What are THC and CBD? Or the difference between a CBD oil and THC oil? Discover all about cannabis oils and discover which is best for you! THC and CBD both come from cannabis, but they have different effects on the body and mind, and they aren’t always legal. Learn more. Cannabis oils are potent sources of THC which means it will give you a good buzz, but also contains many cannabinoids with therapeutic properties.
CBD oil & THC oil: What’s the Difference?
THC and CBD are both molecules extracted from cannabis. These molecules are known as cannabinoids, a type of compound that was first discovered in the cannabis plant that can be integrated with the human body. However, while CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, they are both used for distinct purposes and their legal status often differs.
THC Meaning and CBD
THC is used in reference to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, another compound that can be found in hemp and cannabis. The tetrahydrocannabinol part is where we get the initialism ‘THC’. There are other forms of THC, such as delta 8 THC, which is less potent that delta 9. However, THC is used as a general term, which helps keep things simple.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, an ingredient that has exploded in popularity during the last few years and is commonly used in supplements including CBD oils, balms and edibles. According to Global Market Insights, the CBD market will be worth over $1bn by 2027 because of increasing sales in major retail outlets and improving regulation.
THC vs. CBD
The major difference in purpose between CBD and THC is the desired effect. The easy way to think about it is THC is responsible for getting people high whereas CBD will not get you high in any dose.
People will largely use pure THC recreationally for a high that can be sustained throughout the day as an alternative to smoking cannabis.
- A “high” (euphoria or relaxation)
- Heightened or distorted senses (colours and sound etc.)
- Reduced reaction times
- Impaired coordination
- Increased heart rate
- Memory loss
Pure CBD, however, has no psychotropic properties and is never used to get high. Psychotropic simply means that the chemical affects the mind in an intoxicating way; check out our article on the difference between psychotropic and psychoactive for more information.
The side effects of THC, such as memory loss and impaired coordination do not apply to pure CBD. According to the NHS, pure CBD products “do not carry [the] unknown risks linked with THC”.
Both chemicals can be used in similar products, aside from just raw cannabis. You can find THC in products such as THC oils, THC e liquid or THC vape oils and THC capsules/pills. Many of these products are illegal, because of their intoxicating effects.
We can find CBD in similar products such as CBD oils, vape juices and tablets. These are legal in far more regions, providing their THC level is below a certain threshold.
THC Oil vs CBD Oil
THC oil is best known for inducing the effects typically associated with cannabis: the “stoned” effect, and paranoia. By contrast, CBD has been shown to not induce those effects.
CBD oil will not get you high. If you’ve done your research into CBD, then make sure you look for oils that highlight how much CBD is in each bottle. Our advice would be to avoid searching for terms like ‘cannabis oil’ or ‘hemp oil’ since it only confuses matters.
Admittedly, CBD is popular currently, so it’s likely that if someone refers to a cannabis or hemp oil, they’re talking about a CBD product. However, there’s another end of the spectrum that often comes under the banner of cannabis oil: THC oil, which most people will not be looking for.
Is THC Oil Legal in the UK?
THC oil is not legal in the UK and you won’t find it for sale legally. CBD is legal as long as retailers sell it according to MHRA regulations, which means CBD products cannot contain above a certain level of THC. Most countries limit the amount of THC in the hemp extract used for CBD oils to 0.3% (in the UK it’s 0.2%). If you’re concerned about THC content, make sure you look for CBD oils with a guarantee of 0.0% THC.
Does CBD contain THC?
Technically speaking, CBD cannot contain THC as they are completely separate molecules. CBD oils, balms and other products however may contain THC. CBD oils sold in the UK however, should not contain any THC if they are sold legally. For example, Vitality CBD guarantees 0.0% THC in all CBD products. Independent lab reports confirm this; you can even view these CBD lab reports online.
Is cannabis oil CBD or THC?
Cannabis oil or hemp oil is not necessarily the same as CBD oil or THC oil. Since cannabis and hemp oil is a blanket term for all oils derived from the cannabis plant, it could describe many byproducts. There are hemp-derived oils, marijuana-derived oils, hemp seed oils, THC oils and CBD oils.
CBD and THC: Hemp vs. marijuana
While both CBD and THC are extracted from cannabis, the type of cannabis used can help in obtaining the desired compound in greater quantities.
Cannabis itself just refers to the overall plant family. It’s a genus, in much the same way as Eucalyptus and Rhododendron, meaning it covers a large spread of different strains and species. The two primary species are sativa and indica, but the most important differentiating factor for users comes down to the individual strain.
The key difference between strains of cannabis from a user perspective is the balance of two chemicals: CBD and THC.
From a consumer perspective, this is what matters most when discussing different cannabis strains. The easiest distinction is to split strains between hemp and marijuana. Hemp covers any plants grown specifically for industrial purposes, e.g. rope, paper, clothing and biofuel.
In contrast, marijuana is the terminology used for plants grown for purely recreational purposes. Explore our article on growing hemp and cannabis for more information on cultivating this fascinating plant.
The crucial difference beyond intended use is the divide in CBD and THC levels. Since THC is the main psychotropic ingredient in cannabis, plants grown under the marijuana banner will have high THC levels. Conversely, because CBD isn’t psychotropic, you’ll find it in high levels in hemp plants, which simultaneously have low THC levels.
It makes sense then that THC oil is predominantly harvested from the recreational strains, while CBD products are largely extracted from industrial hemp. Both compounds are then subject to further processes that ensure the levels of either cannabinoid are adjusted accordingly, but you can chart the journey of each oil right back to how the plants were bred.
CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?
You’re probably hearing a lot about cannabis and marijuana products as they become legal in more and more states. Two natural compounds are getting the most attention: CBD and THC.
Cannabis is a plant that makes a thick substance full of compounds called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis. They cause drug-like reactions in your body.
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis products.
THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has a lot of CBD.
CBD and THC have the same chemical formula — 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The difference lies in the way the atoms are arranged. That gives CBD and THC different chemical properties, and they affect your body differently.
Both CBD and THC work with receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. They can affect things like pain, mood, sleep, and memory.
How CBD and THC Affect the Body
THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. It’s what makes people feel “high.”
We have two types of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. THC binds with receptors — mostly in the brain — that control pain, mood, and other feelings. That’s why THC can make you feel euphoric and give you that so-called high.
CBD doesn’t cause that high. Instead, it’s thought to work with other elements in the body linked to feelings of well-being.
People take CBD products to help with everything from arthritis and Crohn’s disease to diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Some say it helps with anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. So far, there’s little evidence that CBD helps with any of these.
The FDA has approved one CBD-based drug. Epidiolex is a treatment for several severe forms of rare childhood epilepsy.
CBD is a hot topic for researchers. The National Institutes of Health clinical trials database shows more than 160 trials involving CBD that are either active or recruiting.
Some states authorize the use of THC as part of medical marijuana, THC may help ease things like:
- Problems with concentration
- Memory loss
Side effects from CBD can include:
- Upset stomach
CBD can also change the way some medicines work. Talk with your doctor about it.
Laws are changing all the time on cannabis. Many states allow medical marijuana, containing THC, for several uses, but it is still illegal under federal law. Some states have made recreational marijuana with THC legal for personal use. But it’s also illegal under U.S. law.
As part of the Farm Bill in December 2018, Congress legalized hemp. But there are still rules about where and how you can sell products that contain CBD. You can’t sell some across state lines, for example. All CBD products are illegal if they’re sold with the promise of medical benefits.
Check your state’s laws before buying products with CBD or THC.
National Cancer Institute: “Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ) — Patient Version.”
Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience: “Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health.”
Echo Connection: “4 Differences Between CBD and THC,” “What Are the Differences Between CBD and THC?”
American Council on Science and Health: “CBD And THC – The Only Difference Is One Chemical Bond.”
Harvard Health Publishing: “Answers to the top questions about cannabis extract,” “Medical marijuana.”
FDA: “FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy.”
U.S. National Library of Medicine ClinicalTrials.gov: “CBD.”
UW Health: “Do You Vomit When You Smoke Pot? Here’s Why.”
Alcohol and Drug Foundation: “Medical cannabis.”
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Marijuana and Cannabinoids.”
Cannabis Oil Vs. Hash Oil Vs. Hemp Oil
What Is What With Cannabis Oil, Hash Oil, and Hemp Oil
Cannabis Oil Vs. Hash Oil Vs. Hemp Oil
While smoking might still be the most popular way to use cannabis, we at Cannabis.net think that cannabis oils are the future. Oils made from derivatives of cannabis are becoming more popular both for its medicinal and recreational value. If you want to give oils a try but aren’t sure where to start, read through our guide on the different kinds of cannabis-based oils and their uses:
Cannabis oils generally have a strong aroma, and come in light or dark green and brown colors. Cannabis oils are potent sources of THC which means it will give you a good buzz, but also contains many cannabinoids with therapeutic properties. It is commonly used to treat cancer, depression, chronic pain, and anxiety and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Cannabis oil can be applied directly to the skin or consumed sublingually, although many also enjoy using it as an ingredient in cooking edibles.
When consuming cannabis oil, keep in mind that its effects take a while. It’s always recommended to start with low doses then work your way through after waiting 30 minutes to an hour.
Hash oil is known to be much more potent because it’s a concentrated form of cannabis oil. Just by taking an extremely small amount of hash oil will get you buzzed AF because hash oil contains higher amounts of THC. Hash oil is also known as honey oil because of its golden color. It can be used to make balms or edibles but hash oil can also be smoked, vaped, or dabbed. Hash oils can be applied topically to provide relief from sore muscles and is also popularly used by patients who are suffering from serious, life-threatening conditions thanks to its medicinal value. Hash oil is effective in helping to improve moods as well as stress and pain relief.
Hash oil is known to make consumers get high very quickly, which is why it tends to be more popular with a younger crowd who want to get a buzz in a short amount of time.
Hemp oil is made by extracting oil by pressing hemp seeds. Avoid purchasing refined hemp oil, which is colorless and has no antioxidants or vitamins. Cold-pressed hemp oil is usually green in color. Unrefined cold-pressed hemp oil has serious medicinal and health benefits particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which are needed for optimum cellular health. It has no THC content and won’t get you high, although only trace amounts of it can be found in hemp oil.
Hemp oil is commonly used as an ingredient in health and beauty products. It’s also used in industrial applications such as in the manufacture of plastics, fuel, lubricants, and paint. Hemp oil burns easily so it isn’t recommended for use in cooking. However, hemp oil can be added in dishes that don’t require cooking such as salads. Because hemp oil has no THC content and can’t get you high, it’s sold as a supplement in many