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  • by Nicola Boulton August 30, 2022 5 min read

    Understand Which Is Better - THC or CBD?

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most dominant chemical element of the hemp plant, with various health benefits. On the flip side, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has intoxicating effects and can be found in hemp and marijuana. However, the 2018 Farm Bill restricted THC levels in CBD products not to exceed 0.3%. This article will look at the differences between THC and CBD, and which is better.

    Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two main elements of hemp and marijuana, the main cannabis plant strains. However, the plant strains also contain terpenes and flavonoids. These terpenes include myrcene, limonene and linalool. The chemical elements are used in multiple hemp-based products to improve their effectiveness. Most importantly, they differentiate between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Although all the elements seem useful, THC has psychoactive effects if taken in high potency. Therefore, hemp-based CBD products have less than 0.3% THC. However, marijuana-based CBD products are illegal because their THC levels are over 10%, making it highly intoxicating.

    Is THC and CBD Legal?

    Yes. However, THC has some regulations, unlike CBD. According to Fattore Liana & Walter (2011), THC has intoxicating effects that can cause a shift in appetite, dizziness, and anxiety, especially in high potencies. As a result, the 2018 Farm Bill restrained THC levels in CBD to below 0.3%.

    THC’s psychoactive effects is among the main reasons some states haven’t lifted the restriction on using hemp-based products. However, it plays a significant role in delivering the entourage effect. The users should be cautious about the potencies to avoid the intoxicating effects if they are interested in its medicinal value.

    Unlike THC, cannabidiol (CBD) seems safer and more suitable for alleviating various health conditions. However, like all medications, if CBD is taken in excess, it causes negative implications on your health. According to Liu Tina (2019), high potencies of CBD can cause anxiety, dizziness, and diarrhea.

    Which is Better Between CBD and THC?

    CBD has been used in multiple clinical trials, including for addressing COVID-19. Although most clinical trials conducted to determine CBD’s therapeutic benefits on humans show promising results, they are yet to be fully approved.

    According to Schoedel Kerri et al. (2018), CBD is used for treating rare forms of epilepsy and is infused in an FDA-approved drug known as Epidiolex. However, CBD has various health benefits, besides treating epileptic symptoms.

    According to Maltke Julie & Hindocha (2021), CBD reduces anxiety, improves memory, reduces stress, and addresses sleeping problems. However, the research shows that either of the health benefits can only be achieved if CBD is taken considerably.

    Although THC has various side effects, including dizziness, anxiety, and change in appetite, making it seem the problem in hemp-based products, it is very useful. In full-spectrum CBD products, it is used to enhance the entourage effect; a phenomenon in which all the chemical compounds present in hemp work synergically to improve its therapeutic effects. According to Gallily Yekhtin & Lumir (2018), it can be used to reduce inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, the side effects out way the pros, making CBD superior.

    Types of CBD

    CBD oil is either in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD. The difference in the types of CBD results in the difference in elements, including terpenes and flavonoids. Although CBD is in all types, other cannabinoids aren’t. The following insight helps you differentiate the types of CBD;

    Full Spectrum

    Full-spectrum CBD oil entails all the chemical elements of the hemp plant and is the most dominant. It is also associated with multiple health benefits as it contains more elements than any other type. Also, it is widely known for its entourage effect, delivering more therapeutic solutions than intended.

    Full-spectrum CBD is manufactured using all the parts of the hemp plant, including stalks and roots, except the hemp seeds. Furthermore, it comprises of THC, CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), terpenes, and flavonoids.

    However, full-spectrum CBD should be taken considerably to avoid the accumulation of THC in our system, which takes time to clear.

    Broad Spectrum

    Broad-spectrum CBD has all the essential elements of the hemp plant; CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. It also delivers an entourage effect, making it a suitable replacement for THC. Moreover, it is also popular and has fewer risks due to the absence of THC. However, this shouldn’t trick you into consuming higher potencies whether you are a veteran or a novice to CBD. As mentioned, overdosing on CBD causes multiple side effects, including diarrhea and dizziness.

    Isolate CBD

    Pure or isolate is unique and only has a single element from cannabis sativa, cannabidiol (CBD). Pure CBD is useful for addressing CBD-related health benefits, including treating rare forms of epilepsy without worrying about the potential THC intoxicating effects. Like broad-spectrum CBD, isolate CBD should be taken considerably in multiple potencies to avoid overdosing on CBD.

    How to Choose CBD Oil

    CBD and THC can only be effective if their quality is unquestionable. Before buying hemp products with either CBD or THC, consider the following factors; Learn more about can you overdose on cbd?


    CBD oil’s effectiveness is improved by blending organic hemp plant extracts with other elements. These elements are important since they determine the purity levels and effectiveness. Always check the list of elements blended in the hemp to confirm they are only organic. Hemp-based manufacturers aim to offer more organic solutions with a long-lasting effect. Furthermore, ensure that the product is free from harmful substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, molds and vitamin E acetate. Learn more about cbd delivery methods

    Third-party tests

    This is a mandatory requirement for every hemp-based product. It is useful for determining the potency and purity levels of CBD products. The potency levels are important to help you avoid overdosing unknowingly. Besides, the purity levels are equally important for determining sterility levels to avoid contaminants. Therefore, always consider purchasing CBD oil products with IOS-certified lab results. Also, confirm the extraction method, preferably C02 extraction since it produces high-quality CBD oil.


    CBD and THC are significant elements of the hemp plant but should only be administered in considerable concentrations. However, CBD has more health benefits and causes minimal side effects, unlike THC.

    Although THC is useful due to its entourage effect, high potency can intoxicate you. Terpenes and flavonoids have various health benefits due to their unique properties, including antibacterial properties, which remove bacteria from the skin.

    The main difference between full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD is the THC levels. If you wish to avoid the intoxicating side effects of THC, broad-spectrum CBD is a better option since it still delivers an entourage effect. Before taking CBD or THC, confirm the actual potencies to avoid overdosing unknowingly.


    Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. O. (2018). The anti-inflammatory properties of terpenoids from cannabis. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 282-290.

    Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.

    Schoedel, K. A., Szeto, I., Setnik, B., Sellers, E. M., Levy-Cooperman, N., Mills, C., ... & Sommerville, K. (2018). Abuse potential assessment of cannabidiol (CBD) in recreational polydrug users: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Epilepsy & Behavior, 88, 162-171.

    Liu, T. (2019). What is CBD Oil? Learn the Facts: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects.

    Fattore, L., & Fratta, W. (2011). Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 5, 60.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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