THC vs CBD... What's the Difference?
What is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a component or naturally occurring substance in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as the marijuana plant. This component is a very unique substance which also occurs in the cannabis plant’s close relative, the hemp plant (scientifically known as the Cannabis sativa L. plant), but only occurs in very small quantities in the latter.
THC is characterized by its unique effect on the brain, which is mainly psychoactive effects that produce what is popularly called a “high” feeling. THC has been known for this effect since ancient times and has been used in many different ways over the millennia, ranging from ceremonies, medical practices and recreational purposes.
Of course, only in more recent decades has THC been under further investigation regarding its effects on the brain and on the human body in general; and as our technology evolves, so does our understanding of THC and other similar substances evolve.
Is THC Legal in the UK?
To put it frankly, no; THC has been an outlawed substance for a long time and remains so thanks to its categorisation in the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. It is not legal to possess, sell, grow, produce, or traffic through or in the whole of the United Kingdom.
For this reason, cannabis (also known as the marijuana plant) also remains illegal in the United Kingdom. But does this have an impact on the sale of CBD derived from cannabis plants? In summary, it does impact the way CBD is produced from cannabis plants, and it also alters some of the legal policies which must be complied with; but it does not mean that CBD derived from cannabis plants is illegal in the United Kingdom.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a separate component or naturally occurring substance produced by both the Cannabis sativa plant (a.k.a. marijuana), and the Cannabis sativa L. plant (a.k.a. hemp), which is known for its non-psychoactive effects on the human brain. Recently, it has begun to be produced and sold in the United Kingdom, as well as other parts of the world.
CBD was discovered around the 1940s, by Roger Adams, as one of the components which occur in these plants but was not extensively studied due to the lack of advanced technology. Therefore, when it was revisited and was picked back up by scientists in recent years, it was found to be a substance which may be able to provide the human body with some different nutrients such as fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, terpenes, and flavonoids.
Is CBD Legal in the UK?
CBD has recently been legalized in the United Kingdom on 1st November 2018 and is now legal to purchase, possess, take, and produce/sell within the country. This definitely took a large portion of the population by surprise, but it had been in the works for a long time, so the legalization was also a great accomplishment for the whole country.
Now there are many companies that are rising in popularity and are growing as quickly as the industry is, which is quite quick, and the market for CBD products has been growing exponentially since the legalization of the substance.
Like everything, though, there are different legal policies which must, by law, be complied with and all CBD companies must follow these rules. Most of these policies involve lab testing all CBD and making sure that no CBD product contains more than 0.2% THC (which is not nearly enough to produce any psychoactive effects on the body).
In What Ways are THC and CBD Different?
THC and CBD are two completely different substances in terms of both chemical composition, and their effects on the human body; not to mention their different positions in the eyes of the UK law.
THC produces psychoactive effects on the body, while CBD does not. CBD offers the body nutrients such as fatty acids and terpenes, and THC does not. Yes, they are both naturally produced substances in the Cannabis plant family, but the different effects they produce on the human body create a very large gap between both substances.
It is worth mentioning, though, that there is a theory called the “Entourage Effect” which states that since the plant has been used as it naturally is for so many millennia for medicinal purposes, that maybe separating the two substances and taking only CBD is not as effective as it would be if taken along with THC, or in its “whole plant form”. This theory also states that taking both substances together will amplify CBD’s effects and will become much more effective.
Scientists can’t, as of now, agree or disagree due to a lack of concrete evidence supporting either one of the options, and therefore we are not sure yet whether what this theory states are true or not. But what we do know is that CBD has a nutritional value which can be beneficial to the human body, and is legal; and that THC produces psychoactive effects on the brain, and is also illegal.
Do CBD Products Contain THC?
As of UK law, all CBD products must contain less than or precisely 0.2% THC. The only way that CBD could be legalized is if companies complied with this (and more) of the boundaries set in place by the FDA and MHRA.
The reason for this is that since THC is illegal and CBD is legal there must only be the smallest amount possible of THC in all CBD products or else it is deemed illegal. No one wants to take CBD thinking they are at risk whatsoever of getting “high”.
Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency have set in place these boundaries which must be complied with. You see, both these establishments exist to protect the consumer’s health and wellbeing, so they conduct tests to make sure the public’s well being is secure and ensured.
But, since cannabis plants do offer more than just CBD and THC, there are certain products which contain more than just CBD, which are called “Full Spectrum” products. These contain extracts of the terpenes, flavonoids, and other great substances which are found in the plant, and offer you a more varied assortment of supplements. Many people opt to take Full Spectrum CBD products because they contain terpenes, which are substances found in most plants, and that provide different kinds of benefits; and because flavonoids also offer a variety of different benefits to the body. So, put together with CBD, many people believe Full Spectrum CBD products to be exactly what they’re looking for.
We hope that this was informative for you, and we hope that this helps you understand a bit more about the whole CBD vs THC situation. If you feel interested in learning more, please feel more than free to check out some of our other educational and informative blogs; we always strive to supply our customer with amazing products and educational information sources for the best experience possible.