With more and more states legalizing marijuana and industrial hemp, people want to know how CBD and THC are different. The government and most of the sources on the internet give one general explanation of how marijuana and industrial hemp are different, which is their THC content. If the contents of THC are below 0.3%, the cannabis is industrial hemp. Otherwise, it’s marijuana. Both are the same plants, however, with one rich in Cannabidiol and the other is Tetrahydrocannabinol. 


Many people think that these chemicals are the same thing and have similar effects. But that’s not the truth. Both of these chemicals have a distinct nature and act on humans in different ways. However, some similarities are also there. Continue reading to know about the similarities and differences between the two. 


Similarities Between CBD and THC

First coming to the similarities between the two compounds. Following are the similarities between the two chemicals:


CBD is in abundance in industrial hemp, whereas the quantity of THC is more in marijuana. However, both cannabinoids are present in hemp and marijuana. Their amounts are different, but their presence can not be denied. On top of that, both marijuana and hemp are technically the same plants. Therefore, it is safe to say that both CBD and THC come from the source. 

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Chemical Composition

Chemically the structure of cannabinoids is very similar. Most cannabinoids have 21 carbon atoms in their structures. In the case of CBD and THC, both substances have 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms in their compounds. How these differences in properties lie in the placement of their atoms in the molecule. So, they are similar on the basis of their molecular formula but have different structures. 

Both Can Be Used as Medicines

Another similarity between the two compounds is that they are both used as medicines. Yes, THC has a bad name for being a psychoactive agent that is also used in making medicines. On the other hand, CBD is showing promising effects against a number of problems. Even being illegal in many states or at least not approved by authorities like DEA and FDA, both of these compounds have at least one FDA-approved drug.

CBD has Epidiolex(a medication for two complex types of epilepsy) and a THC-based medicine known as Marinol(a medicine used for nausea resulting from chemotherapy). Also, there are medicines in which both of these compounds are present, like Sativex. It is a drug for muscle spasticity. However, this one does not have the FDA’s approval. 

Similar Ways of Intake 

Despite other differences, the ways of intake for both of these products are similar. There are a number of ways of taking these products. You can take these through vapes, joints, gummies, capsules, oils, and other eatables. 

Differences Between CBD and THC

There are many differences between CBD and THC. Following are some of the differences between these two cannabinoids:

CBD legal cannabis medical virtues: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, etc. CBD and THC formula. Thematic photos of hemp and green ganja. Background image

Causing Addiction 

People think that all cannabis products can make a user an addict. That’s half of the truth. Half of the THC from the plant is a strong psychoactive drug, whereas CBD does not have addictive effects. THC can cause addiction and also make the user dependent. CBD is the opposite in this regard. It is not a strong psychoactive compound but has mild relaxing effects. Most of all, CBD does not make you high; only THC does. The World Health Organization has stated that they have not found CBD as an addictive drug. Instead, CBD has shown promising results for people who were addicts. 

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Differences in the Effects of Their Medication 

Even though both of these compounds are derivatives of the same plant, the way they affect is very different. First, coming to THC, its effects are especially oriented towards the brain. Therefore, its effects are more energizing or relaxing. In other words, similar to the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The effects of CBD are different. CBD is an anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant. This is why it is effective for more problems. 


In some States, all the derivatives of marijuana are illegal, while in many others, industrial hemp is legal. Because of the legality of legal hemp, CBD products fall under the legal variety of cannabinoids while THC is illegal. However, there are other states where both of these products are illegal, like Idaho. In the states where CBD is legal, you buy it from many sources, even online. Even you can find some of these products in the stores near you. 

Side Effects 

Every medicine has some type of side effects, and cannabis-based medication is no exception. However, the number of symptoms is different between the two. THC gives you a high and is a strong psychoactive drug. It can cause a number of side effects. The side effects can be anxiety, increased heart rate, coordination problems, and memory loss. CBD does not exhibit many side effects. Yet, in some cases, it may cause diarrhea, loss of appetite, and dry mouth.

Surprisingly, the side effects that THC causes on the brain can be reversed by CBD. 


These are some of the differences and similarities between CBD and THC. Before buying any of these products, see their status of legality in your state.