong to the non-marketable substances according to Article 1 BtMG. Without a special license, not only cultivation and production but also trade, import, and export, as well as distribution, sale, or other commercialization, up to and including the acquisition and possession of all plant parts of cannabis are punishable under Articles 29 and following of the BtMG. 

After much back and forth, the European Commission concluded in December 2020 to classify cannabidiol (CBD) as a foodstuff. The Commission has resumed the examination of applications for approval of CBD products as "novel foods", which had been put on hold in the meantime. The Federal Court of Justice ruled in March 2021 that the sale of CBD to end customers is legal, insofar as it is ensured that no one becomes intoxicated with it. In general, the pure substance cannabidiol (CBD), in contrast to THC, is not subject to any narcotics regulations.

The CBD market offers a variety of products

The opportunity to take advantage of the positive properties of the cannabis plant, which is considered a medicinal plant in many cultures, without having to accept the negative properties, has aroused great interest among the population and created a high demand for CBD products. Consequently, suppliers were not long in coming, and by now you can obtain CBD from suppliers such as Reakiro in a wide range of varieties such as CBD oil, CBD capsules, CBD oil sprays, and raw hemp oil extract. So once you've done enough research and come to the conclusion that CBD can improve your quality of life, your final step is just to find your optimal delivery method and dosage. With such a wide range of products, choosing the right CBD product can be a difficult decision, but with so many different tastes and preferences, it is inevitable that there will be more than one product for you.

CBD-market-offers-a-variety-of-products

Here we present individual forms of delivery to help you choose the product most suitable for you. We focus on CBD oil, CBD capsules, CBD oil sprays, and raw hemp oil extract. Regardless of which product you choose, the effects will be achieved with all of them. The difference between each form of application is mainly in how quickly the effect is achieved.

Absorption of CBD through the digestive tract

After swallowing, the active ingredients enter the bloodstream through the small intestine, just like any other food or drink that gets into the stomach. The effect is noticeable after half an hour to 2 hours, depending on body weight and condition.

Absorption of CBD through the oral mucosa

It is quicker to place a product under the tongue and leave it in the mouth until it dissolves as prescribed. This area has a particularly strong blood supply and the active ingredients of CBD are absorbed through the membranes in the mouth. As a result, it enters directly into the bloodstream. The effect sets in after a period of 15 minutes up to 1 hour, depending on the amount consumed and body constitution.

Absorption of CBD through the skin

Skin products such as ointments, creams, and balms are applied to a specific area of the skin. Here, the active ingredients do not enter the bloodstream but only act locally at the site where they are applied. The effect sets in relatively quickly after about 15 minutes.

Absorption-of-CBD-through-the-skin

Transdermal absorption of CBD

In addition to the skin products mentioned above, there are also other products such as a patch or gel where the active ingredient enters the bloodstream through the skin. Here, too, the effect sets in after about 15 minutes.

Universal application possibilities with CBD oil 

The recommended dosage is from 3 to 6 drops, depending on weight and constitution. You can simply apply the drops under the tongue, keep them in your mouth for about 30 seconds and swallow them afterward. This method is discreet and extremely effective. A feeling of relaxation and well-being sets in after just a few minutes. Pure hemp CBD oil concentrates offer a good way to take a high dose of cannabinoids even in everyday life. In theory, you can take a few drops of CBD oil with every glass of water you drink.

You can also simply mix CBD oil into your favorite foods or drinks, which provides almost unlimited possibilities. You can take the CBD with a tea or coffee (which should not be too hot), in a dressing for the salad, and in many other ways, you might choose. This creates an additional sense of well-being because you are doing something good for yourself, while you are actually doing something different.

Available products

We took a closer look at the Reakiro website, and found the following product options:

CBD capsules 

CBD capsules offer the advantage that you can always take the exact same dose and know exactly when the effect starts and how long it lasts. They are also particularly suitable for people who do not like the natural taste of the hemp oil. CBD capsules are available in different dosages (10 mg, 15 mg, 25 mg and 50 mg) and pack sizes, so you can accurately calculate your needs. To determine your required dose, you should start with the smallest dose and then gradually work your way up if necessary.

CBD as raw hemp oil extract

Raw hemp oil extract is the most similar to the original plant in form and composition. If you're after the "real" CBD experience, you should give it a try. The extract has the consistency of a paste that can be eaten plain or mixed with other foods and drinks. Raw hemp extract contains all the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant as well as the naturally occurring terpenes and flavonoids, which not only support the natural flavour but also enhance the complex effects of CBD. There is a convenient dispenser that releases a 25 mg serving of Reakiro CBD with every click. The remaining supply of raw hemp extract remains vacuum sealed and protected. A clean solution!

CBD oil spray

If you like the effects of CBD but not the taste of hemp, you should opt for an oil spray. The CBD oil spray offers a wide range of applications and is available in different flavors such as blood orange, peppermint or even apple crumble and vanilla pudding.

Vegan Reakiro CBD gummy bears

Yes, you have read correctly. The CBD gummy bears are vegan and sugar-free. Each gummy bear contains 25 mg of CBD and comes in cherry and orange flavors. But don't leave them open on your desk ;)