Differences Between CBD and THC: Do you need THC in your CBD supplement?

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, the active compounds that provide the effects from ingesting cannabis. Adding cannabinoids like CBD to your diet is acknowledged as beneficial to supporting homeostasis in the body. However, there are many opinions on the ideal way to supplement your diet with cannabinoids. Here we compare CBD and THC and help answer your question: What is the difference between THC and CBD?



As we mentioned above, both CBD and THC are cannabinoids – or more specifically, phytocannabinoids since they are plant based. When consumed, they are ‘exogenous cannabinoids.’ Those your body already produces are endocannabinoids.

Phyto – plant | endo – within (you) exo – outside (of you)

While THC is most plentiful in marijuana, CBD is present in higher quantities in hemp. There are dozens, at least a 100, known cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the most well-known as their effects are the most understood. THC gets you high. CBD doesn’t. That’s usually the conversation.

One of the key differences between CBD and THC when it comes to hemp oil supplements is that, unlike THC, cannabidiol or CBD is non-psychoactive. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound in cannabis that is responsible for producing euphoric effects. However, in CBD hemp oil products, THC is present in only trace levels, far below the psychoactive threshold. Because CBD produces no known negative side effects, it is regarded as safe for use by anyone in your family. Yep, you read that right. It’s regarded as safe from baby to baby boomer.

Learn More About the Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana.

Both CBD and THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system through specialized cannabinoid receptors to provide their effects, mimicking our own naturally occurring cannabinoids. There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain, male and female reproductive organs, eye, and other areas of your body. CB2 receptors are located in greater concentration within the immune system, particularly inside the spleen.

This receptor-based system acts as a ‘lock and key’ system to help regulate various molecular reactions inside the body.

THC has the highest affinity for binding with CB1 receptors. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind directly to either cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it acts indirectly against cannabinoid agonists. CBD also interacts with various other receptors throughout the body, like the 5-HT1A receptor, which is linked to serotonin. It is through this interaction with various systems within the body that these cannabinoids promote balance in our lives. Although they interact with the body through different channels, both THC and CBD are tied to maintaining homeostasis.


How does THC interact with the bodyHow does THC interact with the body?

There are many side effects that are commonly associated with THC.

  • Euphoria
  • Pain Relief
  • Sedation
  • Hunger
  • Dry Mouth
  • Red Eyes
  • “Couch Lock”
  • Anxiety

These short-term side effects occur when the CB1 receptors are activated by THC. This increased activity is what then triggers the short-term side effects of THC. It’s mentioned in several sources that CBD can act as an antagonist to THC’s side effects. Several products are on the market that tout CBD as the acting agent for preventing the effects of too much THC.

How does THC cause that ‘high’ feeling? Research points to anandamide, a natural endocannabinoid that is associated with numerous body roles. In animal studies, researchers found that anandamide was associated with the pleasure feelings, the reward, from food consumption and physical exercise. The scientific community has found that THC resembles anandamide very closely, which is why it elicits the euphoric feeling.


How does CBD work in the body?


How does CBD work in the body?

If THC were the perfect puzzle pieces to the receptor-signal system, CBD would be the “close enough” match. THC fits perfectly with its receptor. CBD, however, sits imperfectly inside of the CB1 receptors and instead acts as an antagonist, effectively blocking THC from binding to those sites. For those consuming cannabis plants with higher levels of THC, the CBD would in effect reduce the total strength of that specific strain.

With hemp, there is less than .3% THC inside the plant. That’s 99.7% CBD. Since we know CBD is an antagonist, the sheer volume of CBD to THC inside your body means that hemp cannot get you high – nearly all, if not all, the receptors are blocked.

Now that you have learned the differences between CBD and THC, it’s time to learn about the differences between Hemp and Marijuana.


Entourage Effect


Entourage Effect

It has been suggested that the cannabinoids in cannabis work best when they interact with your body as a group, along with the terpenes, flavonoids, and other chemical components found naturally in the plant. This is commonly called the entourage effect.

The entourage effect is one of the key principles to healthy living. How come? Just as you don’t only eat one kind of food or vegetable your body will respond best to a full exposure of cannabinoids. Biology tends to respond best when there’s a full palette for it to interact with.

Pure CBD hemp oil contains a number of different cannabinoids at varying levels as well as all the other natural components of the hemp plant. This allows the body to process the hemp oil as it would the complete hemp plant.

Many of HempMeds® CBD oil products feature full-spectrum hemp oil that includes all the same constituents as the hemp plant itself, providing the varied cannabinoids the entourage effect needs to be effective. When you’re inside the shop. A common first-time purchase is our Blue Label RSHO™. That’s a good place to start if you’re trying CBD for the first time.


Full Spectrum CBD


Full Spectrum CBD

You’re probably read or heard the term ‘full spectrum’ when researching cannabis. All it means is that the entirety of the plant’s compounds was preserved during processing. We’ll use our Blue, Green, and Gold Label RSHO as an example to explain it. We’ll start with the 

The Green Label is where we process the hemp plant while juicing the cannabinoids and terpenoids with intent to deliver as near-as-possible a whole-plant product. This includes a slight earthy taste but is pleasant after initial tasting. Since it contains a higher terpenoid content, you may feel some of the known qualities contained within those molecules. Myrcene, for example, is known to potentially cause sedation. Other terpenes like linalool, alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and limonene each have their own unique characteristics that you may experience.

Our Blue Label goes through a process called decarboxylation. This process is to change the precursor, CBDa, into its active state, CBD. This helps to enhance the total CBD content of the product but some terpenes are lost in the process. While you’ll reduce your total terpenoid content, your total CBD content will increase.

Our Gold Label goes through an additional process after decarboxylation in which we use carbon dioxide to further purify the oil. During supercritical CO2 processing, we remove all the lipids, waxes, and other plant materials so there are only cannabinoids left. During this process, much of the terpene content is removed.

Our Special Blend is our strongest offering for both full spectrum and high-CBD content. In it, we combine several decarboxylated oils into one so you get the best of both worlds. Think of it like a CBD ‘fruit medley’ of cannabinoids and terpenoids. Every once in a while, we’ll send you promotions when a CBD sale is live. If you’d like to get updates, join our mailing list. 


CBD Isolate


CBD Isolate

However, it is also possible to create CBD products like RSHO-X™ that are completely THC-free for those customers looking to avoid even trace levels of THC. This is done by isolating the CBD from the original hemp oil.

Like RSHO™ hemp oil, CBD isolate is extracted from non-GMO hemp using supercritical CO2. The CBD hemp oil is then purified using a proprietary process to filter plant material and winterized to remove excess waxes, producing a pure isolate powder with 99% CBD. If you’re interested to buy in bulk contact us through our wholesale page. 

Because it is completely THC-free, HempMeds® CBD isolate is safe for use by all customers, including those subject to drug screenings that check for THC.


Which Is Best For Me?

Like with all our products, the ideal HempMeds® product is a personal choice. Many of our customers prefer the experience they get with a full-spectrum hemp oil product like our original RSHO™ or Dixie Botanicals® products. However, there are those who instead prefer a CBD supplement that is completely free of THC like RSHO-X™ Liquid.

Regardless of which CBD hemp oil product from HempMeds® you purchase, you can be assured of its quality because we hold ourselves to the high standard of being Your Trusted CBD Source.

Discover more about CBD hemp oil products on our education page, or shop our online store to get started with CBD supplements today. Want to know more of the differences between hemp and marijuana? Click Here.


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