There seems to be a lot of buzz recently about the benefits and risks of THC and CBD. If you’ve considered using either one to manage mood, sleep, pain, or other ailments, it’s natural to have questions. Understanding the difference between THC and CBD is important for ensuring you use the correct product for you.

As with any supplement or medical treatment, make sure you consult with your doctor before you begin using THC or CBD, especially if you take other medications.

What Are THC and CBD?

There are many different chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC and CBD. The main difference between THC and CBD is the psychoactive effect, or lack thereof.

Our brain and central nervous system contain something called cannabinoid receptors. When these receptors are activated, we experience that psychoactive euphoria. THC has the ability to activate cannabinoid receptors, making us feel high.

Both the CBD and THC compounds can be used for different reasons.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and comes from the Marijuana plant. It is the cannabinoid form that produces a “high” or feeling of euphoria. THC activates the release of dopamine, a mood-boosting chemical in the brain. However, it causes the brain to release a much higher amount of dopamine than it typically would.

THC is used for pain management and can come in capsules, oils, and edibles, as well as marijuana for smoking. It is considered a controlled substance by the federal government and is illegal in some states.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

Unlike THC, CBD is not a controlled substance and is also not psychoactive, meaning it will not create the “high” feeling. It can come from hemp or marijuana and is used as a natural treatment for various ailments, including anxiety, depression, and seizures.

Medical Benefits of THC vs CBD

Both THC and CBD can be used to treat certain medical conditions. For example, both can help to relieve pain. Check out some of the most common medical conditions that each form has been known to positively affect below.


  • Insomnia

  • Low appetite

  • Glaucoma

  • Muscle spasticity


  • Seizures

  • Depression

  • Inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease

  • Migraine

  • Psychosis or mental disorders


  • Pain

  • Nausea

  • Anxiety

Side Effects of THC vs CBD

In addition to providing medical benefits, both THC and CBD may cause side effects, which is why it is important to be open with your doctor about any medications or supplements you take.

Neither drug has been linked to fatal side effects. However, there is a risk of long-term psychiatric effects when using THC, especially for adolescents.


  • Dry mouth

  • Red eyes

  • Memory loss

  • Paranoia

  • Slower reaction times

  • Decreased coordination

  • Increased heart rate


  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Weight loss

  • Appetite changes

  • Diarrhea

Key Differences Between THC and CBD

As mentioned earlier, the biggest difference between THC and CBD is that THC has psychoactive properties. You may also have noticed some items on the list above that seem contradictory. Even though they come from the same source, THC and CBD affect people differently.

THC also affects the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex in the brain, making it harder to perform difficult tasks and interfering with the ability to form new memories.

Additionally, CBD is legal in most countries and in at least 30 states in the US, but THC is not as widely accepted.

Forms of THC and CBD

THC and CBD can be taken in several different ways. They can both be found in the following forms:

  • Soft-gels

  • Creams

  • Edibles

  • Oils

  • Sprays

How you decide to use them may depend on advice from your doctor based on your need, or it may simply come down to personal preference.

With smoking or vaping, the cannabis enters your lungs and then your bloodstream. The process is completed more quickly, and you will feel the effects within about five to fifteen minutes. However, you’ll have to take into consideration the other health concerns associated with smoking and vaping.

When using edible versions of THC and CBD, the cannabis will need to make its way through your digestive system before entering the bloodstream, which takes a bit longer. You will feel the maximum effects at some point between 30 minutes and two hours.

With creams and sprays, the cannabis is applied to a specific area on the skin and the effects will remain localized to that area.

Does CBD or THC Increase Appetite?

THC may cause increased hunger (the “munchies”), but CBD is believed to help decrease appetite and reduce inflammation, which can lead to weight loss. There is also some evidence to support the idea that CBD can help increase metabolism, but further research is needed to fully confirm this information.

Will THC and CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

THC and CBD may not show up in every type of drug test, but typically, it will be detected. These compounds are stored in your body fat and remain present for several days or weeks. If you know you may be taking a drug test, it is best not to use THC or CBD.

Where Can I Find Premium CBD Products?

If you have determined that CBD use is a good option for you, there are safe and natural ways to incorporate this compound into your lifestyle. Zeng Naturals combines CBD with other natural ingredients to create helpful formulas for a variety of ailments.

Be Chill

Be Chill is a mood-boosting formula designed to help with anxiety and stress. It comes in soft-gels, creams, oils, and gummies.


Snooze combines melatonin, eucalyptus, lavender, and CBD to help you achieve more restful sleep by decreasing cortisol. Choose from oils, soft-gels, and a soothing salve.


Recharge is designed to help with muscle recovery after a workout. Help your tired muscles relax with a salve stick, sports cream, or oil.

Contact us at Zeng Naturals with any questions about the difference between THC and CBD, and to learn more about our CBD-infused products.

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