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There are two famous compounds in cannabis: CBD and THC. While they both come from the same plants, these cannabinoids have very different effects on the body. Knowing whether you’re looking for CBD or THC can be one of the trickiest aspects of using cannabis. Here’s a breakdown of how these compounds can affect you and when to choose each.

Benefits of CBD

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound. That means that it doesn’t produce a high. CBD can be found in everything from supplements to tinctures to lotions since it isn’t connected to intoxication. Why is it so common? Because CBD has been shown to help a number of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety: CBD is often used to help reduce anxiety, including social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and the symptoms of PTSD.
  • Insomnia: Studies suggest that using moderate amounts of substances containing CBD can help you fall and stay asleep.
  • Chronic Pain: Some trials suggest that CBD can help reduce arthritis pain and other types of inflammatory or neuropathic pain.
  • Childhood Epilepsy: Finally, the FDA has approved medications containing CBD to treat childhood epilepsy.CBD or THC infograph

Benefits of THC

In contrast, THC is a psychoactive compound. It’s the cause of the high for which cannabis is known. Because of how THC connects to certain receptors in the brain, it’s also able to help with several conditions, like:

  • Muscle Spasms: THC relaxes muscles, helping people who suffer from painful muscle conditions.
  • Glaucoma: Studies show that THC can help reduce pressure inside the eye, helping prevent glaucoma from getting worse.
  • Nausea and Low Appetite: THC connects to receptors that control the appetite, helping people regain their desire to eat.
  • Stress: Finally, the mental and physical relaxation offered by THC can help relieve stress.

Which to Choose

Not everyone will want the effects of both compounds. Luckily, it’s simple to decide whether you want to use CBD or THC.

First, decide whether you want any psychoactive effects. If you don’t want to get high, then CBD is the right choice. If a high is exactly what you want, then THC is right for you.

If you’re not sure about the high, decide how intense you want your experience. CBD is almost unnoticeable outside of its effects on pain and anxiety; you’ll simply feel better. THC, on the other hand, provides a sensation that’s difficult to miss. It may also cloud your thoughts, which may or may not be a problem.

Finally, focus on the conditions you’re trying to treat. For example, if you’re treating chronic pain, CBD will work better for neuropathic pain, while THC is better for cramps. Treat the condition you have, and never hesitate to talk to your physician about any medical decisions.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be an either/or decision. Many types of cannabis have both CBD and THC. If you’re looking for multiple types of relief, choosing a strain that contains both compounds can help you feel better. Whether you decide CBD or THC is right for you, there’s a type of cannabis that can help you out.