58% of Americans Don't Know The Differences Between CBD & THC

Type the keyword “CBD” in your internet search bar and you’ll find a wealth of information on CBD. Search CBD on social media platforms and you’ll find a whole lot on CBD as well. CBD is probably one of the most talked about and trending health and wellness topics in America since it was first introduced into the marketplace in 2018.

In 2021, one would think most Americans have by now a general understanding of what CBD is, including that CBD is not the same as THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) or marijuana. According to a March 2021 survey by Invisibly a whopping 58% of Americans do not know the difference between CBD and THC or CBD and marijuana.

We understand how confusing the situation might be for some. All of our lives we have been schooled on saying ‘No to drugs” and how cannabis is not only illegal but unsafe and unhealthy. As both marijuana and hemp come from the Cannabis sativa plant, knowing the difference between the two is new to some. In the United States, many states have adopted laws that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only or for both medicinal and recreational use. Hemp, on the other hand, has been widely adopted as legal under both federal law and state laws.

Today, hemp and marijuana are not only legalized but also praised for having amazing therapeutic and medicinal properties. While scientific research and clinical studies are not abundant, there has been a vast amount of consumer self-reporting on how CBD usage has improved their quality of life.

Given CBD’s gained popularity over the last couple of years, it’s surprising to learn there are 58% of Americans that don’t know what the differences are between CBD and THC.

Here, we address some basic differences between CBD and THC, including basic differences between hemp and marijuana.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, moleculeCBD is short for cannabidiol. CBD is one isolated cannabinoid of over 120 cannabinoids naturally occurring in the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. CBD oil can be extracted from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant.

CBD oil from hemp is extracted from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant. The basic difference between a hemp plant and a marijuana plant is the amount of delta-9 THC (and under some state laws, delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC) each contains. 

To be legal, hemp plant-based products, including CBD oils, cannot contain more 0.3% delta-9 THC.

When it comes to the amount of delta-8 THC in hemp products, some states have banned delta-8 THC because it, like delta-9 THC produces intoxicating effects. States reported to have banned delta-8 THC hemp products include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

CBD is different than THC in these 3 major ways:

1) CBD won’t get you high,

2) CBD has no potential for abuse,

3) when CBD use is stopped, an individual does not experience any withdrawal symptoms.

CBD is sold in various product types. The most popular types of CBD products are CBD oils and CBD oil drop tinctures, CBD edibles (most CBD gummies) CBD soft gels/capsules, CBD vapes, CBD beauty products, CBD relief creams, CBD beverages, and CBD pet products.

What is THC?

THC, short for tetrahydrocannabidiol, moleculeUnlike CBD, THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) induces euphoria, sedation and causes that oh so famous “high” feeling.

People tend to think of marijuana when they hear the word “cannabis” probably because it’s been commonly called that for ages. That’s understandable. Unlike the hemp plant, the marijuana plant is cultivated for a high concentration of delta-9 THC and, in some cases, for other THC derivatives. One study examined 8,505 cannabis strains across 653 dispensaries and reported finding THC concentrations as low as 5% to as high as 65%. Those amounts are significantly higher than a 0.3%, which is considered to be a trace amount and inconsequential.

THC is different than CBD in these 3 major ways:

1)  THC can be addictive,

2)  THC has potential for abuse, and,

3)  Quitting THC can cause a user to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Some withdrawal symptoms of THC include loss of appetite, sleeping problems, irritability, chills, craving marijuana use, loss of focus.

In states that have legalized marijuana, THC is sold in various product types. The most popular types of THC products is a flower form (marijuana/weed), THC oils, THC vapes, THC edibles, and THC topical creams.

Drug Testing: CBD + THC

Two commonly asked questions about CBD and drug testing are:

1)  is CBD tested on a drug test?, and

2)  will I fail a drug test from using a CBD product?

Here, we answer both.

CBD Is Not Tested On A Drug Test 

CBD is not tested on a drug test because it is not intoxicating. Conversely, THC is tested on a drug test because it is intoxicating.

drug test cup and individual form on clipboard for drugs like THC

A CBD Product That Is 100% Zero THC Is Unlikely To Cause A Positive Drug Test Result For THC

If you use a hemp-derived CBD only product or a hemp-derived CBD product that has no amount of THC in it whatsoever, you won’t fail a drug test for THC because of that CBD product.

Conversely, using a hemp-derived CBD product containing even a trace amount of THC (i..e, 0.3% or less) on a daily basis and overtime may trigger a positive test result for THC on a drug test. Generally, daily use overtime can build up the THC in your liver, and eventually into your bloodstream, which may be enough to cause a positive test result for THC on a drug test. THC is fat soluble and is not immediately metabolized by your body.  The amount of time it takes for a person’s body to metabolize and release THC varies based on various factors, such as the frequency of use, the amount stored in your body’s fat cells, and your body’s metabolism rate.

If you may be subject to drug testing or have a sensitivity to THC, look for products having only CBD (described as “CBD Isolate” or “Hemp Extract Isolate”), or using a CBD product that is 100% zero THC (zero delta-9 THC, zero delta-8 THC and zero delta-10 THC) like a broad spectrum CBD.  Also, ensure you have access to the CBD product’s lab report (the “Certificate of Analysis“). The lab report will report what amount of THC was detected, if any, during laboratory testing.

The statements in this article are strictly for educational purposes only and are not intended to and do not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be used for such purposes, or advice regarding drug testing. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions or concerns you have regarding a medical condition. 

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