Cannabidiol and THC – or Tetrahydrocannabinol for its full name – are two distinct chemicals and cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. As the two most prominent of a cannabis plant’s components, they have been extensively researched and tested for tens of years now. Whether you’re a botanist or a regular at our vape shop on Blackfriars Road, you’ve probably heard of these two chemicals at least in passing, but might not know the full story or how they differ from each other.
The distinct differences between these two molecules represent the line between the legality and prohibition on CBD vape stores and have also been the victim of misunderstanding from those who aren’t as well versed in the vaping world. This blog will outline the key distinctions between cannabidiol and THC, and why each is treated differently under UK law.
What Is CBD?
CBD – or cannabidiol – is a cannabinoid that can be found in up to 25 percent of the cannabis plants genetic makeup. This non-hallucinogenic terpene has a range of medical and recreational properties that aid in everything from sleeplessness to epilepsy. Legal for both prescription and recreational use, CBD extracts can be sold as loose leaf cannabis, e-liquids such as disposable vape pods and a range of edibles such as tinctures, supplements and oils used in cooking. There are also CBD cosmetic creams and ointments that are used for wounds and sprains that can be bought at health stores across the UK.
Properties of CBD
CBD doesn’t just relax the body and the mind, it has secondary medical benefits too, ones that are derived from its serenity-inducing qualities.
When used as an ointment or skin cream, cannabidiol’s cannabinoids can pass through the skin membrane and help to relieve chronic and acute inflammation. This makes it useful in treating the symptoms of skin conditions and arthritis.
It’s not just pain and swelling relief that CBD helps with but cancer treatment side effects too. Further to its uses to lessen the nauseating and painful side effects of chemotherapy, cannabidiol’s hormone receptor triggers can help aid against sleeplessness and relieve the effects of anxiety, depression and potentially even schizophrenia.
What Is THC?
THC is more abundant in a standard cannabis plant than cannabidiol is, but alongside its pain-relieving benefits, which is utilised in the USA and in specific cases in the UK, THC also affects the euphoria-inducing hormones in the brain that can cause hallucinations. Many people may be surprised to know that there is only one single molecular sequence that sets the two apart, but this makes all the difference. THC is what makes you “high”, and this is why in the UK it is mostly illegal to use.
Whilst there is an ongoing ethical debate surrounding the illegality of THC cannabis, the mind-altering aspects of the plant can induce side effects such as memory loss, dry mouth and red eyes, none of which are inherent within cannabidiol’s effects.
The distinct medical properties of CBD and a lack of any psychoactivity mean that you are still permitted to drive when under the influence of it, whilst this is not the case with THC. For more information on the benefits of CBD, make sure to visit the CBD Vape4U website or stop by one of our CBD vape stores in London.