Cannabinoids have never been so mainstream as they are today. 

Cannabinoid edibles, in particular, are becoming one of the most popular ways to ingest your daily dose of cannabinoids. 

You may have heard about edibles on television or from a friend — an “edible” is the term used to describe any ingestible that contains CBD and/or THC. 

If you’re new to edibles, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between CBD edibles and THC edibles? 

Let’s dive into discovering what cannabinoids are, exactly, as well as the important distinctions between CBD and THC, and CBD edibles vs THC edibles. 

The ECS is a biological system in our body involved in establishing and maintaining human health, wellbeing and homeostasis (the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment). 

Here’s how our ECS and cannabinoids work together.

Our Endocannabinoid System maintains balance at a cellular level. 

Our ECS is active and present in all our organs, regulating the function of everything from our immune system, our nervous systems, our cardiovascular system, and even our musculoskeletal system by helping to heal broken bones and injuries.  

For example, science has revealed our Endocannabinoid System supports:

  • Mood balancing
  • Anxiety suppression
  • Sleep induction
  • Neurologic healing
  • Pain signaling
  • Tissue recovery 
  • Inflammation reduction

These compounds interact with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors found within our ECS.  It is this interaction that allows us to feel the effects of cannabinoids.

Both of these compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, but they have very different effects.

What are the Differences and Similarities Between the Cannabinoids CBD vs THC?

Health Effects

CBD and THC are very different compounds, and yet many of their effects on our body seem very similar. For example, both CBD and THC:

  • Interact with endocannabinoid system
  • Relieve pain
  • Help with insomnia
  • Are anti-inflammatory
  • Reduce nausea
  • Ease migraines

Psycho-activity

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids. 

They are, to date, the two most famous cannabinoids present in the cannabis and hemp plant (scientists have discovered at least 120 cannabinoids so far). 

One of the easiest ways to think about the difference between these two cannabinoids is this: THC is defined by how it makes you feel (psycho-actively speaking) and CBD is not defined by how it makes you feel, well not exactly. 

What this means is that CBD is not an intoxicant (it cannot get you high like THC can).

Not only is CBD not intoxicating itself, but it actually mitigates or blocks the psychoactive effects of THC. 

This means that if you consumed too much THC, you can ingest CBD in order to tame the THC high you are experiencing.

CBD does this by binding to the endocannabinoid receptors in such a way that it keeps THC from activating the receptors.  

Here’s the interesting thing about CBD though: although CBD does not produce a psychotropic high, a high dose of CBD can provide sensations of calmness, ease, uplift, and perhaps even a little energy. So in reality, CBD does get you “high” just not in the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High” kind of high. 

Legality 

Oh right, that. 

Yes, Federally, CBD is legal; THC is not.

As of 2018, the Federal Agricultural Improvement Act includes a provision that legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in large part because of the popularity of CBD. This means that almost all commercially available CBD products are made from industrial hemp, a cannabis Sativa plant species that, by definition, contains no more than 0.3 percent THC.

However, laws still vary state-to-state. Therefore, it is highly advisable to look up your own state’s guidelines before purchasing any product.

If you live in a state where THC is not legal, or you work for an employer who randomly drug tests, THC is not an option for you. 

These two distinct differences between CBD and THC are big enough to put you into one category or another: either you are someone who will want to and can legally partake in the psychotropic high of THC, or you are someone who does not want this psychotropic high and prefers something much more gentle, like CBD. 

CBD vs THC Edibles: The Benefits and Side Effects

THC edibles are notoriously unreliable for the end-user.  

One reason for this is that each of our metabolisms is different; some people metabolize THC faster than others. 

When you ingest any edible, it takes a while for the effects of the edible to be felt (anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours).

But, once the onset occurs, the effects last longer than they would if you used a vaporizer.  

This is useful if you are looking for a long-lasting effect.

It can also be problematic when using a THC edible.

Let’s look at the difference between a THC edible and a CBD edible, and why this long onset and long-lasting effect could be problematic. 

THC Edibles

When you ingest a THC edible, it is digested in your gut and then metabolized in the liver where it turns into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC; a significantly more potent compound than THC. 

The delayed onset can often instigate people to eat more, thinking they didn’t eat enough to feel the desired effect.  

Once the THC is metabolized and then turned into an even stronger psychotropic than THC – you get where we’re going with this – people can experience being overly high for an overly long period of time. 

CBD Edibles

Generally, CBD edibles come in pre-dosed servings, enabling you to calculate how much CBD you have consumed and how much you need to consume to achieve your desired results.  

CBD edibles are also digested in your gut and then released slowly over a long period of time.

In fact, CBD edibles can last between two and four hours longer than inhaled CBD.

The result is a long-lasting calming CBD experience – without the potential of an extreme high and a long, uncomfortable ride.

CBD edibles are more of a nice, constant Sunday drive rather than a potentially unpredictable, wild THC rollercoaster ride.

If you’re hoping to avoid using a vaporizer, CBD edibles are an excellent option for you, and come in many different forms, from highly concentrated CBD tinctures, CBD capsules, CBD sprays to CBD edible gummies – all with the health benefits and entirely without the potential negative side effects of overconsuming THC.