Cannabis 101

Cannabis 101


Although over half of the states have some form of medical or recreational marijuana legalization, consumers continue to have a lack of knowledge of the two main compounds in marijuana. These are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and both have possible therapeutic values.

Both CBD and THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and each have very different effects.

Both marijuana and hemp contain CBD which can be extracted and processed into gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, and more. The important difference is CBD extracted from hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent THC. The THC level in CBD extracted from the cannabis plant contains higher levels of THC. THC is the compound that does cause psychoactive effects and is heavily regulated at both the state and federal level.

Below are some common questions about both CBD and THC, both similarities and striking differences.

Cannabis & CBD 101

Both CBD and THC chemically mirror your body’s own endocannabinoids. This similarity allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.


They also possess the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atom organization is the reason for the differing effects on your body.


Neurotransmitters are chemicals that act as carriers to relay messages between cells and can affect pain feelings, immune function, stress, sleep, to name a few. Both THC and CBD affect the release of neurotransmitters in your brain.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound despite their similar chemical structures. That means it doesn’t produce the euphoric effect associated with THC.


THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It produces a high or sense of euphoria.


CBD lightly binds, if at all, to CB1 receptors. Actually, it can interfere with the binding of THC and dampen the psychoactive effects.

Cannabis-related laws are evolving regularly in the United States. Marijuana and THC are on the list of controlled substances, so they’re prohibited under federal law.


On the other hand, it is a much different landscape at the state level. Over half the states and Washington, D.C. have passed some type of cannabis-related laws making medical marijuana with high levels of THC legal. This marijuana type may need to be prescribed by a licensed physician.


In addition, eleven states and growing have now made recreational use of marijuana and THC legal.


In states where marijuana is legal for recreational or medical purposes, you should be able to buy CBD.


Always check your states legalization laws before you try to buy products with CBD or THC. Possession of cannabis-related products in a state where they’re illegal or don’t have a medical prescription in states where the products are legal for medical treatment, you will face possible arrest and conviction.

CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric effects that occur with THC. Some people may prefer to use CBD because of the lack of this side effect.


CBD may have effective treatment results with pain, migraines, depression, anxiety, to name several. THC may have positive treatment effects with seizures, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, insomnia in addition to other conditions.

While CBD is almost always well-tolerated in both small and large doses, THC can cause increased heart rate, dry mouth, red eyes and slower reaction times. Both compounds have no record of fatalities.