CBD vs THC – What is the Difference?

It may not be common knowledge what is the difference between CBD and THC. Here we discuss what CBD is and how it varies from THC, and why it's important to understand the differences between these two cannabinoids.

21 July 2022

  • CBD Guides
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CBD vs THC: Fundamental Differences

Although similar in molecular structure, both THC and CBD differ significantly in how they affect the body and mind.

The main difference between CBD and THC is that THC produces a high, CBD does not.

While being separate compounds, both CBD and THC structures influence the endocannabinoid system – a complex system within the body that include processes such as memory, mood and appetite. Research is still being carried out to try and understand it more, but it does show that both compounds act differently within the process.

Scientifically-speaking, both compounds are psychoactive, but only THC is psychotropic. Meaning THC is intoxicating, whereas CBD is not.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis. It plays a large role in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to maintain your body’s natural balance, and doesn’t affect your cognitive function. The cannabis plant generally takes two forms – hemp, and marijuana.

Hemp is highly saturated in CBD, so is usually where CBD is distilled from, whereas marijuana predominantly contains THC. Different strains of cannabis come in many shapes and forms, but CBD is typically extracted from Cannabis Sativa L, commonly referred to as ‘industrial hemp’.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, is the psychotropic compound found in marijuana. In a nutshell, this is the compound that gives you the “high” sensation when it’s ingested by the body. It activates the receptors in the brain that release a higher-than-usual level of dopamine, both changing your mood and can cause a feeling of euphoria.


CBD is perfectly legal to use and possess in the UK, but the amount of THC must not be greater than 1mg per container of any CBD product. The THC levels in hemp are usually already around 0.3% or lower from the start. When the distilled CBD is incorporated into CBD products such as oils, the percentage of THC is even lower due to the addition of the other ingredients within the specific product, such as the oils and extracts added.


We hope this article has let find out a bit more about CBD and how it differs from THC. If you are looking to start your CBD journey and are unsure on how to begin, have a look at our other articles on CBD, including our beginners guide to learn more what CBD is – perfect for those not quite sure where to start.