CBD VS THC: Complete Guide And Recommended Products

By Amber Smith
Aug 1, 2023 5:00 AMJan 7, 2024 8:48 PM


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Discover's Top CBD Products This Year

1. Penguin

2. Verma Farms

3. Batch

A few years ago, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, which legalized hemp-derived CBD products on a federal level. The passage of this bill opened the door for CBD manufacturers to bring their product to market. As consumer demand for CBD products has continued to grow, supply has steadily kept up.  

One of the biggest misunderstandings that people have when buying these products is that CBD and THC are the same. While they are both cannabinoids and both naturally occur in the cannabis and hemp plants, there are some profound differences to know about the two.  

Here’s what you need to know about CBD vs. THC, along with a list of CBD products that we highly recommend. 

CBD vs. THC: Psychoactive Side Effects 

CBD and THC have the same molecular structure, with 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. The only difference is how the atoms are arranged, which causes the different side effects that the two cannabinoids offer.  

Despite being almost the same on a molecular level, CBD and THC have very different psychoactive effects. CBD has no psychoactive effects, while THC does.  

THC binds with endocannabinoid receptors, especially CB1 in the brain. This produces a sense of euphoria, known as a high. It can also cause confusion and anxiety in some.  

On the other hand, CBD has a very weak bind on the CB1 receptors. In fact, in order for CBD to bind to them, it needs THC to be present. When the two cannabinoids are together, they work together.  

CBD reduces the unwanted psychoactive effects of THC, which provides for a calmer, more relaxing experience. This is why CBD is well-known for its therapeutic benefits, including relief from stress and anxiety, better sleep, and a balanced mood. 

CBD vs. THC: The Benefits 

CBD and THC offer many of the same benefits. The biggest difference is that CBD doesn’t cause users to get high, as they will when using THC. Many people prefer to use CBD simply because it doesn’t have psychoactive effects.  

CBD has shown promise in offering a variety of therapeutic benefits, including relief from:  

  • Pain and inflammation 

  • Poor sleep 

  • Stress and anxiety 

  • Depression 

  • Nausea 

  • Irritability 

  • Inability to focus  

THC can also be used to offer similar relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, muscle spasticity, and low appetite.  

There is one FDA approved prescription medication that contains CBD, called Epidiolex. The drug treats rare, hard-to-control forms of epilepsy. However, it’s the only FDA approved drug to date. 

Side Effects of CBD vs. THC 

CBD very rarely causes adverse side effects, especially when used properly. CBD is well-tolerated, even in large doses. More often than not, any side effects that people experience when using CBD is due to drug-to-drug interactions between CBD and another medication. 

Some of the most commonly reported side effects of CBD include dizziness, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and appetite changes. These side effects can often be managed by reducing the dose or figuring out which medication the cannabinoid is negatively interacting with.  

On the other hand, THC carries a risk of all sorts of side effects, including:  

  • Anxiety 

  • Increased heart rate 

  • Slowed reaction times 

  • Memory loss 

  • Coordination problems 

  • Anxiety 

  • Dry mouth 

  • Red eyes  

Neither CBD or THC post life-threatening side effects. However, if used for a long period of time, THC may cause long-term negative psychiatric effects, especially in adolescents. 

Legality of CBD vs. THC 

Cannabis-related laws continue to evolve, especially as the evidence in using marijuana for medicinal purposes continues to grow. Technically, CBD is a Schedule I drug under federal law. However, hemp, the source of CBD, has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act.  

However, CBD products are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill Act, assuming they meet the set criteria in the bill. For example, products must:  

  • Contain no more than 0.3% THC 

  • Must adhere to shared state-federal regulations 

  • Must be grown by a licensed grower  

While CBD products are legal federally, several states have their own laws which restrict the selling, possession, and use of CBD products. It’s important to be aware of which local laws may apply to you.  

On the federal level, marijuana is still a Schedule I substance, which means that it is illegal. However, dozens of states, including Washington D.C., have statewide cannabis laws, including ones that legalize medical cannabis. These products must be prescribed by a licensed physician in order to be legal. Other states have also legalized recreational use of cannabis and THC. 

Drug Testing: CBD vs. THC 

When cannabinoids are ingested, they are stored in the body’s fat. This means that there is the risk that the compounds can show up on a drug test for several days, possibly weeks, after using them.  

While not all drug tests are designed to detect CBD, there are CBD-sensitive tests that can be used. The standard drug tests look for THC-related chemicals, so it’s all but certain that marijuana use, which contains high levels of THC, will show up on a screening. 

On the other hand, hemp can also produce some THC, albeit in very low doses. It’s possible that someone who uses CBD products could test positive for THC.  

When buying CBD products, pay close attention to the type of extract that is used. If you’re routinely drug tested, it’s crucial to only buy products made with CBD isolate or broad spectrum extract. These two forms contain no THC and shouldn’t cause you to fail a drug test. 

Best CBD Products 

Now that you know the ins and outs of CBD vs. THC, let’s discuss the top five CBD brands that create top of the line products. 

1. Penguin 

Penguin is another brand that’s dedicated to providing people products that help them to live a more balanced, chill life. The brand is best known for their delicious CBD oils, which are available in yummy flavors such as Cookies & Cream, Strawberry, and Citrus.  

Penguin also has a full line of other products, including CBD gummy worms, capsules, and even topical products.  

All products are tested by a third party lab and use the highest quality THC-free CBD extracts. Penguin products are made with broad spectrum extract of CBD isolate, which means you don’t have to worry about being exposed to THC. 

Verma Farms is best-known for its Hawaii-inspired CBD gummies, but the brand has also created an extensive line of other products. Verma Farms not only offers delicious CBD-infused bites, but also CBD oil, tinctures, capsules, and even dried fruit! There is even a collection of topical products to ease aches and pains in the hands and feet.  

The brand is committed to using only the highest quality ingredients, including nano-emulsified broad spectrum CBD that is extracted from hemp grown throughout the United States. Verma Farms products are thoroughly tested for potency, quality, and safety, so that users have the best experience possible, every time. 

We all could use a little more balance in life, especially when it comes to prioritizing our health and holistic wellness. That's where BATCH CBD comes in. With superior product quality and a personalized approach to customer service, BATCH CBD truly stands out amongst the crowd. 

BATCH has gained national attention for their impressive collection of full-spectrum CBD products, including CBD oil tinctures, gummies, soft gels, and balms. Customers of BATCH enjoy the fullest range of therapeutic benefits that CBD products can provide. That’s because BATCH’s CBD is exclusively derived from the highest quality of organic Wisconsin hemp and is extracted through their proprietary in-house methods. 

From seed to shelf, BATCH CBD is carefully selected, processed, and packaged to deliver you the ultimate CBD experience.

R+R Medicinals is one of the fastest growing CBD brands in the United States, and has finally brought what everyone has been looking for:  USDA Organic, reasonably priced, high performance products. Their employee and veteran-owned company truly has the customer at heart - there is always a live person there to answer questions or help any customer with questions!  They’re truly doing it right in a sea of other brands.

What we love about R+R Medicinals

R+R Medicinals CBD caught our #2 spot as it clearly shows they are doing the right things to create customer confidence and loyalty to their brand.  All full-battery COAs are available on their site, where many other brands only post potency results.  It’s a lot of info, but you can really get down to see their safety with no detected pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and more. 

20% off your first purchase with code: RRWORKS20, 15% off all subscriptions!


If you’re searching for a CBD brand with super high quality products and fair pricing, look no further than FOCL CBD. FOCL is a premium CBD brand based out of Los Angeles and Denver. The team at FOCL (short for Focus) is passionate about wellness and obsessed with producing plant-based products that actually work.  

Formulated with plant-powered wellness in mind, FOCL was born out of the idea that everyone deserves to feel better. And FOCL has done just that, using only the highest quality ingredients straight from Mother Nature. FOCL also uses organic and sustainable practices and has their products third party tested, so you can always feel good about where your CBD is coming from.  

With a full line of Broad spectrum CBD oils, gummies, topical relief cream, and unique wellness formulas, FOCL has got all of your wellness needs covered.

five offers the strongest and most affordable full spectrum CBD oil, capsules, and gummies on the market.  Their award-winning gummies are the best that we tried. What makes five different is you get pure, undiluted hemp extract with an industry-leading 5:1 ratio of CBD to THC and other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. With up to 6x the minor cannabinoids of other brands, you’ll be sure to feel the five difference.  Try five to see why they are the fastest growing CBD company in the industry!

Type: Full Spectrum

Pricing: Most Affordable

Potency: Up to 6000mg

Quality: Highest

Return Policy: 30 days, no questions asked 

Products offered:

·       Oils

·       Gummies

·       Tinctures

·       Chocolates

Joy Organics is one of the few CBD manufacturers to offer USDA Certified Organic CBD tinctures. The brand also has a salve that is certified organic as well. What’s unique about this brand is that they only use organic ingredients. You won’t find any fillers or preservatives used when making these premium products.  

Joy Organics offers a variety of products, including some you won’t find anywhere else. While the brand offers the expected line of tinctures, gummies, and capsules, Joy Organics also offers 

salves, sports cream, and even bath bombs. There's even a CBD-infused energy drink to keep you going throughout the day! 

Charlotte's Web operates with a strong commitment to the planet and society. The brand's products are made with the hope of helping people around the world lead the best, healthiest life possible.  

Charlotte's Web is one of the most trusted hemp extracts. In fact, the company originated as a hemp manufacturer that provided it's extract to other brands. These products are made with full spectrum CBD, which does contain a trace amount of THC.  

Charlotte's Web offers a wide variety of products to choose from, including gummies that promote better sleep, Chocolate Mint flavored CBD oil, and topical products uniquely formulated to relieve aches in pains from arthritis and intense physical activity. 

Final Thoughts 

Understanding the differences between CBD and THC is important in your quest to find the best product for you. If you’re looking for legal CBD products that are made with the highest quality extracts and ingredients, we highly recommend the five products on our list. 

Looking for the best CBD you can find? Check out our awards for the best CBD Gummies, best CBD Oil, Best CBD Oil For Dogs, and Best CBD Oil for cats.

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