THC VS CBD – A complete guide to everything you need to know!

Cannabis has surged in popularity here in Australia, and to meet demand, you may have noticed that there are endless cannabis-based products now available. It can be overwhelming trying...

Cannabis has surged in popularity here in Australia, and to meet demand, you may have noticed that there are endless cannabis-based products now available. It can be overwhelming trying to differentiate the various terms and what they mean. Two common ones that tend to confuse novices are THC and CBD. Here we’ll explain the difference.

CBD and THC explained

Both THC and CBD are the main ingredients found in cannabis, and they are both chemical compounds however, THC gets you “high” and CBD doesn’t.

How they work


CBD doesn’t bind to our cannabinoid receptors but instead interacts with our brain and body via the endocannabinoid system. It doesn’t affect our perception or alter our sensory functioning.


THC does attach to our cannabinoid receptors, and it quickly affects bodily, psychological, and sensory functions.

When THC and CBD are taken together, i.e., smoking cannabis plant, the CBD can reduce the effects of THC by diminishing the bind with the receptors.

While there is both CBD and THC in a cannabis plant, most of it is THC. You’ll find that CBD is more prominent in other cannabis types, such as hemp. Hemp products must contain 0.3% or less THC.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a flowering plant from the Cannabaceae family. It is a psychoactive drug and is used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Cannabis plants that have low doses of THC, less than 0.3 percent are classified as hemp. Plants with high THC levels are known as marijuana. Cannabis has various slang terms, some of the many include pot, weed, hash, and dope.

What is THC?

THC is what makes cannabis intoxicating and psychoactive. It can cause a breadth of effects including, but not limited to dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, drowsiness, and delayed motor skills. There are several different types of THC compounds found in cannabis, but the most common one is Delta-9 THC.

What is CBD?

CBD is the abbreviated term for cannabidiol, and this is one of the main chemical compounds in a cannabis plant. There is strong evidence to suggest that CBD can help alleviate various health symptoms and conditions. It is commonly used as a natural alternative to mainstream medicine.

Medical benefits CBD vs THC

CBD is usually the preferred choice when it comes to using cannabis products for medicinal purposes because it doesn’t have psychoactive compounds. This allows users to maintain regular activities without experiencing the extreme side effects that can come with THC. CBD can help with many health conditions, such as:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Pain
  3. Seizures
  4. Migraine
  5. Anxiety and depression
  6. Nausea

THC can help with:

  1. Pain
  2. Insomnia
  3. Anxiety and depression
  4. Poor appetite
  5. Mood
  6. Muscle spasms

Side effects CBD vs THC

CBD is well tolerated by most and can be taken regularly with little to no side effects. If you do experience side effects from CBD, they are likely to be:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Poor appetite
  3. Fatigue
  4. Dry mouth

These symptoms generally occur as a result of interacting with other medications. Ensure you always speak to your GP before taking any new supplement, CBD included.

Some possible THC side effects:

  1. Memory loss
  2. Disorientation
  3. Anxiety
  4. Increased heart rate
  5. Red eyes
  6. Dry mouth

The side effects of THC and CBD are only temporary, and overdosing is unlikely to be fatal. Some studies connect high THC use with negative psychiatric conditions although, more research is needed.

Does CBD or THC show up on drug tests?

General drug tests are unlikely to pick up CBD, but they will be able to detect THC. If you are using cannabis or hemp products of any kind, ensure they are THC-free if this is something you are worried about.

How you can buy CBD and THC

CBD – Can be bought in the form of gummies, oils, tinctures, creams, and more.

THC – Can be purchased in the form of oils, concentrates, extracts, and it can be smoked or eaten using the cannabis plant.

When buying any cannabis product, ensure you are doing so legally to avoid landing yourself in hot water from misinformation or from simply just taking your chances. If you get caught purchasing cannabis illegally or you get pulled over with THC in your system, you may face criminal charges. Always do your research first or speak to your doctor.

What is legal here in Australia?

Apart from the ACT, recreational use of cannabis is illegal in Australia. The extent that cannabis can be used legally varies significantly depending on which state or territory you live in. In some states, it is legal to use CBD if the THC content is less than two percent, in some other states, you need a medical certificate to use it. To find out what you can and can’t do where you live, it’s best to check out your local government website. This will outline the laws surrounding CBD and THC use.

We hope this post has cleared up any uncertainties you may have had about THC and CBD and their differences. If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to contact our friendly team here at Byron Bay Cannabis. We would love to hear from you! Alternatively, you can check out our collection of all-natural cannabis-based products on our website. They are designed to improve overall health, and we believe we have something for everyone.