CBD vs. THC: The Differences You Need to Understand

Whether you’re already using CBD or you’re about to start, it can be useful to understand how it differs from THC. THC and CBD are both molecules found in the cannabis plant, and they belong to the same category of molecules: cannabinoids.

However, there are a couple of key differences between them, not only in terms of their properties but also in terms of legality and side effects. In this article, you’ll learn about the key differences between these two molecules. 

What are CBD and THC?

CBD is a molecule also known as cannabidiol. It’s found in the hemp plant and in certain forms of cannabis. THC is a molecule that can also be found in cannabis, and in a particular form of cannabis called marijuana. Its full name is tetrahydrocannabinol

Although the two molecules are vastly different, they have a very similar molecular structure. In fact, they even have the same formula: C21H3O2. But the way their atoms are arranged means that they bind in a completely different way with receptors in our bodies. This gives them very different effects and properties. 

What does CBD feel like? What about THC?

The feelings you get from CBD vs THC are completely different. CBD tends to make people feel relaxed in their bodies and less anxious. Apart from that, it can be difficult to notice how it really makes you feel. That’s because CBD is non-psychoactive: it doesn’t change the way your consciousness perceives the world around you. As a result, many people who take CBD for the first time find that it doesn’t feel like anything special.

On the other hand, THC has a very strong effect which you can feel straight away. As a psychoactive molecule, taking it will make you experience the world in a different way. For example, some people feel that it makes them find everything funny. Others find that it makes them more relaxed and more creative. Everyone reacts to THC slightly differently, and for some people, it can even create anxiety and even paranoia. 

Why do people take CBD? Or THC?

If we’re talking about medical cannabis, people tend to take CBD and THC for similar reasons: to relieve pain, anxiety, or inflammation. 

However, THC is better for certain kinds of problems and CBD for others. THC has a more immediate mood-boosting effect, and some people find that it helps them with depression. It also has some great appetite-boosting properties, which makes it ideal for people undergoing chemotherapy, or for people with anorexia.

On the other hand, CBD is safer than THC for people who have anxiety because it doesn’t risk increasing it. CBD is also used to relieve epilepsy, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders. 

In countries or states where cannabis is legal, medical users can find that combining the two is a great way to get the relief that they need. Although they have different properties, CBD and THC can work very well together and it makes sense to try out products that contain a good balance of both. 

cbd and thc differences

What are the side effects of THC and CBD?

Both THC and CBD are considered safe molecules. Compared to synthetic drugs, these plant-derived molecules tend to have far fewer harmful side effects. However, there are still a couple of negative ways in which your body could respond to them. For example, both of them can cause:

  • changes in appetite
  • sleep disturbances
  • changes in mood

In particular, THC is known to cause anxiety in high doses and in certain groups of people. It could also be harmful to people who suffer from any kind of psychosis. Finally, as a psychoactive molecule, it should be completely avoided by children and by pregnant or breastfeeding women. 

CBD could cause nausea for some people, especially when taken through the mouth in the form of an oil or capsule. It can also cause lethargy, making you feel sleepy throughout the day.

For both of these molecules, the side effects vary a lot depending on the person. However, CBD does tend to be considered as safer because it doesn’t risk triggering anxiety or psychosis. 

Are THC and CBD legal? 

One of the biggest differences between THC and CBD is their legal status. CBD is legal on a federal level in the United States, even though it isn’t currently approved by the FDA. On the other hand, THC is only legal in a handful of states. In the vast majority of countries in the rest of the world, CBD is legal, but not THC. So if you’re thinking of taking THC or a combination of CBD and THC, check your local laws to make sure you are acting in full legality.


The two cousin molecules, CBD and THC, are not as similar as they first appear. As well as having different effects, they have different side effects and vastly different legal statuses. We hope that this article has shed some light on their differences. They may look very similar, but they are definitely not to be confused!

Elixinol Everyday Daily Balance Winter Mint

1. Elixinol Daily Balance Tincture Winter Mint 133 to 4,000 mg

If you’re looking for a high-quality broad-spectrum product with a refreshing taste, this Elixinol oil is perfect for you.

It contains a very simple list of ingredients: broad-spectrum CBD extract, MCT coconut oil, peppermint essential oil, and the terpene beta-caryophyllene (BCP). 

The advantage of choosing a broad-spectrum product is that different cannabinoids and terpenes can reinforce one another’s effects. The added beta-caryophyllene is also here to reinforce the effect of CBD. Moreover, this unique terpene (considered a cannabinoid by some accounts) can provide pain relief on its own, making it a particularly good choice for people with sciatica.

Like all Elixinol products, this CBD oil is organic, GMO-free, and third-party tested to guarantee quality. It comes packaged in a dark blue glass container with a high-quality dropper. 

In terms of potency, it’s a product that comes in many strengths. You can find concentrations as low as 133 mg of CBD per bottle, and as high as 4,000 mg. Of course, the higher-potency versions are more expensive, but they also offer better value for money in terms of the price per milligram of CBD. So if you think you need a higher dose of CBD to deal with sciatica pain, don’t hesitate to go for the 1,000-mg or even the 4,000-mg version.


  • Refreshing taste
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • Contains extra beta-caryophyllene
  • Dark-glass container
  • Comes in 4 different potencies


  • The cheapest options may not be strong enough to relieve sciatica pain
  • Elixinol have longer than average shipping times
Endoca Hemp Salve 750 mg

2. Hemp Salve 750 mg by Endoca

This Endoca hemp salve is a very potent product with 100% natural ingredients

This THC-free CBD-infused balm by Endoca is one of the most efficient ways to get CBD into your system. When using a CBD cream, CBD molecules travel straight to your endocannabinoid receptors through the skin, giving you pain relief in as little as 10 minutes. It’s a great way to take CBD for people who don’t like the taste of CBD oil and don’t want to smoke or vape CBD.

This particular balm is very highly concentrated. It contains 750mg of CBD in a 30-ml jar. This means with a pea-size amount of product, you can already get significant relief from pain, inflammation, or irritation. As well as broad-spectrum CBD extract, it also contains ingredients like hemp seed oil, coconut oil and vitamin E, which make it very hydrating. 

Like all Endoca products, it only uses natural and organic ingredients. The CBD extract it contains is also GMO-free, third-party tested, and CO2-extracted to give you the best quality possible. So if you’re looking for a simple, natural CBD product that is very potent, this one is a good option. We particularly recommend it to people who suffer from painful skin rashes, joint pain, and migraines. 


  • High potency product
  • All-natural list of ingredients
  • Fresh lemon and vanilla scent
  • Hydrating thanks to coconut oil and vitamin E


  • Texture could make it a little hard to spread
  • Only one potency option available
CBD Softgels with Curcumin

3. Joy Organics CBD Softgels with Curcumin

These softgels are the perfect product for those who want to use CBD on a daily basis to keep their inflammation levels low

People who are looking for a THC-free CBD product that reliably relieves inflammation would do well to check out these turmeric-based CBD capsules. They are made with curcumin, the active molecule found in the turmeric plant. As countless studies have shown, 

curcumin is one of the safest, most powerful anti-inflammatory molecules found in nature. Taken together with CBD, it’s a great way to relieve inflammatory conditions like arthritis, IBS, eczema, and even seasonal allergies. 

These capsules contain a broad-spectrum CBD extract full of helpful cannabinoids and terpenes. So when you take them, you don’t just get the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and curcumin, but also those of CBDa, CBG, or CBN. 

Like all Joy Organics products, these capsules are made with organic, GMO-free, U.S-grown hemp. The hemp extract has been third-party tested to guarantee its purity. And in this product, it’s been transformed using nanoemulsion technology to become more bioavailable. In other words, Joy Organics have made the CBD extract more concentrated and easier for your body to absorb. As a result, the capsules are smaller than usual and will give you stronger results.

With 25mg of CBD per capsule, it’s a great product for everyday use. We highly recommend it to those who want to fight inflammation in a natural way and get the most out of cannabis without ingesting any THC. 


  • Broad-spectrum CBD extract
  • 0.0% THC
  • Small size capsules
  • Contains anti-oxidant curcumin
  • High potency


  • Made with animal gelatin
  • Above-average price per milligram of CBD

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