• Several products on the market contain cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in cannabis but with far lower levels of the psychoactive compound THC.
  • Cannabidiol’s (CBD) effects on numerous systems, including the nociceptive (pain-sensing) and inflammatory systems, suggest that it may help control pain(1). 
  • Although hemp has been removed from the Schedule I drug list in the United States, cannabidiol (CBD) remains a Schedule I substance(2). It is still classified as a restricted drug by the FDA and DEA. 
  • High levels of THC in marijuana may also cause hallucinations and delusions. However, unlike marijuana which has a high THC content, CBD has a low concentration(3). Thus, CBD may be a viable choice for individuals who hate weed.

CBD Pain Relief for People Who Hate Weed

Although both CBD and marijuana(weed) are derived from the same cannabis plant, the former’s psychoactive(mind-altering) substance is referred to as THC(4)

High levels of marijuana intoxication can also cause hallucinations and delusions. For individuals who consume a lot of THC content in marijuana, psychosis can result in a loss of consciousness (5).

Unlike marijuana, which has a high THC content, cannabidiol (CBD) has a low THC content. It is the primary source of CBD products on the market.

Thus, some people who hate weed may use CBD to relieve their pain and lower inflammation. 

CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

As the legal usage of hemp and other cannabis products continues to expand, people are becoming more interested in the goods available to them. 

There are two naturally occurring chemicals in cannabis plants, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD is nonpsychoactive(6)

CBD may be obtained from either hemp or cannabis plants. The Cannabis plant is the source of both hemp and cannabis. However, hemp that is legal to grow must have less than 0.3 percent THC(7)

THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis(marijuana), and it is this compound that causes the “high” experience(8).  

CBD vs. THC: Chemical Structure and Psychoactive Components

In terms of chemical structure, CBD(9) and THC(10) are identical: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms are found in each compound. 

The differences in the effects on the body are due to a tiny change in how the atoms are organized in each of the two compounds.

Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids produced by the body. The interaction with the cannabis receptors is enabled as a result of this.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) interacts with CBD and THC, although their effects are quite different(11). The ECS is involved in central nervous system function.

The ECS comprises various cannabinoid receptors, primarily CB1 and CB2(12)CB1 receptors regulate pain sensations, while CB2 stimulates the body’s anti-inflammatory response(13).

When people smoke marijuana, the rapid attachment of the THC to the ECS can affect the natural balance of the body’s natural cannabinoids.

THC’s effects are varied according to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. Slow response time, poor memory, and poor judgment.  THC may affect the pleasure centers of the brain. Memory and mental health issues may emerge from the overuse of cannabis(14).

CBD vs. THC: Medical Benefits

Both CBD and THC provide various health benefits. For people who hate weed, CBD is preferred due to its lack of psychoactive effects.

Epidiolex, the first drug containing CBD, was authorized by the FDA in 2018. It is used to treat a particularly challenging kind of epilepsy(15).

In many clinical studies, CBD help with the following symptoms and medical conditions:

  • seizures(16)
  • insomnia(17)
  • depression, anxiety, mental disorders(18)
  • inflammation and pain(19)
  • inflammatory bowel disease(20)

On the other hand, THC may help with the following symptoms and medical conditions:

  • pain(21)
  • muscle spasticity(22)
  • glaucoma(23)
  • insomnia(24)
  • low appetite(25)
  • nausea and migraine(26)
  • anxiety(27)

CBD vs. THC: Side Effects

Despite CBD’s high potential, it is generally well-tolerated. However, interactions with other medications can cause side effects.

High levels of cannabidiol can also cause long-term adverse effects on the brain(28). Other side effects of CBD, according to Mayo Clinic, are(29):

  • appetite changes
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea

Mayo Clinic also cited some side effects of THC, such as(30):

  • increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • disorientation
  • Increased appetite
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • dry mouth and dry eyes

CBD vs. THC: Drug Testing

THC(31) and CBD(32) might appear on drug tests days or weeks later. 

CBD-sensitive tests are available, although not all drug tests can detect it. Most routine drug tests check for THC-related compounds. Thus THC or marijuana usage may be seen.

THC test may be positive even if users have not used cannabis. THC-free goods may contain THC, so if users are drug tested, they should avoid using any CBD or THC products.

CBD vs. THC: Legality

Despite the removal of hemp from the Schedule I drug list, cannabidiol (CBD) remains a Schedule I substance in the US. The FDA and the DEA still classify it as a controlled substance(33).

Currently, 38 states have laws that allow the medical use of marijuana. It’s also legal in several other states(34).

CBD should be easy to find in states where recreational use of cannabis is legal. However, it is important to note that products with THC should be inspected before buying.

Suppose the consumers are in a state where the use of marijuana is legal and do not have a medical prescription. In that case, they could face penalties(35).

CBD Usage for Pain

Studies have shown that the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on various systems, including the nociceptive(pain-sensing) and inflammatory systems, may help manage pain(36).

The quantity of cannabidiol and THC in the plant is related to the effects of different strains of cannabis. It may help decrease the psychoactive effects of these compounds.

Although it is not yet clear if CBD can be used for pain management, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties suggest that it may help manage pain. 

Researchers noted that the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) were not limited to psychological effects(37). Fifteen healthy individuals took CBD oil or a placebo before experiencing intense heat in a study. The researchers noted that the oil did not affect the individuals’ pain perception.

Currently, there is limited evidence supporting the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and THC in managing migraines. However, 2017 research suggests that combining the two can help reduce the discomfort caused by migraines(38).

Despite the advantages of CBD, its effects are unknown. Further studies are needed to analyze the substance’s long-term effects.


  1. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/#
  2. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  3. Cannabis (Marijuana) Research Report: How does marijuana produce its effects?
    https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-produce-its-effects
  4. Cannabis (Marijuana) Research Report: What is marijuana?
    https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-marijuana
  5. Ibid.
  6. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  7. The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer
    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/
  8. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  9. Cannabidiol
    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Cannabidiol
  10. Dronabinol
    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Dronabinol
  11. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  12. An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789136/
  13. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259/full
  14. The Science of the Endocannabinoid System: How THC Affects the Brain and the Body
    http://headsup.scholastic.com/students/endocannabinoid
  15. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd#othercbdapproved
  16. Use of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Efficacy and Security in Clinical Trials
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6514832/
  17. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28349316/#:~:text=Recent%20findings%3A%20Preliminary%20research%20into,impair%20sleep%20quality%20long%2Dterm.
  18. Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7699613/
  19. Cannabidiol: A Brief Review of Its Therapeutic and Pharmacologic Efficacy in the Management of Joint Disease
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7176325/
  20. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: a brief overview
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22815234/
  21. Cannabis and Pain Treatment—A Review of the Clinical Utility and a Practical Approach in Light of Uncertainty
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7000155/
  22. MARIJUANA AND MUSCLE SPASTICITY
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224382/#:~:text=First%2C%20while%20MS%20patients%20report,to%20get%20relief%20from%20spasticity.
  23. MARIJUANA AND GLAUCOMA
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224386/
  24. Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28349316/#:~:text=Recent%20findings%3A%20Preliminary%20research%20into,impair%20sleep%20quality%20long%2Dterm.
  25. Marijuana and Body Weight
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204468/
  26. Medical Cannabis, Headaches, and Migraines: A Review of the Current Literature
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8459575/
  27. Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Medicinal Cannabis Use in an Observational Trial
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800/full
  28. Cannabidiol Adverse Effects and Toxicity
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7052834/
  29. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700#
  30. Marijuana
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-marijuana/art-20364974
  31. OBJECTIVE TESTING – URINE AND OTHER DRUG TESTS
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4920965/
  32. Urinary Pharmacokinetic Profile of Cannabinoids Following Administration of Vaporized and Oral Cannabidiol and Vaporized CBD-Dominant Cannabis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31682266/
  33. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  34. Medical Marijuana Legality by State
    https://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/legal-medical-marijuana-states-and-dc/
  35. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?
    https://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/questions/should-marijuana-be-a-medical-option/
  36. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/#
  37. CBD: How Much Pain Relief Is Real and How Much Is Placebo?
    https://johnshopkinshealthcare.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Wellness/Stress/6,1652783611
  38. Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science
    https://headachejournal.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/head.13345
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