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How do THC and CBD Compare?

How do THC and CBD Compare?

We Are Often Asked About The Difference Between THC And CBD – And There Are Many.

They Are Both Cannabinoids – That Is, Chemical Compounds From The Cannabis Plant.

They Exist Together In Nature And They Have Some Great Synergy. However, There Are A Few Fundamental Differences Between The Two.


CBD VS THC - THE BASICS:



THC (ANY TYPE OF “DELTA” TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL)


THC IS INTOXICATING. 

The level and character of the “high” varies by type, method of ingestion, and potency – but ALL THC is intoxicating.  Please use responsibly and never drive while using THC.


THC HAS A HIGHER SIDE EFFECT PROFILE THAN CBD

While the benefits of THC can far outweigh any side effects, it is important to note that there are potentially some uncomfortable ones.  Fortunately, they are typically mild, and they go away as soon as the THC is out of your system (no lasting damage).  THC can impact heart rate.  Users often experience this as “fluttering” or palpitations.  THC can impact blood pressure. It may increase pressure while lying down and lower it when standing.  This translates to an increase in “white-out” effect and may cause dizziness or, in extreme cases, loss of consciousness.   See below for information about anxious feelings.


THC CAN CAUSE A DRUG TEST FAILURE IN ANY QUANTITY. 

This includes the tiny amount in full spectrum CBD products. Although failure is very rare with full spectrum products, the likelihood of failure increases with amount and frequency of use.


THC IS PRIMARILY ANALGESIC WITH MILD ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. 

This means that THC mostly numbs or blocks pain.  Effects are typically felt as soon as the first dose.  THC may be better than CBD for moderate to intense pain.


THC MAY INCREASEANXIOUS FEELINGS. 

At low dose, most people find the mild head-high relaxing and calming.  However, at high dose THC can provoke increased heart rate, anxiety and even panic attacks. THC will not kill you – overdose simply does not happen.  However, too much THC can make you feel like you are dying.  Moderation and monitoring is key.  Too little THC is vastly better than too much. 


THC MAY HELP IMPROVE QUALITY OF SLEEP. 

Not all THCs are created equal, but the “indica” varieties at correct dose can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.  THC does the best job of “shutting off the brain” when you are attempting to sleep.  Low dose Delta-8 THC receives the most rave reviews from our clients for helping them sleep.  Indica Delta-9 THC is a close second.  Keep in mind that high dose may provoke vivid or unsettling dreams.  Allow 8-10 hours for edible options to clear your system and prevent morning grogginess.


THC IS POTENTIALLY HARMFUL TO PETS

Please don’t attempt to get your pet high.  Not only is it confusing and frightening for them, but it is also toxic at higher levels.  Life threatening toxicity requires very large doses, but vomiting and other misery can occur at even small doses.  THC is safe (and potentially helpful) in the levels found in full spectrum CBD products. Anything above that should only be given under the care and advice of a veterinarian. 


THC LEGALITY VARIES BY STATE AND BY TYPE. 

Purchasing from a reputable, licensed business is key to getting good advice on this front.  Florida currently allows naturally occurring THCs within legal limits.  For example, as a Hemp licensed establishment, we can carry THC in many forms, including dispensary grade edibles.  However, THC-O, which is entirely synthetic and does not occur in the cannabis plant, is illegal in the state.  More on this later…




CBD (CANNABIDIOL)


CBD IS NOT INTOXICATING.  

Some consumers report mild euphoria or grogginess at high dose.  However, motor and cognitive function remains intact.  High dose varies quite a bit from person to person.  


CBD WILL NOT CAUSE A DRUG TEST FAILURE THAT IS LOOKING FOR THC. 

Full spectrum blends of CBD contain very small amounts of THC and should be consumed with caution or avoided entirely by those concerned with testing.  


CBD COUNTERACTS THE “HIGH” ASSOCIATED WITH THC.  

Some sources suggest a 5:1 CBD:THC ratio offers very little high.  However, clients and personal experience suggest this is likely closer to 10:1 or more.  


CBD IS PRIMARILY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY WITH MILD ANALGESIC PROPERTIES.  

This means that it reduces pain by reducing inflammation.  This process can often take consistent dosing over the course of several days or even weeks to realize full effects.  CBD may be best for mild to low-moderate pain caused by inflammation.


CBD CALMS ANXIOUS FEELINGS. 

This is one of the most common uses for CBD and there are countless success stories.  However, just like anti-anxiety meds, there is a cumulative effect over time and dosing may need to be adjusted.  CBD sometimes provides overnight results, but very often provides great longer-term benefits.  


CBD MAY HELP IMPROVE QUALITY OF SLEEP

CBD is relaxing and many people find that they fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer when using it.  Many consumers will need to experiment with dosing for the best results.  Better sleep sometimes requires higher doses of CBD (100-150mg).  CBD is unlikely to cause morning grogginess and has fewer side effects than THC.  It is often the best option for mild-moderate sleep issues and those with heart or blood pressure concerns.  


CBD IS SAFE FOR PEOPLE AND PETS

Every vertebrate animal has an endocannabinoid system.  CBD is well tolerated by most people and our pets.  Pets can use people CBD and people can use pet CBD.  Flavorings and added ingredients are the only differences.


CBD AND THC – WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?


This is a subject that causes a great deal of confusion.  The basic truth is that they come from the same source – some variety of cannabis plant.  A few quick facts:


All “hemp,” “cannabis,” “marijuana,” “industrial hemp,” “weed,” “phytocannabinoid-rich hemp,” and other terms refer to plants of the same genus – cannabis.  Many marijuana industry publications like to refer to “cannabis” as exclusively describing marijuana with high THC.  However, this is inaccurate as cannabis is the genus itself.



CANNABIS INCLUDES:


“Marijuana,” “Weed,” “high THC cannabis,” or “Medical Cannabis”


These are typically plants grown for High THC content and used in medical dispensaries or recreational dispensaries where it is legal.  Growers often selectively breed them for very high THC content.


Hemp – with two primary types

  • Industrial Hemp – the tall fibrous plants grown for fiber and textiles

  • Phytocannabinoid rich Hemp – these plants look, smell, grow, and smoke just like “medical cannabis.”  Even professionals can’t tell the difference without lab results.  These plants are used to produce all kinds of legal cannabinoid products, including “hemp derived THC” for legal sale in stores like ours.  


Please note the primary difference between cannabis grown for high THC content (medical and recreational) and that grown for high CBD content is a legal distinction, not a botanical one.  It is based upon the specific Delta-9 THC content.  More than 0.3% by weight = marijuana with very limited and specific legality.  Less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC = hemp and therefore legal in all states in most cases.


IS THC ILLEGAL AND CBD LEGAL?


We dream of a day when this question doesn’t have to be asked.  Legal, regulated, safe, adult use cannabis products is the ideal solution to us.  However, until then, the answer is that it depends.


CBD is Legal in Florida:


In Florida as of January of 2023, all legally compliant CBD products are allowed to be sold throughout the state by anyone possessing a state issued hemp license.  Regulations include testing, labeling, and sourcing requirements.


CBD is Legal in Florida

THC is allowed to be sold in Florida in these circumstances:


  1. Delta-9 THC (the famous one) can be sold in medical marijuana dispensaries in all forms (smokable, edible, vapes, tinctures, capsules etc.).   

  2. Delta-9 THC can also be sold in hemp licensed establishments when it meets 2 criteria:

    1. It must be derived from a plant legally classified as “hemp”

    2. It must be in a form that contains less than 0.3% by weight.  This translates to edibles only.

  3. Other forms of THC are legal when they are:

    1. Found in the cannabis plant naturally (no 100% synthetics). The caveat here is that the THC can be produced in a lab by using other cannabinoids.  It just must exist in nature in the first place. It is worth noting that this makes THC-O illegal in the state of Florida per the department of agriculture guidelines.  

    2. Be other than Delta-9 THC in any form other than edibles.  Therefore smokables, vapes, tinctures, and edibles exist in a growing variety of forms.  These include Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCp, THCv, and more. 


Cannabis is an exceptionally complex plant with many beneficial compounds and uses.  While the research and science continues to expand, we know that there is so much more to learn.  THC and CBD are the two most widely known cannabinoids and both have exceptional potential for improving quality of life for us, our loved ones, and our pets.  Sometimes deciding which option is best comes down to a bit of trial and error, but we hope this information may help you in deciding where to start or what to try next. 


Feel free to reach out to us via email at info@bluelotuswellnessandcbd.com or via phone at 407-235-0653 if we can answer additional questions or help guide you to the best product for your individual concerns.








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