Which Strains of Cannabis Contain CBD and which Contain THC?
Virtually all varieties of cannabis contain some CBD and some THC, but they tend to show up in varying proportions among different strains.
While marijuana boasts relatively high levels of THC, industrial hemp plants, by definition, only contain the compound in extremely low amounts. Instead, since CBD and THC naturally occur in inverse proportions, low-THC hemp tends to be jam-packed with high amounts of CBD—the non-psychoactive, therapeutic cousin to THC. CBD products are typically made from hemp extracts that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight.
[Read about the differences between hemp and marijuana.]
What do these differences mean for consumers?
Both CBD and THC can be packaged and sold to consumers in a wide range of forms. From raw flower and edible gummies, to liquid tinctures and topical ointments, there are products available to meet every palette. Beyond this similar variety in forms, however, CBD and THC products have very different purposes.
- In the U.S., most products containing CBD are derived from hemp sources. Because of this, they usually contain relatively low levels of THC and are well-tolerated by most individuals seeking their widely alleged health benefits, including children. A smaller proportion of CBD products are sourced from marijuana, however, and these tend to contain higher amounts of THC (there have even been reports of such products causing users to test positive for marijuana use).
- In addition to being classed by their source, CBD products are also divided up into isolate and full-spectrum varieties. Full-spectrum CBD products are processed in such a way that they contain the entire profile of cannabinoids naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC. Many users swear by the synergistic interaction of the cannabinoids in these products, claiming this “entourage effect” boosts the medicinal impacts of CBD on the body’s systems.
- In contrast to full-spectrum products, CBD isolates contain pure CBD that has been extracted in separation from other cannabinoids. These products are reported to have a more focused effect on bodily systems. And since they contain no THC, isolates are definitely the best bet if you’re concerned about testing positive for marijuana but would still like to benefit from the therapeutic effects of CBD.
- Unlike CBD products, products rich in THC are almost always sourced from marijuana and used chiefly to induce a psychoactive effect. Even when used for medical purposes, the effects of THC-rich products tend to induce a noticeably altered state of mind. That’s why THC is regulated more strictly than CBD, and THC-dominant products are usually only available for general purchase in states where marijuana is broadly legal. Even in these states, such products should never be given to minors, as they are widely prohibited for use by those under the age of 21 and can have negative impacts on developing brains.
[Learn more about CBD products.]
As you can see from this brief comparison of CBD and THC, though the two compounds share some overlap, their profiles are truly distinct and they are often used for very different purposes.
Remember to seek the advice of a medical professional before using cannabis products of any kind. And since laws regulating cannabis and its byproducts vary widely across the U.S., be sure to research your state’s laws on hemp, CBD, and marijuana before purchasing or using these products.
The chart below breaks down some of the most widely reported medicinal benefits of CBD compared to THC:
||Non-psychoactive; well-tolerated by most individuals, including children
||Strongly psychoactive; may cause side unwanted side effects, such as paranoia; not for use by minors