One of the biggest things in the CBD community right now, is the misinformation about Hemp CBD products, and Marijuana CBD products. Both have their own list of therapeutic and holistic properties, so in this article we are going to discuss how the molecular structure of CBD and THC differ, giving different effects.

To get a better understanding of CBD and THC, lets discuss the three different types of cannabis plants. You have cannabis ruderalis, also known as “hemp”, and cannabis indica and cannabis sativa, both of which are more widely known as “marijuana”. While hemp plants are grown more so for their stalks, seeds, fibers, and most importantly, CBD; marijuana plants are grown for their “buds” or “flowers” that produce a high when smoked or ingested.

What are CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are 2 of at least 113 cannabinoids that have been isolated to date, from different cannabis strains. CBD and THC are undoubtedly the most well-known and, the most well researched. These cannabinoids are also referred to as phytocannabinoids, and they interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors found within the endocannabinoid system within all mammalian species. CB1 receptors are primarily located on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, but are also found in some peripheral organs and tissues such as the spleen, white blood cells, endocrine gland and parts of the reproductive, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. CB2 receptors are found within the immune system.

CBD was first isolated in 1940, with THC following in 1964 by well known cannabis scientist Raphael Mechoulam. As discussed, CBD and THC are different due to their differing physiological effects. However, there is only one difference between these two chemicals. Both CBD and THC share the same molecular formula, C21H30O2. This means each compound contains 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen, and 2 oxygen. However where THC contains a cyclic ring, CBD contains a hydroxyl group. This seemingly small difference in structure, is what gives these two compounds, completely different pharmacological properties. This small difference in molecular structure is what gives CBD its non-rewarding, non-habit forming, holistic benefits, and THC the mid altering high often associated with its recreational use.

Who would have known that such a small difference in molecular structure could be the difference between inducing a high, and having no mind altering properties whatsoever.

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