The Difference Between CBD and THC
The differences between CBD vs. THC are microscopic.
CBD provides no psychoactive effect, unlike THC. This is due to the way both molecules interact with the endocannabinoid system in your body.
There are two primary cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. THC and CBD interact with CB2 in similar ways. The difference in their effects on the body relies on the different ways the molecules work with CB1. THC binds directly with CB1. This bond alerts the brain of the presence of THC, creating the feeling of getting high.
CBD, however, does not bond with the CB1 receptor.
NOTE: When CBD and THC are both present in the body, CBD may inhibit THC from binding with CB1, potentially reducing or eliminating the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD vs. THC Structure
Previously, this article referred to CBD and THC as cousins. However, when looking at the structures of the molecules, it may be more accurate to call them siblings, perhaps even twins.
Both molecules contain the same chemical makeup.
They each have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms. At the microscopic level, the only real difference between THC and CBD is the placement of a single atom.