What is the difference between CBD and THC? Which one will get you high? Read on for more information!

Are you an avid CBD enthusiast? Do friends and family assume that because you use CBD, you are getting high? Education is not at the level it needs to be in this industry yet, but HPNP is here to help! If you know someone who commonly puts CBD and THC in the same category, feel free to send them this link to learn more.

What is THC?

Defined in https://www.dictionary.com/browse/thc

THC: AKA “tetrahydrocannabinol: the primary psychoactive component in marijuana, hashish, and other preparations derived from cannabis plants, especially Cannabis sativa, or produced synthetically.” 

What is CBD?

Defined in https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cbd

CBD: AKA “Cannabidiol: a nonpsychoactive component derived from the cannabis plant, especially Cannabis sativa or C. indica, or produced synthetically. CBD has been studied as a treatment for epilepsy and marketed as a dietary supplement for the management of chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety.”

CBD and THC have close to the same chemical structure, but there is one significant difference. THC contains a cyclic ring, while CBD contains a hydroxyl group. The cyclic ring is the reason THC makes you feel high. The THC fits into the CB1 receptor, which is part of our endocannabinoid system (an essential system in our body regulating immune response, memory, metabolism, and more). CBD cannot fit into the CB1 receptor. Therefore it doesn’t make you high.

To watch the video that explains this in simple terms, follow the link below:


The difference between THC and CBD begins with how it is grown. 

“Cannabis and hemp plants contain both CBD and THC along with more than 540 other substances. The main difference between the two plants is the amount of each compound they contain.”


Hemp plants contain more CBD and less THC.

Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contains a very low amount of THC. CBD is most commonly extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. 

Cannabis plants contain more THC and less CBD.

The three standard varieties of cannabis plants are Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Ruderalis. There are also hybrid plants. 

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is any Cannabis Sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC. Under this bill, hemp is now considered a mainstream crop but is still heavily regulated. 

Any cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant, such as CBD, is legal ONLY if grown by a licensed grower following the Farm Bill’s rules and regulations and state and federal regulations. If produced otherwise, these cannabinoids will be considered a Schedule 1 substance, making them illegal. 

To read more on the 2018 Farm Bill, follow the links below:



Hemp-based CBD products are legal to consumers in all 50 states but have different restrictions considering the state where you reside. But, THC is not currently legal in every state. 

To check the legal status of CBD, recreational marijuana (THC), and medical marijuana (THC) in your state, follow the link below.


CBD and THC have some similarities and some differences. Not to get the two confused, but they can aid in insomnia, pain, inflammation, anxiety, and more. The big difference is THC is psychoactive, and CBD is not. THC and CBD are also regulated very differently federally and state wise.