CBD vs THC: What Are the Main Differences?

In the past years, after the ongoing cannabis research and legalization, two compounds have emerged in the public discourse: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

One of our clients' most frequently asked question is: what is the main difference between these two? I would like to use CBD for pain management, for instance, but I don't want to get high.

Despite their shared origin in the cannabis plant, these two substances offer contrasting effects, applications, and legal standings.

Today we'll go through all of these differences and allow you to understand how CBD can benefit you on a daily basis: to sleep better, recover after strenuous workouts and even help with your dog's wellbeing.

Here's a breakdown of the main differences between CBD and THC:

Psychoactive Effects

THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis that produces the "high" associated with marijuana use. It interacts with the brain's cannabinoid receptors, affecting mood, perception, and cognition.

CBD, on the other hand, does not produce a psychoactive effect. Instead, it is thought to influence other receptors, including opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the "feel-good" hormone serotonin.

Legal Status

Hemp is legal to purchase and ship in the United States under the 2018 Farm Bill. There is no need to obtain a medical marijuana card to purchase our products. You can safely purchase and use our CBD products, without the fear of breaking any laws.

Differences between CBD and THC


  • Non-Psychoactive: CBD does not produce the high associated with cannabis. It's known for its potential therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects.
  • Legal Status: In many places, CBD is legal if it's derived from hemp (cannabis with low THC levels), but laws vary widely across regions.
  • Uses: Commonly used for anxiety, depression, seizures, and pain relief. There's also evidence suggesting it might help with sleep, inflammation, and certain skin conditions.
  • Side Effects: Generally well-tolerated, but it can cause side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue in some people.


  • Psychoactive: THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, responsible for the high sensation.
  • Legal Status: Its legal status varies significantly. In some places, it's legal for medical and recreational use, while in others, it's completely illegal.
  • Uses: Used for medical reasons like pain relief, nausea control, and appetite stimulation. Recreational users value it for the euphoria and relaxation it can provide.
  • Side Effects: Can cause memory issues, altered senses, mood changes, impaired body movement, difficulty thinking and problem-solving, and in some cases, long-term psychiatric effects like schizophrenia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Psychoactivity: The most significant difference is their psychoactive effects. THC produces a high, while CBD does not.
  • Legal Status: CBD is more widely legal when derived from hemp, whereas THC's legality is more restricted.
  • Health Benefits and Uses: Both have medicinal benefits, but they're used to treat different conditions.
  • Side Effects: THC has more pronounced psychological effects, which can include paranoia and anxiety, whereas CBD's side effects are generally less severe.