date: 26 March 2020

A lot of people ask, ‘what’s the difference between CBD and THC?’. Whilst these powerful cannabinoids come from the same plant, what they do varies and it’s important not to confuse them. We’re going to talk you through the differences and similarities of CBD and THC to hopefully make things crystal clear.


How CBD and THC are similar

CBD and THC are cannabinoids; naturally occurring chemicals present in the cannabis plant. On a molecular level, THC and CBD have exactly the same structure and number of elements – 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. Both THC and CBD also interact with the two types of cannabinoid receptors that we know of, CB1 and CB2, to varying degrees. These similarities explain the overlap in effects stimulated by these cannabinoids. 

The amount of CBD or THC you find in a cannabis or hemp plant is dependent on many factors. These factors include the strain, how much light the plants get, the amount of space between the plants, the time at which you harvest the plants and how you extract the cannabinoids from the plants. These things are all taken into account by our CBD supplier to produce hemp that is naturally high in CBD and low in THC.


The differences between CBD and THC

The arrangement of elements that make up THC and CBD which we mentioned earlier, are slightly different. This causes the subtle differences between CBD and THC, and these differences are sometimes hard to distinguish. Due to cannabis being illegal for so long, scientists weren’t able to study its complex makeup in detail until recently. So essentially, we’re all playing catch-up.


CBD effects vs THC effects

CBD and THC have a large amount of overlap in their potential effects, but they are also used separately for their unique effects. The legalisation of medical cannabis has helped us understand more about what CBD and THC can do. While we must point out that Apothem products are not a form of medical cannabis, it opened the doors for cannabinoids to be used outside of hospitals. However, there’s still a way to go before we can talk about the effects of CBD and THC outside of the medical world.

If you want to know more about what CBD might be able to do for you, there’s so much information to be found online. You can find plenty of scientific articles and many personal testimonies where people talk about what CBD has done for them. Just remember that CBD is personal, it doesn’t work the same way for everyone.


Apothem products don’t contain THC

Through selective breeding, it’s now possible to grow cannabis plants that barely produce any THC at all. The hemp produced by our supplier in Colorado is a specially selected strain, called Suver Haze that has a CBD content of over 8% and THC content of less than 3%. Apothem uses a stringent process to ensure that our final product doesn’t contain any THC at all, you can read more about this here.

Whilst people used to vie for high THC strains and products, this just isn’t the case anymore. As our understanding of cannabis and its many components increases, so has our appreciation of the role other cannabinoids play. Many forms of street cannabis have been altered to reduce the CBD content and increase the THC content significantly, which is why people often experience unpleasant side effects from smoking illegal cannabis… CBD is present in cannabis for a reason!