What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

Although CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, they’re very different in how they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and affect us.

The biggest difference between the two is that CBD will not get you “high.” CBD is not a psychoactive substance and will not induce the same feelings of euphoria and malaise that THC will. Instead, CBD interacts with the body in other ways, such as inhibiting pain or lowering anxiety. This also means CBD will not impair you cognitively or show up on a drug test.

Another big difference between the two is legality. Despite the sweeping legalization of recreational marijuana in many states, THC is still recognized as a Schedule 1 Drug at the federal level in the United States, making it illegal to possess and consume. CBD has been widely legalized in many different forms—in fact, only three states currently have laws prohibiting CBD products: Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Finally, these cannabinoids differ in how they’re derived from the cannabis plant. CBD generally comes from hemp, while marijuana plants are bred for their high concentration of THC. There is some crossover, since both plants are part of the greater Cannabis Sativa family.