CBD vs THC – What’s the Difference?

Although there are more than 100 different types of cannabinoids, two of them have drawn the most attention: CBD and THC.

While both THC and CBD come from the same family of organic compounds and have similar modes of action, they’re not the same. Knowing the difference between CBD and THC is important – products with more THC than allowed by federal regulations may be illegal depending on where you live.

Below, we have outlined the main differences between CBD and THC.

What is CBD?

CBD (short for “cannabidiol”), is the most common cannabinoid found in hemp plants and the second-most common in cannabis plants. Many strains of premium hemp plants regularly contain between 10 and 20 percent CBD. (read our article on "What is CBD")

CBD companies specialize in separating cannabinoid extract from hemp plant matter as either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. Then, they use this extract as an ingredient to make CBD-infused products like tincture, oil, vape juice, and edibles.

When the federal government approved the 2018 Farm Bill, they passed sweeping reforms on CBD’s legal status. The legislation made the cultivation of hemp and production, distribution, and sale of CBD legal nationwide. Since then, CBD has bloomed into a massive industry, expected by some sources to reach $24 billion by 2024.

What is THC?

THC (short for “tetrahydrocannabinol”) is found abundantly in marijuana plants. There are actually several different forms of THC, including THCa and THCv. One form, delta-9-THC, is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. While delta-9-THC is barely detectable in hemp plants, many marijuana plants contain up to 30 percent THC.

As the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC is responsible for the “high” that comes from smoking cannabis. THC’s intoxicating effects earned it the ire of the federal government, which criminalized the cannabinoid and marijuana in the early 1900s. It remains federally illegal today, and the DEA still considers it a Schedule I Drug.

Breaking it Down: CBD vs THC

Here, we’ve included a head-to-head guide to the differences between CBD and THC and some traits they share in common.


  • Member of the cannabinoid family of organic compounds
  • Found most abundantly in hemp plants
  • Non-psychoactive


  • Member of the cannabinoid family of organic compounds
  • Found most abundantly in marijuana plants
  • Psychoactive effects
  • Legal on a state-by-state basis

It’s important to note that some state laws prohibit certain forms of CBD, like edibles or vape juice. Research your own state’s stance on CBD-infused products to learn more about how these laws may affect you. At nu-x®, all of our products contain less than 0.3 percent THC to comply with federal laws. To see a full list of all the premium CBD-infused products we offer at nu-x®.