The two major cannabinoids in cannabis that have been studied are:
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), is thought to be the most psychoactive substance (i.e., a substance that changes brain function and alters perception, mood, consciousness or behavior) in cannabis. The concentration of THC in cannabis varies between 1% and 24%.
- CBD (cannabidiol) is the major non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. The concentration of CBD in cannabis is typically less than 1%, but many strains have higher CBD concentrations.
Both of these substances interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body and brain, but they differed dramatically in their effects.
THC is the main psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. In other words, THC is the primary agent responsible for creating the ‘high’ associated with recreational cannabis use. This compound works, in part, by mimicking the effects of anandamide and 2-AG. These neurotransmitters are produced naturally by the human body and help to modulate sleeping and eating habits, the perception of pain, and countless other bodily functions.
The effects of THC include:
- Altered senses of sight, smell, and hearing
- Reduced aggression
CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the most critical cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant. It exists both in agricultural hemp, as well as medical cannabis. While cannabinoids are present within several plants in nature, cannabis is the only plant known to contain CBD.
CBD has the same chemical formula as THC, with the atoms in a different arrangement. This slight variance causes THC to create a psychoactive effect, while CBD does not. This fact means that when you ingest CBD for medical purposes, you will more likely experience a relief of your unwanted discomfort, with little or no noticeable effect on your cognitive abilities.