1. THC is abundant in marijuana but not in hemp
Many people often mistake hemp and marijuana to mean one and the same thing.
Hemp is cultivated for industrial uses, ideally should contain less than 0.2% – 0.3% THC. Hemp has little amounts of THC and is therefore non-psychoactive.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is usually cultivated for recreational use and can contain as much as 25%-30% THC.
2. The difference in Chemical structure
THC and CBD are derived from cannabigerol acid (CBGA), the precursor for all cannabinoids. CBGA is broken down into THCA and CBDA, which then yield THC and CBD respectively.
The molecules in CBD and THC are identical; they each contain 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, their chemical structure is different because of the placement of a single atom.
3. Interaction with cannabinoid receptors
Phytocannabinoids interact with receptors in the cannabinoid system in different ways.
There two kinds of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are prevalent in the central nervous system while the CB2 receptors are prevalent in the immune and peripheral systems.
THC binds directly to the CB1 receptor and is able to cause euphoria due to this interaction. CBD does not bind to either receptor. It interacts indirectly with the CB2 receptors and plays a key role in immune and peripheral systems.
4. CBD vs. THC in Drug testing
Now that we know what sets apart THC from CBD, should any of these make you worried when it comes to taking a drug test?