The incredibly versatile cannabis plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids or natural active compounds. It was recently discovered that these cannabinoids have a variety of remarkable properties. ‘CBD’(cannabidiol) and ‘THC’ (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most well-
known of the cannabinoids, and although CBD and THC are comparable compounds, they both have vastly different properties.
CBD and THC share many similarities in their molecular structures; however, these extra-ordinary cannabinoids are also hugely different. The five main differences between the two are explained below.
1. CBD does not have psychoactive effects, THC does
THC has psychoactive effects; this means that it can cause a ‘high’ feeling once absorbed into the body and explains why people mostly use THC for recreational purposes. Smoking the substance as a cigarette (joint) is but one example. CBD products do not have this property, so getting high from a CBD substance is absolutely impossible. In other words, CBD products are not used recreationally but as food supplements, as they have many unique and useful properties for our bodies.
2. CBD is legally available, THC is not
Since THC is psychoactive, it cannot legally be sold in the Netherlands. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive. Therefore, CBD products may be lawfully sold in the Netherlands. It is noteworthy that full-spectrum CBD products sometimes still contain a minimal percentage of THC. This exceptionally low percentage has no impact on these types of CBD products as the permitted rate is a maximum of 0.05% THC content.
These rules and regulations are determined by virtue of the Netherlands Opium Act. This Act contains lists of prohibited substances (soft and hard drugs). Since THC is psychoactive, it is listed in Schedule 1 of the Netherlands Opium Law.
3. CBD is made from the hemp plant, THC from the cannabis plant
CBD and THC are naturally occurring compounds in cannabis. There are different species of cannabis plants, such as the hemp and Cannabis Sativa plants. Although these two types of plants are often confused with each other, they could not be more different from each other.
Hemp contains an insignificant amount of THC, but it has a high CBD content, which explains why CBD products are made from this plant. By contrast, Cannabis Sativa contains very little CBD, but has a high THC content and, therefore, THC products are made from the Cannabis Sativa plant. The hemp plant can be legally grown in the Netherlands as this plant species has an insignificant THC content. The actual production of CBD products is not yet allowed by law, and this is why, for now, products are manufactured abroad.
4. CBD is freely available, THC is available on prescription
CBD products are fully available as they are seen as food supplements, whereas THC products are not. Although THC has some unique and useful properties that are beneficial to our bodies, it may not be sold freely. In some cases, doctors may prescribe THC in the form of medical cannabis, which may only be supplied by specialized pharmacies.
5. CBD is suitable for children, THC is not
CBD is ideal for everyone, including children. Due to its psychoactive properties, meaning that you get high once you have ingested it, the use of THC is not recommended in children. THC should also not be used in pets for the same reason. Given the above, it has now become clear that CBD and THC are completely different from each other. In the meantime, researchers have discovered that when CBD and THC are taken together, they interact well, meaning that the two substances can work very well together in our bodies. For this reason, many CBD products contain a minimum amount (0.05%) of THC.