CBD vs. THC Topicals – 7 Differences That You Don’t Know
While everyone is talking about CBD and THC differences, very few people mention their similarities. However, since THC and CBD are essentially chemical compounds, they do have differences. We’re going to delve deeper into the details of both compounds to give you seven lesser-known differences between CBD and THC topicals.
If we compare THC and CBD, we can see the two most obvious similarities – they both provide relief from inflammation in the muscles and pain.
1. The two strains
The first and most obvious difference is in the strains. There are two strains – Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. The Indica strain is rich in THC, a psychoactive compound that people use for recreational purposes. It can also be used as a medicinal drug, although this is rare.
On the other hand, Sativa is rich in CBD. It contains a rather high concentration of CBD, which is the main reason this strain is used for medicinal purposes, mostly to provide relief from chronic pain.
2. Chemical structure
Both THC and CBD have almost no difference when it comes to their chemical structure. That’s mostly because both ingredients come from pretty much the same plant. Both Indica and Sativa contain the same compounds, which are composed of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms.
The only difference between the two is the layout or the composition of the atoms. Put simply; it’s the way atoms are arranged that makes a difference. Because of this, CBD and THC have two very different effects on your mind and body.
3. Psychoactive components
Both CBD and THC can give you the “high” factor with only one difference – the compound that emits it. CBD provides a minuscule effect, while THC includes a much stronger psychoactive effect on the brain’s chemistry.
The difference is in the way THC and CBD connect with cannabinoid receptors in the consumer’s brain. There are two types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. THC provides the mind-altering effect simply because it connects to CB1 receptors located in the Central Nervous System. If you are looking for a Topical with 0 THC, use Recover Muscle & Joint Gel by Earth Medicine
On the other hand, CBD connects to CB2 receptors, located in the peripheral nervous system. There’s one more difference between the two – THC remains connected to the endocannabinoid system much longer than CBD.
4. Medical benefits
CBD topicals are used to treat various conditions such as:
THC provides a bit different effect, which is why it’s used to help treat conditions such as:
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite
Both marijuana and hemp provide CBD with a slight difference in the concentration of this ingredient. Marijuana contains higher concentrations of THC, while hemp contains more CBD and less than 0.3% THC.
Because of this, CBD is mostly sold in the market, in the forms of topicals, extracts, supplements, oils, pills, edibles, gummies, gels, and more. THC is also available in capsules, tinctures, edibles, oils, and more.
Therefore, hemp is rich in CBD, while marijuana has a higher concentration of THC. The average marijuana strain that you can find on the street today contains up to 12% THC.
It can also happen that some CBD topicals and oils contain THC, but these are all very small amounts.
6. Side Effects
When it comes to side effects, there are big differences between the two compounds, mostly related to the consumption of THC. So far, research has shown that people tolerate CBD rather well, even in large doses.
If there are any side effects, they are mostly related to the consumption of other medications and drugs. On the other hand, THC causes quite a few side effects, even though they are temporary. These side effects include:
- Increased heart rate
- Coordination problems
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Slower reaction times
- Memory loss
However, it’s essential to mention that most of these side effects come from smoking marijuana, rich in THC. When it comes to using topicals, you’ll hardly experience any of these unless you overuse your product.
It all depends on how you use your THC. High use of THC-rich products is connected to some negative psychiatric effects, which can have long-term consequences. That’s mostly related to smoking large amounts of the Indica plant.
CBD topicals with less than 0.3% THC are considered to be legal at the federal level. If you’re into THC recreational use, you’ll be happy to know that THC is legalized for recreational use in:
- District of Columbia
CBD is legalized in all 50 states in the US, while most states are working on legalizing medical marijuana. When it comes to CBD for both recreational and therapeutic use, you can find these products in most states.