THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference on a Molecular Level?

THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference on a Molecular Level?

The most well-known and abundant cannabinoids are THC and CBD. These two compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system, but the differences between THC and CBD on a molecular level have varying effects on the body. Consumers across the board struggle to understand the primary differences between the two, so here is a quick guide to help with clarity.

What Is THC?

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the most prominent compound of the hemp plant, and it’s also the only compound responsible for the psychoactive effects consumers know and love. To achieve these influences, the plant must go through a decarboxylation process.

On a molecular level, both THC and CBD are cyclic compounds. But THC houses a closed loop within the ester group. When in contact with the endocannabinoid system, the effects can be psychological and physical, including:

  • Motor skill impairment
  • Increased sensory system
  • Time distortion
  • Euphoria

What Is CBD?

The decarboxylation process pulls a drastically different bodily effect when looking at CBD. The molecules display an open loop in the alkene and hydroxyl groups. CBD will never house a psychoactive component because of its antagonist approach to the CB1 compound. The effects of CBD on the body vary based on many factors.

Most commonly, CBD can provide a sense of serenity and contribute to decreased anxiety, inflammation, and increased mental clarity.

Cannabinoids Explained

The chemical components in cannabis are cannabinoids. There are over 100 identifiable variations in cannabis, but THC and CBD are the most notorious. The process of decarbing these compounds awakens their chemical structure and delivers the effects to the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system serves the body through neurotransmitters and sends signals through greater physiological demands. When the body cannot produce enough endocannabinoids, the plant-based cannabinoids can provide the desired stimulation through THC and CBD and restore the balance of the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The primary differences between THC and CBD on a molecular level require the correct extraction, distillation, and decarb system. To get your hands on quality cannabis decarboxylation equipment, reach out to Beaker & Wrench today. We offer Good Manufacturing Practices on all lab equipment and ensure your process follows all legal regulations.

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