Ever since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, the demand for CBD products has continued to increase. The bill legalized all hemp-derived CBD products on a federal level, which enabled manufacturers throughout the U.S. to sell their products.
While the market is inundated with CBD products, there’s more confusion and misconceptions about CBD than ever before. One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it’s the same as THC. Both of these compounds are naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
However, both cannabinoids work very differently within the body and have very different side effects. If you’re interested in trying CBD for pain relief or to help you sleep at night, it helps to understand how CBD works and how it affects the body.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD vs. THC. We’ll also provide a list of the top THC-free products that we recommend for new and seasoned CBD users.
Top THC Gummies
CBD vs. THC: Interaction in the Body
It’s correct to say that CBD and THC are quite similar. They’re both cannabinoids and they have the same molecular structure. The only scientific difference between them is how the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms are arranged. This slight difference influences how both CBD and THC react in the body.
While both cannabinoids have a similar molecular structure, the effects are vastly different. Most notably, THC has psychoactive effects while CBD does not.
When ingested, THC binds with the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor in the brain. This interaction produces psychoactive effects, causing the user to feel “high.” THC is known to cause feelings of euphoria, confusion, and even anxiety.
CBD also binds to CB1 receptors, but the bind isn’t as strong. For CBD to bind to these receptors, THC must be present. In turn, the two cannabinoids work together to create a positive experience.
When paired, CBD reduces THC’s psychoactive effects. This gives CBD users a calmer, more relaxing experience. Research has shown that CBD offers all sorts of therapeutic benefits, including:
- Lowered stress and anxiety
- Pain management
- Improved sleep
- Balanced and centered mood
The combination of CBD and THC creates what’s known as the entourage effect. This offers quicker relief that lasts much longer.
CBD vs. THC: Benefits
As mentioned earlier, CBD and THC are two very different cannabinoids. They have very different effects on the body and are often used to treat different symptoms. The most notable difference is that CBD doesn’t cause a high, because it doesn’t have psychoactive effects.
Instead, CBD offers therapeutic benefits that can provide relief from stress, anxiety, chronic pain, poor sleep, and the inability to focus.
THC has shown to offer relief from pain, anxiety, nausea, and even low appetite. However, these side effects are accompanied by a high, which some users don’t want to experience.
CBD vs. THC: Side Effects
Though everyone has a unique experience, when used properly, CBD rarely causes adverse side effects. Even in large doses, CBD is relatively well-tolerated. Most adverse reactions are caused by negative drug interactions. For example, CBD doesn’t interact well with certain blood thinners, heart rhythm medication, and thyroid medications.
The most common adverse side effects that have been linked to CBD include:
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss
To minimize the risk of negative effects, dose low and slow. Taking too much CBD at once increases the risk of adverse effects. It’s also important to identify any medications that may be problematic to use with CBD.
THC also has side effects, but they’re much more severe. Side effects are also more common, especially with high doses of THC. Some common side effects of THC include anxiety, slowed reaction times, increased heart rate, and memory loss. THC can also cause coordination problems, which makes simple things like walking or talking difficult.
The good news is that neither CBD or THC pose serious health risks. However, THC can be dangerous if used for an extended amount of time. Long term use of CBD increases the risk of unwanted psychiatric effects.
CBD vs. THC: Legality
Over the last few years, several cannabis and hemp-related laws have been passed at the state and federal level. This trend is expected to continue, as more people look to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Under federal law, CBD is considered to be a schedule I drug. However, hemp, which is a natural source of CBD, is no longer a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill Act legalized all CBD products, as long as they meet criteria set forth in the bill. To be legal, CBD must:
- Be grown and sourced by a licensed grower
- Contain no more than 0.3% THC
- Adhere to state-federal regulations
Even though CBD products are legal at the federal level, state and local laws may restrict the possession, selling, and use of them. Before buying CBD, it’s important to be well aware of the state and local laws that apply to you.
On the other hand, marijuana, the main source of THC, is still illegal at the federal level. It’s considered to be a schedule I substance. But depending on where you live, marijuana may be equal. Dozens of states, including Colorado and Washington D.C., have statewide cannabis laws. Many of these laws have legalized cannabis for medical use.
CBD vs. THC: Drug Testing
When cannabinoids are ingested, the compounds are stored in the body’s fat. Cannabinoids are metabolized and create dozens of metabolites. These compounds may show up on a drug test days, possibly weeks, after using them. This could cause you to test positive.
Most drug tests aren’t designed to detect CBD. Instead, most of them are looking for traces of THC and THC metabolites. However, some of the tests are CBD-sensitive.
If you have a job that requires random drug testing, there are some options for protecting yourself. THC naturally occurs in hemp, but the concentration is much lower than THC. For peace of mind, its best to:
- Use products made with CBD isolate or broad spectrum extract
- Only buy from a reputable brand
- Review the certificate of analysis to confirm THC content
Be mindful when buying CBD products. The industry is unregulated, which means that there’s a higher risk of low quality products that are mislabelled. A product may say that it’s THC-free, but that doesn’t always make it true.
Understanding CBD Extracts
CBD isn’t CBD. If you’ve ever looked into buying CBD oil, gummies, or any other product, you may have seen the terms CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD. What many people don’t realize is that there are three different types of CBD extracts: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum.
Understanding what each of these extracts contains is an important part of being an informed CBD user.
For those who don’t want to be exposed to THC or any other plant compounds, look for a product that contains CBD isolate. This is the purest form of CBD that has been isolated from other naturally occurring plant compounds, such as flavonoids and terpenes.
Full spectrum CBD is the opposite of CBD isolate. It contains all of the plant compounds, including THC. Though full spectrum does contain THC, the amount must be less than 0.3% to be legal. This is a trace amount that won’t have any psychoactive effects.
The last type of CBD extract is broad spectrum. This extract contains all of the naturally occurring plant compounds with the exception of THC. All traces of THC are removed, but other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids remain.
Top CBD Products (THC Free!)
Now that you know the differences between CBD vs. THC, here are some of the best CBD products to consider trying. Each of these brands is reputable, trusted, and transparent. These companies submit their profits for third party lab testing to ensure potency, safety, and quality.
1. Verma Farms
Whether you want to try CBD oil, gummies, or capsules, Verma Farms has you covered. You’ll even find CBD-coated dried fruit and topical products. Verma Farms is a top brand in the industry that has become well-known for its ever-growing collection of Hawaii-inspired CBD products.
According to Forbes, Verma Farms is the most well-rounded and best tasting CBD on the market. From the CBD infused peach rings to fruity strawberry flavored CBD oil, you’ll enjoy every second of the Verma Farms CBD experience.
This is a brand that knows the importance of quality. All Verma Farms products are made using unadulterated, powerful, pesticide-free CBD to nourish the mind and body.
These products are also tested by a third party lab. Results are available on the company’s website, which shows the brand’s commitment to transparency. With CBD products from Verma Farms, you can have total confidence in your purchase.
Another highly recommended brand in the CBD industry is Penguin. They use pure, premium, and all natural ingredients to develop CBD that work to keep you cool, calm, and collected. All Penguin products, including their tinctures, gummies, and capsules are formulated to boost your mental and physical wellbeing.
As a high quality manufacturer, Penguin sources all of its CBD extracts from the finest hemp grown throughout Oregon. What’s unique about this brand is that their tinctures are made fresh to order. You can’t go wrong with quality delivered to your doorstep!
All Penguin products contain 0% THC, as the brand uses broad spectrum and CBD isolate. This means you don’t have to worry about failing a drug test or any other potential adverse side effects caused by THC.
Penguin also tests all of its products for efficacy and safety. Test results are available on the website, which enables consumers to know exactly what’s in the product they’re purchasing.
3. Joy Organics
Are you always on the hunt for organic products? If so, Joy Organics fits the bill. They are one of the few CBD manufacturers that has earned a USDA Certified Organic seal. Joy Organics offers a full line or organic CBD tinctures along with a certified organic salve that can be applied to the skin.
Each of these products is made without any preservatives or fillers. Joy Organics has an ever-growing collection of CBD products, including:
- Topical products
- Bath bombs
- Soft gels
The brand even has CBD-infused energy drinks! Joy Organics embraces the power of nature by creating products using broad and full spectrum CBD. This means that each product contains all of the beneficial plant compounds to support wellbeing.
4. Sunday Scaries
Do you dread Sunday evenings? Are you always anxious and worried about what Monday and the rest of the week may bring? Sunday Scaries CBD products are designed to ease your racing, worried mind so that you can take on each day with focus and purpose.
The brand is best-known for its CBD gummies but also offers candy, oil, and bath bombs. What’s great about Sunday Scaries is that their products are made using a proprietary bend of broad spectrum CBD extract.
CBD is sourced from USA grown hemp, which means it’s the highest quality hemp available today. All products are THC-free, so you can use them as you please without worries.
Some of their products, such as their tinctures, are infused with other health-boosting ingredients. Sunday Scaries CBD tinctures also contain vitamin D3 and B12. These vitamins can help with energy levels and mood.
As you’d expect, all Sunday Scaries products are tested by an independent third party lab. Results are available on the brand’s website.
5. Charlotte’s Web
Consumers not only want to buy from a brand that sells high quality products, but a brand that has a sense of eco-friendliness. Charlotte’s Web is one of several brands in the CBD industry that is committed to not only helping communities across the globe, but the planet as well.
Many of the brand’s products are certified organic, and they hope to add more of these products in the future. CBD is also sourced from certified organic hemp grown on farms throughout the U.S.
This brand seeks to create products that help everyday people lead their best lives. Charlotte’s Web offers one of the largest inventories of CBD products. From gummies to oils to capsules to topical options, there’s sure to be a product that provides the relief you need, in a way that’s most convenient for you.
When buying from Charlotte’s Web, you’ll find products that contain all three types of CBD extract. This makes it much easier to find CBD that best meets your needs without having to compromise on price or quality.
Charlotte’s Web products undergo strict testing to guarantee quality, potency, and safety.
6. Evn CBD
As the name implies, Evn CBD products are specially formulated to keep you on an even keel. Whether you’re using their gummies, capsules, or tinctures, you can enjoy a sense of calm and relaxation.
These products are designed to promote harmony between the mind and body. When they’re in sync, you’ll feel better in every aspect of life. Evn CBD products are not only THC-free, they’re also:
- Gluten free
- Organically grown
- Lab tested
Whether you’re stressed, moody, or anxious, there’s a product to help. Everyone has their hectic days, but you can make them less frequent by adding Evn CBD to your daily routine.
Is CBD Right for Me?
Everyone has a unique experience with CBD, especially new users. While CBD has shown a lot of promise in the many therapeutic benefits that it offers, it’s important to manage expectations when using any kind of natural supplement.
Despite what you may have read, CBD isn’t a miracle worker. It also should not be used to replace prescription medications. When taking CBD, be realistic about the results that you expect.
It’s also important to be patient. CBD doesn’t work overnight. It can take weeks for levels to stabilize in your body, as well as for you to identify a dose that best meets your needs.
Despite what you may have heard or read, CBD is not the same as THC. While both of these compounds are naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp, they cause very different side effects. CBD is known for its relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, THC is best known for its psychoactive effects.
CBD won’t get you high, but it does offer a full range of therapeutic benefits. CBD may be effective in improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, reducing chronic pain, increasing focus and concentration.
By understanding how CBD works and the effects it offers, you can achieve the relief that you want to improve your quality of life.
This article has been supplied by Verma Farms, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.