Cannabis contains a plethora of compounds. Terpenes that make it smell so herbal and delicious, essential fatty acids that can be highly beneficial for a balanced diet, a high protein content in the superfood seeds, and, last but not least, the famous Cannabinoids.
While over 100 cannabinoids have been discovered in the plant so far, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the ones occurring in greater quantities.
Chemically speaking, THC and CBD are derived from the same precursor, Cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A) in the cannabis plant through two distinct biosynthetic pathways. Nevertheless, they are structurally different enough to exhibit completely different effects on the human body!
While THC is known to cause the “high” people feel when consuming cannabis and is therefore psychotropic, CBD is absolutely non-psychotropic. This has to do with their different interactions with the cannabinoid receptors in the human body. While THC binds to the CB1 receptor, CBD has little affinity to it.
While cannabinoids have been used by humans for recreational and spiritual applications for millennia, CBD was actually properly discovered and chemically identified in 1940, long before THC in 1964.
A very crucial difference between the two Cannabinoids is their legal status. Because of its effects, THC has been listed as a substance by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, making it illegal in most countries. However, CBD was never considered a psychotropic substance and was therefore never listed as a controlled substance, which makes it legal in many parts of the world.
To sum up:
THC and CBD are both natural compounds occurring in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. THC is a controlled substance because of its psychotropic effects, whereas CBD is not psychotropic. A cannabis-powered product that contains CBD, but no THC, is legal in most parts of the world. Make sure to buy from a reliable supplier that can provide you with certificates of analysis of their products and/or ingredients!