There are more than 120 cannabinoids that occur in the cannabis plant. Even so, the two most well-known are CBD and THC. They’re also two of the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis. While they’re molecularly similar, these two compounds produce different effects within the body. Read on to learn about the difference between THC and CBD.

Where Do They Come From?

They come from the “mother” cannabinoid, CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). As the cannabis plant matures, CBGA converts into CBDA, THCA, and CBCA. The conversion occurs as a result of exposure to different enzymes. CBDA and THCA. Exposure to heat and light triggers these compounds to transfer into CBD and THC.

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

While they are molecularly the same, there are a few differences between them. The main difference is the effects that these two compounds have on the mind. THC is the cannabinoid known for producing the high that most people (users and non-users) associate with the plant. CBD, on the other hand, does not cause the same effect. You could take a large dose of CBD and not experience the high you would if you took THC instead.


They also provide a few different benefits. Benefits of CBD include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain relief
  • Anti-seizure
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Relief from irritable bowel syndrome

Benefits of THC include:

  • Pain relief
  • Sleep aid
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Anti-nausea
  • Appetite stimulant

Working Together for Optimal Results

You can take  them separately. You’ll find plenty of isolates on the market, which are products that contain a single cannabinoid and nothing else. Individual cannabinoids can produce a variety of beneficial effects.

You’ll also find an array of full-spectrum products at your local dispensary. These are products that contain the full range of cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. There’s a theory that states cannabinoids are more effective when they work together. This theory is known as the entourage effect.

While it’s only anecdotal at this point, there is some evidence of the entourage effect. CBD can lessen the psychoactive effects of THC. The reason for this is because CBD blocks THC from binding properly with the CB1 receptors in your body. A product with equal parts of each will have less of a mind-altering impact than one with a significant amount of THC and little to no CBD, even if the more balanced product is high in both cannabinoids.

There is also some evidence that suggests that high CBD products may provide more beneficial effects when it has a small amount of THC than if you were to use CBD alone. Depending upon the balance of these cannabinoids, you may even be able to use the product without experiencing a high.

Though there might be similarities in molecular structure, they produce different effects in the body. While they’re effective at treating a range of symptoms, they may be more effective together. Whether you’re looking for an isolate CBD or THC product or a full-spectrum product, there are numerous options on the market. Visit your local dispensary to see what they have to offer.