What Is The Difference Between CBD and THC?

By Dr. Mary Clifton

People often raise their eyebrows when I talk about CBD. They immediately think I am referring to marijuana or ‘weed’ – the high-inducing herb that carries a very specific stigma.

What I work to consistently clarify is that CBD and THC are entirely different compounds. Some cannabis plants concentrate CBD, and they are referred to as hemp plants. Other plants concentrate the intoxicating THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high. They’re generally referred to as marijuana plants.

There are about 140 recognized cannabinoids that can be derived from the cannabis plant. The only intoxicating one that we are aware of so far is THC, but the rest of them work in all kinds of different ways. 

Two cannabinoids from the hemp plant that are commonly leveraged for well-being are CBD and CBN.

CBD is thought to be particularly useful for increasing feelings of relaxation and controlling or calming anxiety. CBD also helps promote healthier sleep cycles and offers relief for a variety of other painful conditions – without the side-effects of some pharmaceutical drugs. 

CBN is another non psychoactive cannabinoid found in the hemp plant that has shown to be especially sedating, particularly when combined with CBD. In fact, some CBD brands incorporate CBD + elevated levels of CBN to help encourage healthier sleep cycles.

The hemp plant is full of so many compounds that are being evaluated by researchers all over the world, so that they can be put to use to help support and defend wellness. The most important thing when it comes to exploring CBD (or THC, for that matter) is to educate yourself with the right, accurate information so you can benefit without worry from this healing plant.