What’s the Difference? THC and CBD Explained

Marijuana is a smokin’ hot topic (pun intended) and while there seems to be an overwhelming amount of information available, some of it can be confusing. For example, do you know the difference between THC and CBD and why it matters to medical marijuana patients? With the release of new scientific studies, covering medical marijuana’s effects on conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, and general inflammation, the market is teeming with a pretty swell variety of information and cannabis-infused products.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s swell and all, but what really matters to me?”

The Difference Between THC and CBD

There are more than 100 cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, each one producing different effects in the body. With THC and CBD being the most prominent (and effective) cannabinoids for health and wellbeing, we’ll break down the difference between THC and CBD and how that applies to medical marijuana patients.


  • THC is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Its scientific composition is a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen
  • Known for being the psychoactive compound, giving those who use it the feeling of being “high”


  • CBD is short for Cannabidiol
  • It’s also a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but in different proportions
  • Provides many health benefits, and reduces pain, but does not produce a “high”

THC contains fewer carbon molecules than CBD, which allows the cannabinoids to attach to different endocannabinoid receptors in the brain; the effects depend on the receptors engaged.

Because both of these compounds have positive effects on the body, it’s important to understand how and where they work.

Positive Effects of THC and CBD

THC aids in the following:

– chronic pain relief
– increasing appetite
– reducing nausea
– trouble sleeping
– treating PTSD
– muscle spasms

CBD works best for:

– pain relief
– reducing anxiety
– reducing inflammation
– inducing relaxation
– prohibiting bacteria growth
– reducing seizures

Better Together

While they’re often used separately to treat health issues, the greatest effects of THC and CBD are when they’re combined. The combination inhibits tumor growth, relieves depression, increases relaxation, and has a higher rate of success in relieving pain and reducing inflammation.

Some patients worry about the psychoactive effects of THC and want to avoid it. CBD actually counteracts the “high” from THC, which is another reason to use them together. The mixture comes in different ratios depending on the type of effects desired. For those wanting to limit or avoid the “high” from THC, a higher ratio of CBD to THC works well.

How Can I Know What I Really Need?

If you’re still confused, our amazingly friendly and knowledgeable budtenders are always happy to help you pick the products that will best suit your individual needs. If you’d like more information or have any questions, please contact us today or swing by one of our many Valley locations.

  1. Can I buy CBD with minimal THC without a Medical Marijuana card

    1. Thanks for your question! You can purchase CBD-only products without a card, but you must have a valid MMJ card to purchase products containing THC.

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