Talk about cannabinoids these days and two highly-known spectators step up: CBD and THC. By all rights, these two deserve their places in the cannabis spotlight. People across the country rely on CBD oil for a list of everyday woes. And, people in cannabis-legal states trust THC for far more than recreation.
Both CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. Both bring therapeutic value to the ring. But, the big question is, head-to-head, which cannabinoid is better for the most common ailments? Further, do the benefits of CBD outweigh the benefits of THC? We’ve pulled the two cannabinoids together for a closer look—could there be a clear knockout winner here?
First, a closer look at two related but unique cannabinoids
THC and CBD are cannabinoids—enzymes defined as the active constituents found in plants from the cannabis family (including hemp cultivars). THC and CBD happen to be the most predominant cannabinoids of around 100 in the total collection. These two get a lot of attention in the scientific community. Check out CBD vs THC below.
Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid primarily found in hemp. A lot of cannabis strains contain CBD, but the concentrations are slight. In fact, CBD is often bred out of modern strains because it negates THC’s intoxication. As of 2014, the average cannabis (marijuana) plant contained less than 0.15 percent CBD. By contrast, a cultivar classified as hemp has as much as 18 percent CBD. CBD’s non-intoxicating action makes it a go-to for therapeutic purposes. From CBD gummies to CBD capsules, the list of ways to consume CBD is ever-growing. The CBD effects on the ECS may help with sleep, pain, relaxation, and more.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is recognized as the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. The average THC content in modern-day cannabis is 12 percent, while hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC. There are actually several types of THC found in cannabis, but delta-9 THC is the most abundant. THC may be known for its intoxicating effects, but medicinal users commonly look for THC to help with everything from sleep to pain.
Head-to-Head Effects of CBD vs THC
CBD vs THC for Sleep
THC is known to cause drowsiness. So, it’s easy to allude that THC must be better for sleep than something like Nirvana’s CBD + Melatonin Softgels. Not quite.
When people need help with sleep, they’re usually looking for two things: help to fall asleep and help to stay asleep. THC may very well help you fall asleep, but the jury’s still out on whether the cannabinoid actually offers good sleep. Some latest studies have shown that using THC for long periods may lead to difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep. And, THC interferes with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep—a critical part of restful sleep.
CBD, by contrast, is showing a lot more promise for sleep-seekers. It has been shown to enhance sleep duration, possibly even helping people with severe sleep disorders not wake up as much through the night. Some studies even suggest that CBD promotes the sleep-wake cycle.
Round winner? CBD is the most logical choice if you don’t want to risk sleep quality.
CBD vs THC for Pain Relief
One of the benefits of CBD gaining a lot of ground is in the area of pain relief. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it may be a go-to for even hard-to-treat types of pain. THC is well-established as a cannabinoid for pain as well. Some studies have shown THC to effectively target cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and more.
The problem with THC is the fact that people can’t take advantage of the good without the bad. Those looking for pain relief also have to deal with the intoxicating effects. By contrast, CBD may target certain types of pain without the intoxicating effects. People can go on about their everyday responsibilities clear-headed, and potentially with less pain.
Round winner? THC is more established than CBD for pain. But, CBD holds its own analgesic value without intoxicating effects, and it’s available legally for everyone. CBD it is.
CBD vs THC for Migraine
Migraine affects an astounding number of people, and this type of neurological pain is exceptionally difficult to treat. Both THC and CBD have been examined for migraine headaches.
Interestingly, the latest studies have looked at combined THC and CBD to target migraines. The combination seemed to reduce the number of attacks and the severity of the pain experienced.
Round winner? We’ll call this particular CBD vs THC match a draw.
CBD vs THC for Mental Relaxation
Need to cut the stress and relax your mind? In truth, a lot of people reach for THC for this very reason. Medical cannabis is even something used by veterans with PTSD and shows promise for the purpose. However, there are caveats to consider with THC when it comes to mental relaxation.
One, THC doesn’t just cause relaxation, it induces a state of euphoria and is intoxicating. Two, high levels of THC intake are associated with a few undesirables that are anything but relaxing, such as paranoia and anxiety.
By contrast, CBD is known for its ability to target stress, support mental clarity, and uplift your mood without intoxication. So, you can consume Nirvana 25mg CBD Gummies, relax your mind, and get on with life.
Round Winner? CBD is the clear knock-out winner here.
And the winner is …
Bottom line, the noteworthy CBD benefits sets cannabidiol as the obvious winner in this match-up. Both THC and CBD are contenders when it comes to therapeutic potential. And, there is so much left for us all to learn about both cannabinoids. Yet, CBD delivers its benefits without as many undesirable effects.
At Nirvana, we’re all about CBD, of course. So, if you’re on the lookout for broad-spectrum CBD products, be sure to take a look at our top-rated lineup—no THC involved.