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THC vs CBD: An Introduction

One of them gets you “high,” while the other is non-psychoactive and used for therapeutic purposes, so it’s good to know which one you’re getting. Let’s dive in to the differences between THC vs CBD.

What are THC and CBD anyway?

THC and CBD are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant with varying therapeutic benefits ranging from alleviating nausea and chronic pain to assisting with insomnia and certain neurological disorders. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol (so many syllables!), while CBD stands for cannabidiol. Both belong to a special group of compounds called “cannabinoids.”

Out of 113 clearly identified cannabinoids, THC and CBD are some of the most common. They work by interacting with a part of the human body called the endocannabinoid system. These compounds bind to our endocannabinoid receptors to produce a variety of mental and physical effects.

A bottle of Cannadrops from Spectra.
Some brands, like Spectra, specialize in high CBD products for medical patients.

THC vs CBD: How do they affect me?

Both THC and CBD interact with our endocannabinoid system in different ways to produce different effects. THC is the compound most associated with producing euphoria and other experiences that make up a “high,” while CBD, by contrast, delivers various therapeutic benefits without any intoxicating effects. When combined, CBD harmonizes with THC to regulate the intensity of its psychoactive properties as well as deliver increased therapeutic benefits. This is commonly called the “entourage effect.”

What are their therapeutic properties?

By interacting with our endocannabinoid system, THC and CBD help regulate the body’s natural processes like mood, appetite, and sleep. This allows people to manage symptoms associated with chronic medical conditions. Below is a list of common uses and reported therapeutic benefits of both compounds.

CBD and THC have very different uses. CBD has the potential to help with certain medical disorders, while THC helps mitigate symptoms.

Final Thoughts

CBD is one of the most powerful allies in a medical patients arsenal of therapeutic cannabinoids. And it’s even more powerful when combined with THC because of the entourage effect it creates. If you are suffering from issues like chronic pain, inflammation, stress and/or anxiety, consider adding a high-CBD flower or tincture to your wellness routine.

General Cannabis FAQ

Cannabis, often referred to as marijuana, is a plant that has been used for thousands of years for various purposes, including medicine, textiles, and recreation. The plant contains compounds known as cannabinoids, with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most well-known. THC is primarily responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects, while CBD is recognized for its potential therapeutic benefits without causing a “high.”

Many countries and U.S. states have decriminalized or legalized the use of marijuana for medical use, recreational, or both. The legal status changes frequently as legislation evolves.

In the U.S., states vote to regulate marijuana use on an individual basis. While it remains illegal at the federal level, numerous states have legalized it for medicinal and/or recreational use.

The following states have legalized medical, recreational, or both:

  • Alaska – Medical
  • Arizona – Legal
  • Arkansas – Medical
  • California – Legal
  • Colorado – Legal
  • Connecticut – Legal
  • Delaware – Legal
  • District of Columbia – Legal
  • Florida – Medical
  • Hawaii – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Illinois – Legal
  • Louisiana – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Maine – Legal
  • Maryland – Legal
  • Massachusetts – Legal
  • Michigan – Legal
  • Minnesota – Legal
  • Mississippi – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Missouri – Legal
  • Montana – Legal
  • Nevada – Legal
  • New Hampshire – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • New Jersey – Legal
  • New Mexico – Legal
  • New York – Legal
  • North Dakota – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Ohio – Medical (Possession decriminalized)
  • Oklahoma – Medical
  • Oregon – Legal
  • Pennsylvania – Medical
  • Rhode Island – Legal
  • South Dakota – Medical
  • Utah – Medical
  • Vermont – Legal
  • Virginia – Legal
  • Washington – Legal
  • West Virginia – Medical


Outside of the U.S., countries like The Netherlands, Canada, and, more recently, Thailand have legalized cannabis on a national level.

Always check local laws and regulations in your specific location.

In states where marijuana has been legalized, you can purchase products at licensed dispensaries. Revolution products are available at Enlightened, Revolution, and partner dispensaries in Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, and Maryland. Find a dispensary near you.

Keep in mind that dispensaries may cater to medical patients, recreational consumers, or both, depending on local laws.

Always ensure that you are buying from a reputable and licensed establishment to guarantee product quality and safety.

The effects of cannabis vary widely depending on the strain, dosage, method of consumption, an individual’s endocannabinoid system, and more.

Some commonly reported effects include:

Psychoactive Effects: Euphoria, mood elevation, cerebral stimulation, stress relief, calming effects, and relaxation.

Physical Effects: Pain relief, body buzz, anti-inflammation, anti-nausea, energy boost or sedation, and appetite stimulation

*Medical Benefits: Cannabis is believed to have a range of therapeutic effects and alleviation of symptoms related to conditions like epilepsy, PTSD, and more.

*Marijuana is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The primary difference lies in their intended use:

Medical Cannabis: Used as a treatment and alleviation of symptoms for specific health conditions. Medical strains might be cultivated and processed to have higher CBD content or other therapeutic compounds. Medical cannabis requires a physician who usually prescribes or recommends it as a treatment option.

Recreational Cannabis: Used without a medical justification but for personal enjoyment and fulfillment.

The process varies from state to state but typically involves the following steps:

Doctor’s Recommendation: Schedule an appointment with a physician who is authorized to recommend medical marijuana. Discuss your health conditions and reasons for seeking cannabis as a treatment.

Application: Once you have a doctor’s recommendation, you’ll usually need to apply for a medical marijuana card through a designated state or country agency.

Proof & Identification: Provide necessary identification and proof of residency as required by your jurisdiction.

Fee Payment: Most jurisdictions require a fee for the application and issuance of a medical marijuana card.

Card Issuance: Once approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card, allowing you to purchase cannabis at designated medical dispensaries.

If you’d like more detailed information, please read our state-specific medical card guide here.