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THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

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These days, it seems that everyone is talking about THC and CBD. You’ll see it on the news, advertised in convenience stores and coffee shops, and even in your aunt’s Facebook posts. But with so much talk out there, there is also a lot of misinformation. 

When it comes to THC vs CBD, what actually is the difference? Are these substances healthy for you? And will they get you high?

These are common questions and people tend to end up confused when looking for answers. Luckily for you, we’re here to help. 

So if you would like to learn more, then keep on reading and we’ll walk you through what THC and CBD are and how they differ.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is a chemical compound that is responsible for most of the psychological effects of marijuana. THC is a cannabinoid and acts a lot like the cannabinoid chemicals that are naturally made in the human body.  

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS, is a complicated and intricate system in the human body. It was first discovered by scientists several decades ago as they were trying to better understand THC. 

While we are still trying to fully comprehend what the ECS is and how it works, we do know that it plays roles in regulating a variety of processes and functions. These include:

  • fertility and reproduction
  • memory
  • appetite
  • mood
  • sleep

The endocannabinoid system exists and is active in the body, even if you don’t use cannabis. 

How the ECS Works 

There are three main components that make up the ECS: enzymes, receptors, and endocannabinoids.  

Endocannabinoids, also known as endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules that are created by the body. They are very similar to cannabinoids, except they are naturally made in the body. 

There are two main endocannabinoids that we know of: 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA).

These endocannabinoids help to keep internal processes running properly. Your body makes them as needed. 

Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body. Endocannabinoids bind to these receptors in order to signal that the endocannabinoid system needs to take action. 

There are two key endocannabinoid receptors: CB2 and CB1.

CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system (CNS). CB2 receptors are mainly found in the peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells.

Endocannabinoids are able to bind to either receptor. The effects that result from this binding will depend on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid does the binding. 

Enzymes are then needed to break down endocannabinoids after they’ve carried out their function.

There are two key enzymes that are responsible for this. First, there is the fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA.

There is also monoacylglycerol acid lipase. This enzyme usually breaks down 2-AG.

What Are the Functions of the ECS? 

The ECS is a complex system and experts aren’t sure about exactly how it works or what all of its possible processes are. We do currently know that the ECS is related to the following functions:

  • skin and nerve function
  • stress
  • reproductive system function
  • liver function
  • bone remodeling and growth
  • cardiovascular system function
  • muscle formation
  • sleep
  • motor control
  • learning and memory
  • mood
  • inflammation and other immune system responses
  • metabolism
  • chronic pain
  • digestion and appetite

All of these processes are related to homeostasis. When your body reaches homeostasis, everything internally is balanced.

The current belief is that the job of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis.  

How Does THC Interact With the ECS?

The reason why cannabinoids from plants are able to have medicinal and psychoactive effects within the human body is that they can interact with the ECS. THC is able to get a person high because it activates the CB1 receptor in the brain.

Endocannabinoids also activate the CB1 receptor. So why aren’t we high all of the time?

There are a few reasons for this. First off, THC does not interact with ECS receptors in the exact same way as internal endocannabinoids do.

Also, the metabolic enzymes break down endocannabinoids very quickly. The enzymes are not as effective on THC, so THC is able to affect the brain for much longer. 

THC’s Effects on the Body 

THC is able to create a sense of euphoria in people because it is able to stimulate brain cells and help release dopamine. It also affects how information is processed in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is in charge of forming new memories.  

THC can also produce hallucinations. It can cause delusions and change a person’s thinking. 

The effects of THC typically last for around two hours. They likely kick in between ten and thirty minutes after consumption. 

After the felt high has stopped, psychomotor impairment might continue. 

In some instances, side effects of THC can include:

  • pain relief
  • relaxation
  • sedation
  • issues with recalling short-term memory
  • rapid heart rate
  • anxiety
  • elation

Other kinds of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, can reduce and mitigate negative effects. 

Medicinal Uses

The marijuana plant has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Many states have legalized the plant for medicinal uses and some have even legalized it for recreational use. 

THC is usually extracted from marijuana. But it can also be synthesized in a lab. Synthesized THC is used to prevent or treat vomiting and nausea that is associated with cancer treatment. It can also boost the appetites of people who have AIDS. 

THC can also bring many other medical benefits. For example, in small doses, THC can improve memory.  

Many consumers also prefer marijuana to prescription pills because it is more natural and less addictive. 

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical compound from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Both marijuana and hemp are varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant. 

The main difference between marijuana and hemp has to do with how much THC each plant has. In order for a Cannabis Sativa plant to legally be considered hemp, it cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

Because of this, marijuana plants tend to have high concentrations of THC and low concentrations of CBD. The opposite is true for hemp plants.

CBD is a naturally occurring substance and is one of the main cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, along with THC.  

How Does CBD Interact With the ECS?

Thanks to the ECS, CBD is able to affect a wide variety of symptoms. CBD is able to bind to both CB2 and CB1 receptors. 

CBD can also interact with the body via several biological channels. The fact that it can activate several channels at one time may be why it’s able to produce distinct therapeutic effects.  

CBD also has a very interesting relationship with THC. At a molecular level, CBD acts in an opposite way to THC. While THC is an agonist of CB1 receptors, CBD is an inverse agonist.

When THC and CBD are taken together, CBD has the ability to curb the negative side effects of THC. It does this by activating an inverse response from CB1 receptors. 

CBD Won’t Get You High 

Perhaps the biggest difference between CBD and THC is that CBD cannot get you high.

While CBD is psychoactive, it is nonintoxicating. This means that you won’t have any euphoric or paranoid effects. You won’t feel altered or sedated in any way.

It should be noted that there are some possible exceptions to this. First off, some people simply react differently to CBD. These same people tend to feel side effects from drugs like Tylenol and Advil.

You never know just how your body is going to interact with a new substance. So you should also start small and under supervision.

It is also possible that the CBD product that you buy actually has THC in it. This is why it’s very important that you buy your CBD from a reputable source. 

What Are the Health Benefits of CBD?

Scientists are still learning about the possible health benefits of CBD. Many CBD retailers will claim that CBD is a panacea that can cure just about any ailment. While this isn’t true, we can also confidently say that CBD isn’t just some snake oil with zero benefits. 

Out of all of the possible health benefits that CBD brings, it’s perhaps most effective at treating seizures and epilepsy. 

CBD’s efficacy was made famous by the case of Charlotte Figi. Charlotte was a young girl who would experience hundreds of seizures every week. After taking CBD, she only experienced a couple of seizures every month. 

In fact, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that uses CBD as the main ingredient is Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy. CBD is so effective at treating epilepsy because it uses unique pathways to reach the brain, which other medications don’t do. 

CBD has also been known to treat a variety of other health issues, such as arthritis, muscle soreness, and even cancer. 

CBD and Inflammation

CBD is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. CBD is able to reduce inflammation because it inhibits an enzyme known as COX2. NSAID drugs, like Aspirin and Advil, also target COX2 in their method of action. 

By inhibiting inflammation, you can relieve joint pain, reduce tumors, and even treat acne.

CBD Won’t Make You Fail a Drug Test

There are currently no drug tests out there that test for CBD. Because CBD doesn’t get you high, it shouldn’t interfere with your work at all. If you take THC before a drug test, you will likely fail the test. 

With that said, there are CBD products out there that might contain traces of THC. Even if the packaging says that it is pure CBD, it still might contain some THC. And even though it is likely not enough THC to get you high, you can still fail a drug test from it. 

The legality of THC and CBD

The legality of both THC and CBD in the United States is very confusing. At a federal level, THC is illegal to possess, both medically and recreationally.

However, there are many states that have legalized THC, both medically and recreationally.

After President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, he also legalized CBD, so long as it came from a hemp plant that contained less than 0.3 percent THC. 

However, CBD is also outlawed in several states. In order to make sure that you are on the right side of the law, it’s very important that you research the legal status of these compounds in your city and state. 

Also, thanks to a loophole in the Farm Bill, Delta 8 THC is also technically federally legal. Make sure to check out this page to learn more about Delta 8 THC. 

The Importance of Knowing the Difference When It Comes to THC vs. CBD

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now understand the differences when it comes to THC vs. CBD. As we can see, THC and CBD both come with positive aspects.

However, each compound also interacts differently with the human body. By understanding these differences, you can make more educated and confident purchasing decisions. This will help you better treat your own health issues in a natural and effective way.

Are you looking for other helpful articles like this one? If you are, then you should make sure to check out the rest of our site today for even more! 

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Destinations

Guide to Eating in Austin

I’ve been living in Austin for two months now, and in that time, I’ve consumed a lot of food. After all, Austin is home to an incredible food scene — from BBQ joints to food trucks to healthy, organic outlets to (of course) Mexican restaurants. As more and more people move to Austin (close to […]

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I’ve been living in Austin for two months now, and in that time, I’ve consumed a lot of food. After all, Austin is home to an incredible food scene — from BBQ joints to food trucks to healthy, organic outlets to (of course) Mexican restaurants. As more and more people move to Austin (close to 160 a day at last count) and the city balloons with a more diverse population, Austin has expanded its dining fare to include more varied and higher-quality food.

Part of the reason Austin’s food tastes so delicious is because of the locally-sourced ingredients. As the birthplace of Whole Foods, Austin has always embraced organic food, and it was one of the frontrunners in the farm-to-table movement.

Moreover, to meet the needs of the expanding population, nearly 200 new food trucks and restaurants open up each year! With so many eateries opening all the time, you’re going to get hugely increased variety, selection, and quality.

While I still have much more exploring to do and food to eat, I want to share some of my favorite places to eat in the city for your next visit:

Asian

If there is anything I dislike about Austin, it would be the lack of good Asian cuisine, as it is my favorite in the world. When it comes to Asian food, it has a lot of those fusion joints that serve Chinese, Thai, sushi, and Korean all at once. Most are simply acceptable; they won’t blow you away. However, there are a few restaurants worth eating at:

  • Bar Chi (206 Colorado St., (512) 382-5557, www.barchiaustin.com) – Decent sushi but an unbelievably affordable happy hour (5-7pm each day). My friends and I come here because it satisfies the sushi craving on the cheap!
  • East Side King (1618 1/2 E. 6th S., (512) 407-8166, www.eskaustin.com) – Located in The Liberty Bar (also a kick-ass bar), this is best Asian-Thai fusion food truck in the city! Be sure to get the pork buns, tori meshi, or the chicken buns.
  • Lulu B’s (3632 S. Congress Ave., (512) 921-4828, www.facebook.com/LuLuBsAustin) – I found this place thanks to Jodi from Legal Nomads. I’m not the Vietnamese food expert she is, but this place was delectable. I’ve only had the beef pho, but it was a flavorful broth.
  • Piranha (207 San Jacinto Blvd. #202, (512) 473-8775, www.piranhakillersushi.com/piranha-locations/austin) – My all-around favorite sushi joint. The sushi here gives you the most value for your money, and it’s always fresh and of high quality. I particularly love their yellowtail.
  • Thai-Khun (1816 E. 6th St., (512) 407-8166, eskaustin.com/v2/thaikun) – As a Thai food snob (ever since I lived in Thailand), I’m always disappointed at Thai restaurants because I never think the food is as breathtaking as in Thailand. This place in Austin is the closest to true Thai food that I’ve found so far.
  • Uchi (801 S. Lamar, (512) 916-4808, uchiaustin.com) – The fanciest high-end sushi restaurant in the city. They also have a sister restaurant called Uchiko. Both live up to their reputations and are good date places. Reservations recommended!
  • Wu Cho (500 W. 5th St. #168, (512) 476-2469, wuchowaustin.com) – This is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the city. They serve a very popular dim sum brunch on Sundays. Be sure to come early as it gets packed during dinnertime and Sunday brunch, and the wait for a table can be up to an hour.

Americana

If there is one thing Austin does well, it’s “Americana” food. I define that as a fusion of multiple cuisines: burgers, fries, steaks, seafood, and the like.

  • Launderette (2115 Holly St., (512) 382-1599, launderetteaustin.com) – Located in an old laundry store, this restaurant is one of the hottest spots in town and serves an amazing menu of Americana and seafood, as well as a decent selection of wine. Some of my favorite dishes include crab toast, burrata, okra, brussels sprouts, and grilled octopus. If you’re coming for dinner, come early, as it fills up fast.
  • Truluck (400 Colorado St., (512) 482-9000, trulucks.com) – This is my favorite steak restaurant because it’s one of the few places where you can also get fresh seafood (crab, oysters, lobster). It’s not cheap, but if you want a upscale steak house, try this.
  • Péché (208 W. 4th St., (512) 494-4011, www.pecheaustin.com) – A New Orleans–inspired restaurant serving Bayou food, and it has a very friendly staff, tasty cocktails, and an extensive whiskey list.

BBQ

Austin is world-famous for its BBQ, and you can’t walk down the street without running into a restaurant that serves it. The title for Austin’s best BBQ is hotly contested among fans, and I don’t claim to know who’s right — to me, BBQ is either good or really damn good. But these are among my favorites:

  • Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th St., (512) 653-1187, franklinbarbecue.com) – This is considered the top of the top of the top BBQ joints in the country. Even the president ate here! It’s open from 11am until they run out of food (usually in a few hours). Lines start at 8am, so it’s best to go midweek in summer when most people don’t want to wait in that line and you don’t need to line up until 9 or 10am.
  • La Barbecue (1906 E. Cesar Chavez St., (512) 605-9696, www.labarbecue.com) – BBQ is a matter of perspective. A lot of people say Franklin’s is the best, but La Barbecue is #1 to me. It opens at 11am. Expect two-hour waits during lunchtime, so get here early.
  • Iron Works BBQ (100 Red River St., (512) 478-4855, ironworksbbq.com) – Located downtown, this restaurant serves above-average BBQ with large portions and hearty helpings of side dishes. I come here for the lunch brisket plate.
  • Micklethwait Craft Meats (1309 Rosewood Ave., (512) 791-5961, craftmeatsaustin.com) – An awesome food truck on the east side of the city. I’m in love with its ribs, brisket, and BBQ sauce. While it’s very popular, the line here isn’t as long as the other places listed.

Tacos

Tacos are serious business in this city. I have yet to fully experience much of the wonder that Austin has to offer on this front, but I do like a few of the big names:

  • Veracruz (1704 E. Cesar Chavez St., (512) 981-1760, veracruztacos.com) – The best food truck in town (conveniently located across the street from my hostel). It makes wonderful breakfast tacos, and the migas was voted #1 in the country. There is never really a line, but service is slow.
  • Torchy’s (multiple locations, torchystacos.com/in/austin) – World famous (and another spot where the president ate), this taco place has multiple locations in the city. It lives up to all the hype! I’m a big fan of the fried avocado and trailer park tacos. Every location is always packed, so expect a wait, especially on the weekends. The food here is pretty spicy, too.
  • Taco Deli (multiple locations, www.tacodeli.com) – Another delicious eatery serving mouth watering breakfast tacos.

Mexican & Tex-Mex

Like tacos, there are a lot of world-class Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in Austin! There are plenty of people who can dissect their finer points — I am not one of those people, however. But these establishments will never steer you wrong:

  • Vivo (6406 N. Interstate Highway 35, (512) 407-8302, vivoaustin.com) – Solid Mexican with huge portions, spicy dishes, and friendly staff.
  • Benji’s (716 W. 6th St., (512) 476-8226, benjiscantina.com) – Amazing margaritas, huge portions, and an outdoor patio area. Their incredible guacamole is made tableside.
  • Tamale House East (1707 E. 6th St., (512) 495-9504, www.facebook.com/tamalehouse.east) – Located in East Austin, this hole-in-the-wall is only open for breakfast or lunch. It’s famous for its tacos, but like the name suggests, get the tamales!

Indian

There isn’t a lot of good Indian food in town, mostly because there just isn’t a lot of good Asian food in general. I’m not an Indian food expert, but these two are my favorites:

  • The Clay Pit (1601 Guadalupe St., (512) 322-5131, claypit.com) – I order from this spot through UberEats all the time since it often has fast delivery. I love the samosas and jasmine rice, and their naan is just perfect!
  • Masala Dhaba (75 Rainey St., (512) 665-6513) – A higher-end, sit-down restaurant with a flavorful chicken tikka masala!

Miscellaneous

Some other of my favorite must-eats:

  • P. Terry’s (multiple locations, pterrys.com) – This is the best burger bar in the city. It’s delicious and cheap (you can get a burger, fries, and a drink for $6 USD), with filling portions. This is one of my all-time favorite spots in the city, and since it’s close to my house, I tend to eat here too often!
  • The Onion (408 Brazos St., (512) 476-6466, onionbaby.com) – Coming from NYC, I’m spoiled for pizza — you can buy tasty dollar slices anywhere you go there. That’s not the case in Austin: slices are around $4 USD and not as good, but if there is one pizza place I do like, it’s this one.
  • Gus’s Fried Chicken (117 San Jacinto, (512) 474-4877, gusfriedchicken.com/austin-texas-location) – The sister restaurant to the famous location in Memphis, this place has juicy, moist chicken with battered skin that bursts with flavor in your mouth. It’s freaking amazing! They also serve mouthwatering fried green tomatoes and pickles.
  • Leaf (115 W. 6th St., (512) 474-5323, leafsalad.com) – This new lunchtime salad place is incredible (also the line is long). Its gigantic salad bar has anything and everything you could ever want to put in a salad. It’s one of my favorite places for a healthy meal in Austin.
  • True Kitchen (222 West Ave. #HR100, (512) 777-2430, truefoodkitchen.com) – This new restaurant is incredibly popular with people after work. All its food is natural and organic. You’ll find healthy wraps, salad bowls, sandwiches, and fresh and flavorful seafood, as well as an incredible selection of wine and cocktails.

Austin’s growing food scene means that there are still plenty of places I haven’t eaten at yet — and a few locations I probably left out, as a result — but during your visit to Austin, you’ll find yourself with more than enough choices by using this list as your guide!

 

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America Travel News: Can I Fly To The USA Right Now?

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On 16 March, the Trump Administration announced a travel ban to the US. This mandate affects travelers originating from a list of countries currently prohibited from entering the United States. Most Brits, who go on trips to the US, do so for holidays. But can they still travel to the US right now?

Brits Entering America

Unfortunately, Brits who were recently in the UK, Schengen region, Ireland, Brazil, Iran, or China during the last 14 days cannot enter the US. Exceptions to this ruling are the following:

  • US citizens and green card holders (permanent residents);
  • Brits who are married to a US citizen or a green card holder;
  • Close family members of US citizens and green card holders; and
  • Selected visa holiday holders.

If you are not among these groups listed above, you are currently not eligible to enter the United States.

Similarly, the United Kingdom added the US to its red list. This means that effective on 3 July, people who originate from the US are also not allowed to enter the UK during this time. There is no current reciprocal travel corridor agreement between both countries.

Because of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States, it is equally unlikely that travel restrictions to the UK for Americans will be lifted soon.

Increasing COVID-19 Infection in the US

Related to this junction, the US recently eased lockdown protocols in various popular vacation spots, including Florida and New York. However, in several locations like Las Vegas and California, travel restrictions are being imposed to halt the growing number of infections further.

As of writing, the United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. Its record has already reached 6,135,598, while the current international COVID-19 total is now 25,140,903—both alarming numbers that heavily impact worldwide public health and economic well-being.

When Will This Ban Be Lifted?

There is no definite date scheduled for the lifting of the said travel ban. The ban will continue to be in effect until authorities determine that traveling between the UK and the US is already safe.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of America’s leading public health officials, asserts that present travel restrictions might only be eased when a veritable vaccine is discovered and developed. During a Telegraph interview, Fauci mentions that the ban may take “months than weeks” before it gets lifted. He adds, “I don’t think there’s going to be an immediate pullback for those kinds of restrictions.”

“The US from a very early stage banned flights from the UK and Europe, so there isn’t a reciprocal relationship in place there in any case,” says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in a recent BBC Radio 4 interview.

Even US Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin supposes that the said travel ban might last until 2021—a presumption that may be further delayed given the current infection trends within the US.

Limited Flights

For those who are given the green light to enter the US, however, there are several flights between the UK and the US every day. Several airlines like American Airlines, United, and British Airways fly from London to Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC, and New York daily.

For canceled flights, however, passengers are eligible for refunds or travel vouchers. You must contact your specific airline for details on how to do so.

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Guides

Top Travel Apps for 2017

Traveling has only become easier as technology and innovations continue to grow. Gone are the days of lugging around a laptop, digital camera, maps, flashlights etc… all while trying to pack light on your excursion. Thanks to our trusty iphone or android devices, navigating this humongous planet has certainly gotten simpler.   Here is a handy […]

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Traveling has only become easier as technology and innovations continue to grow. Gone are the days of lugging around a laptop, digital camera, maps, flashlights etc… all while trying to pack light on your excursion. Thanks to our trusty iphone or android devices, navigating this humongous planet has certainly gotten simpler.

 

Here is a handy list of awesome apps you can download to make your life on the road a much less complicated one.

 

Café Wifi –

This handy little app helps with your digital drama by finding all the free WiFi hotspots in your general vicinity. This helps you stay away from the huge chains and find your small corner of paradise to service all your technological needs. Best thing is the service and app are both free. Browse the internet from any corner of the city while you wanderlust around the globe.

 

Flight Stats –

This is the perfect application for business travelers or the once a year flight rookies. A simple download and you can check your flight status, terminal and gate location or find out if your flight is delayed or canceled. For the unsure traveler who wants to see their actual planes flight path, this little ditty can help. Once again this app is free and easy to use.

 

Tinder –

Sure the dating or hook up app is an obvious for single travelers, but did you think about using it to connect with friends. Dating and traveling is difficult but Tinder’s worldwide presence has made dating in the 21st century borderless. Nobody wants to be alone all the time and now with Tinder, you don’t have to be. In addition to dating, Tinder can be used to find out local information like hot bars or delectable restaurants. Tinder is always free to use.

 

Guides by Lonely Planet –

This app is always on my list because it makes visiting a new city so easy and affordable. Known for their budget friendly travel recommendations and downloadable guides, Lonely Planet truly makes the world smaller. The downloadable guide is key to keeping your roaming data usage low.

 

The comprehensive guide is great at informing you of local must sees and the typical tourist attractions. I always check these out before I go to any major city, even if I’ve visited before.

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