For some people, CBD oil and marijuana are synonymous. Since they are both derived from the same species of plant, there is some overlap. But the fact of the matter is, they are distinct in more ways than they’re similar.
One common misconception is that CBD shares the same hallmark intoxicating effect as marijuana. Let’s get this cleared up before we even get any further: CBD is non-intoxicating and marijuana is. And that’s not all that sets them apart. Let’s take a look at how CBD oil and marijuana differ and where they overlap.
What Makes CBD and Marijuana Similar?
Both CBD and marijuana come from a plant species called Cannabis sativa. CBD typically comes from the hemp plant while marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. THC –the psychoactive compound in marijuana– and CBD can both be found to varying levels in each plant but the cultivation and extraction process will usually dictate how much is present.
Hemp plants are grown to contain 0.3% or less THC. This is not enough to intoxicate someone using a hemp product. CBD appears in much larger quantities in the cannabis plant. Some high-CBD strains can get up to 20–25% CBD. Fans of the entourage effect can enjoy the mutually beneficial relationship between THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in both hemp and cannabis products.
Where Do CBD and Marijuana Differ?
While marijuana and CBD are in the same family, they are distinct in a lot of ways. People use them for varying goals, they affect the body in completely different ways, and they are faced with different legal statuses in the United States and abroad.
Effect on Humans
Marijuana and CBD have very different effects on the body.
Marijuana is well-known for its signature intoxicating effect. When THC enters the bloodstream, it travels through the body into the brain. Here it can alter neural chemistry to create effects such as euphoria, relaxation, altered senses, lower response time, and more. Many people use it recreationally now that it’s gaining legal status in more and more states. But a lot of people also use it to alleviate pain or nausea caused by an illness or disability.
CBD, on the other hand, offers more of a slow burn effect. While there is still a lot of research needed to make any conclusions on what benefits it offers, we have seen evidence that it can help reduce seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy. Other potential effects on the human body include a general feeling of relaxation, relief from aches, and relief from stress.
Again, we aren’t claiming that CBD can aid in relief nor that it treats or cures any illnesses.
There are side effects associated with both CBD and marijuana. Not all users will encounter side effects but those thinking of trying either should be aware of the potential, less desirable, reactions they might carry.
Marijuana can cause the following side effects:
- Increased heart rate
- Slower reaction times
- Reduced coordination
- Dry mouth
- Bloodshot eyes
- Memory loss
CBD may cause the following side effects:
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
- Upset stomach or diarrhea
CBD and marijuana are restricted by different legal ropes. The United States has had a touch-and-go relationship with hemp and cannabis products. There were moments in the early 20th century when it seemed this plant would finally get a chance to gain legal status until swift, harsh condemnation halted that progress. Between pop culture, fear-mongering such as Reefer Madness to government crackdowns like the War on Drugs, the pushback did lasting damage to the reputation of the Cannabis sativa plant species.
It wasn’t until the late ’90s and early 2000s that the very first medical cannabis initiatives broke through. This opened the door for more research possibilities for both cannabis and hemp. Advocates of the plant worked hard through the early 2000s into the 2010s for less restrictive guidelines for medical and recreational THC as well as CBD.
The Farm Bill of 2018 was a pivotal moment for CBD accessibility. It made it possible to cultivate and research industrial hemp. From here, a world of possibilities opened up. Not long after, CBD gained popularity and continues to become more and more well-known. CBD by and large isn’t approved by the FDA. But it is legal to buy and sell in most states since it is federally-approved.
THC is under tighter restrictions. While it is legal in 8 states recreationally and 36 states for medical use, it is still considered a Schedule I illegal substance under federal law. There are efforts underway to decriminalize or legalize marijuana nationally but there is still a lot of progress to be made before that becomes a reality. It seems most people are on board to kick the stigma. Around 67% of U.S. adults believe marijuana should be legalized.
Is CBD Right For You?
If you’re looking for a calming addition to your daily routine without the “high” CBD might be the right product for you. While marijuana is enjoyed recreationally for its immediate intoxicating effects and medically for its ability to quickly alleviate nausea and pain, CBD offers less immediate effects. It’s taken regularly to work on prolonged homeostasis gradually. Many users report a host of positive changes in their mood and body over time.
CBD can be a great way to find your calm. If you’re ready to try it for the first time or you’re looking for a high-quality, affordable option, give Peace River CBD a try. We offer a range of products from topicals to tinctures. We would be honored to be a part of your daily journey to self-care.