THC and CBD oil. By now, you probably know that they’re related. But how related are they, and how do they affect you or the world around you? That is, if we want to get existential. Read on to find out more about where THC and CBD came from and what they bring to the table.
Where do they come from?
THC and CBD are two of 113 cannabinoids of the Cannabis sativa or hemp plant. Chemically speaking, THC and CBD both have the same exact molecular structure. However, a slight difference in the arrangement of atoms accounts for different effects. People didn’t just start getting into cannabis in the 1960s and ’70s, no matter how revolutionarily chill this period seemed. In fact, people have been using cannabis for a variety of purposes since 2727 BC.
THC was first isolated in 1967
Does 1967 sound late? Take note that we mean first isolated, not used or experienced. THC exists naturally in cannabis, after all. However, since THC was isolated, it can be added to other things. THC’s effects are activated with the addition of heat, such as smoking it or cooking with THC oil. In other words, you won’t feel anything (other than a bad taste in your mouth) if you throw in a clipping of raw cannabis into your side salad. THC also exists in higher concentrations in different strains of the hemp plant. You may know this set of strains as marijuana, a term originally coined from Mexican slang in 1937.
CBD was first isolated around 1940
CBD was identified more than 20 years before THC? Yep. Starting in 1946, CBD showed a lack of psychoactive effects when given to animals, unlike THC. Research continued, and by 1960, CBD was officially registered as a therapeutic compound in Britain. In 1980, an experiment first showed how CBD can help those with epilepsy.
What makes CBD “THC-Free” if they’re different things?
If you’re confused about why CBD advertises its THC content, we’ll help set the record straight. You may be thinking, “how can CBD contain THC if they’re two different compounds?” Because they can be extracted from the same plant! The difference is, however, is that when CBD is not isolated, hemp oil of some strains of plants can contain as much as 12% THC content. To be considered THC-free, CBD has to contain less than 0.3% THC, according to the Farm Bill. Many CBD producers err on the side of caution and only allow less than 0.03% of THC in their products.
What effects do they have?
If people use both CBD and THC, why do they care if there’s a little bit of both? Both are used medicinally nowadays, right? This question also carries into the next question, in terms of legality. We’re going to bold and italicize this next point to highlight it again, which is perhaps the most key difference between THC and CBD:
THC is a psychoactive compound.
This means that THC produces significant mind-altering effects. We’re not talking about anxiety relief or the mood-boosting that some people experience from CBD. Since THC affects the brain to such a degree, it also affects the body. We’re not trying to be negative here, it’s just the fact of the matter. THC can also have extremely positive impacts on people who deal with chronic pain, experience nausea, or have some other type of critical illness.
CBD has also exhibited success, as briefly discussed prior, for people who have epilepsy or anxiety. CBD has proven helpful for individuals with insomnia, endometriosis, and arthritis, as well as a variety of skin ailments.
Where are they allowed?
THC isn’t legal everywhere. This probably isn’t news to you. However, since the update to the Farm Bill, hemp growers and consumers have jumped on the CBD train. THC has long been a point of contention, as you likely also know. It’s a topic in both large and small political debates. There are some states who have legalized recreational use of marijuana, and some states who recognize medical use as dictated by a doctor — check out a map of all the stances here.
Let’s recap. THC and CBD both come from Cannabis sativa, or the hemp plant. THC is psychoactive, CBD is not. CBD is legal, THC isn’t legal everywhere. CBD can contain traces of THC, but anything below 0.3% is considered negligible. THC, in higher concentrations, comes from particular strains of the hemp plant, namely marijuana. Both CBD and THC can address various symptoms and are still being studied. Of course, we’ll keep you updated as new research becomes available!