Cannabidiol (CBD) vs Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

To understand the difference between CBD and THC, we have to first understand what they are in the first place.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are just two of more than 100 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

Simply put, cannabinoids are organic chemical compounds secreted by the plant that just happen to imitate humans’ own endocannabinoids (specialized neurotransmitters). Neurotransmitters are chemical compounds that relay messages from the brain to the body (think of other neurotransmitters like adrenaline or serotonin).

The body has an entire system dedicated to endocannabinoids, which help regulate mood, memory, movement and coordination, emotion, and motivation, among many other important processes. 

Basically, the chemicals CBD and THC and the brain are like a key and lock. The chemicals have a certain structure (the key) that fits into the brain (the lock). 

What Is THC?

THC is the most famous and most prevalent organic chemical found in the cannabis plant because of its distinct psychotropic effect, giving the consumer the “high” feeling.

Briefly, when we consume THC, it basically fits the “lock and key” of the brain. It causes a cascading, domino effect that affects other neurotransmitters, causing feelings of euphoria that typically occupies both body and mind and might create time distortion. 

What is CBD?

CBD is another principal cannabinoid found in cannabis. On average, a typical cannabis plant will be made up of approximately 12% THC and 1-4% CBD. 

CBD is psychoactive because it acts primarily on the central nervous system and alters brain function. But, CBD does not produce the intoxicating effect of THC or "feeling high".

Chemical Differences

CBD and THC are actually very similar when you look at the chemical structure of cannabinoids. In fact, they have the exact same chemical structure; each has 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, the key difference is in a tiny connection between a carbon ring and oxygen atom.

If you look at the image below, you can see how THC has a complete carbon ring in the center, while in CBD, it is broken. One little connection makes all the difference. 

Properties of THC vs CBD

Both CBD and THC have distinct properties. 

For THC, those can include euphoria, relaxation, introspection, creativity, sedation, sensory alteration, appetite stimulation, focus, and energy.

The properties of CBD include the reports by patients of reducing or eliminating seizures, promoting relaxation, stress relief, stories of fighting the growth of tumor or cancer cells, acting as an antipsychotic agent

In tandem, CBD and THC can provide the body with a host of beneficial effects, as we'll discover below.

Pre-Rolls Selected with You in Mind

We’re taking the uncertainty and hassle out of trying cannabis for the first time. If you’re not up for rolling a joint yet, Sava has your back.

How to Order Cannabis Topicals Online

Say goodbye to getting in your car, driving through traffic to get to a dispensary, and hoping they have what you need. At Sava, you’ll have your CBD ointment and cannabis of any kind within hours at the click of a button.

Create Account

Create your account here by clicking at the top right-hand corner.

Upload ID

Upload your government-issued ID. If you’re under 21, upload your medical recommendation as well.

Start Shopping

Shop! Stock up on some CBD ointment, CBD skin care products, or cannabis lotion and patiently await their arrival.

To wrap it all up, simply review your cart, add a tip for your driver and a coupon code, enter a delivery address and instructions, choose your preferred date and time, and then select your payment method of choice.

How to Use CBD and THC Products

When you are looking for a cannabis product to consume, whether CBD or THC, make sure it has these three aspects: full or broad-spectrum oil, lab tested, and organic.


The oil has the full spectrum of all cannabinoids, not just CBD or THC.

Lab Tested

In the state of California, all cannabis products must be rigorously tested and pass through 3 stages of compliance before they hit the shelves.

Organic growing practices 

While cannabis cannot receive the “organic” seal, many growers use organic growing methods.  

At Sava, we stock quality products that hit all these points, so you don't have to worry. Shop our CBD products and find out the many ways you can enjoy CBD below.

Vaping and Smoking 

You can inhale CBD flowers just like regular cannabis. This is the quickest way for the CBD to enter your bloodstream, and it also provides the highest concentration of CBD.

However, smoking and vaping can be harsh on the throat and lungs. In addition, while the safety and long-term health effects of vaping or smoking cannabis aren't well known, you should consider that utilizing your lungs in a way they were not designed for may have some degree of negative impact.

Finally, you'll have to have additional equipment (such as glassware, rolling papers, and a lighter) to enjoy.


Consuming edibles are a great and tasty way to enjoy the myriad benefits of CBD. They are discreet, so you can enjoy them virtually anywhere without attracting too much attention. In addition, you can use CBD oil and add it to a wide variety of food and drink, so your options are limitless when it comes to ingestion.

The only downsides are that it can take a while for the effects to be noticed since ingestion is the slowest-acting and that finding the right dosage can be tricky. Other than that, edibles come with a very specific dosage, so you can at least closely measure how much you are taking and learn how your body responds (we always suggest starting small and increasing slowly!).

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Sava’s Topicals

What are cannabis topicals?

Cannabis topicals harness certain terpenes and cannabinoids such as THC, CBD THCA, and other from a strain chemical profile that can be applied directly to your skin. From here, the cannabinoids absorb into your bloodstream, but at a slower rate than edibles or vaping.

What are the benefits of cannabis topicals?

There is a laundry list of benefits for topicals like CBD lotion and CBD salves. Topicals can be applied to reduce pain and inflammation, muscle soreness, help soothe skin conditions like eczema and acne, headaches, and even increase sexual pleasure. Two things to note are:

  1. THC-based cannabis lotion is very unlikely to get you high. The most you may feel is a mild, euphoric effect.

  2. You will feel it directly where you apply it (rather than feeling the effects throughout your entire body).

Do cannabis topicals really work?

Yes! Because the skin is our largest organ, there is an abundant distribution of cannabinoid receptors in our skin, muscle tissues, and nerves. These receptors are activated either by the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids or by cannabis compounds found in topicals like CBD ointment and cannabis salve. CBD, THC, THCA, or any other cannabinoids work by binding to those receptors, thus providing relief.

What symptoms do cannabis topicals treat?

What do they not treat? Your topicals can be anything from CBD cream for pain relief to CBD skin care products. Whether you want a transdermal compound to tackle deep-rooted skin conditions or you want a relief patch to combat minor aches and pains, we have the product for you.

People use CBD ointment and any other cannabis topicals to help soothe any skin conditions, menstrual pain, aches, muscle soreness, nerve pain, dry or irritated skin, burns and tattoos, spasmodic issues, enhanced sexual sensation, and trouble falling asleep. 

Can CBD be absorbed through the skin?

Yes, CBD for skin is effective because it absorbs through our biggest organ and attaches to the cannabinoid receptors found throughout our body.

How do I use cannabis-infused topicals?

Simply apply the recommended dose directly onto the affected area. Don’t worry! You will not get high because the absorption rate is slower compared to vaping or edibles.

Never apply cannabis topicals to broken skin or open wounds. 

When will my cannabis topical delivery arrive?

As you checkout, you will be asked to choose a date and a two-hour time block, and voila, our driver will arrive at your doorstep with cannabis in hand. Place your order before 11:00 AM PST and get same-day delivery.

Can Sava deliver cannabis topicals near me?

If you are in the Bay Area, the answer is usually always yes. To make sure we deliver to your area, check out our delivery map.

Talk to Our Cannabis Connoisseur for a Top-Tier Topical Experience

Not sure which product to buy for your aches, cramps, soreness, or skincare? We have the answer to your problems.

Call us at 415-993-9973 to speak with one of our knowledgeable cannabis professionals and get all your cannabis questions asked by a real-life human.

If you happen to miss us outside of our 9 to 5 hours on Monday through Friday (PST), email us at

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