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Some of you may have heard about cannabis and marijuana products as they become legal in more and more countries, including Thailand. CBD and THC are the two natural compounds that are the stars of this topic.

Cannabis is a plant creating substances called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis. They are the reason why they have drug-like reactions.


CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis products.


THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has a lot of CBD.

Chemical Structure

CBD and THC have the same chemical formula -- 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The difference lies in the way the atoms are arranged. That gives CBD and THC different chemical properties, and they affect your body differently.

Both CBD and THC work with receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. They can affect things like pain, mood, sleep, and memory.


How CBD and THC Affect the Body

THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. It's what makes people feel "high."


We have two types of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. THC binds with receptors -- mostly in the brain -- that control pain, mood, and other feelings. That's why THC can make you feel euphoric and give you that so-called high.


CBD doesn't cause that high. Instead, it's thought to work with other elements in the body linked to feelings of well-being.

Medical Benefits

People take CBD products to help with everything from arthritis and Crohn's disease to diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Some say it helps with anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. So far, there's little evidence that CBD helps with any of these.

The FDA has approved one CBD-based drug. Epidiolex is a treatment for several severe forms of rare childhood epilepsy.

CBD is a hot topic for researchers. The National Institutes of Health clinical trials database shows more than 160 trials involving CBD that are either active or recruiting.

Some states authorize the use of THC as part of medical marijuana, THC may help ease things like:

  • Multiple sclerosis pain

  • Nerve pain

  • Parkinson's disease tremors

  • Nausea

  • Glaucoma

Side Effects

THC can cause:

  • Problems with concentration

  • Dizziness

  • Vomiting

  • Drowsiness

  • Balance

  • Memory loss

Side effects from CBD can include:

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Upset stomach

  • Tiredness

  • Lightheadedness

  • Crankiness

  • Low blood pressure

  • Drowsiness

CBD can also change the way some medicines work. Talk with your doctor about it.


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