Medical Marijuana vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

July 1, 2024

If you’ve been exploring alternative treatments for managing health conditions, you’ve likely come across both medical marijuana and CBD. While they might seem similar, there are key differences between the two. Understanding these differences can help you make informed decisions about which option might be best for you. Let’s dive in and clear up the confusion.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana refers to the use of the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. The active compounds in medical marijuana are cannabinoids, the most well-known being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

THC: This is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, meaning it’s what makes you feel “high.” But beyond the euphoria, THC is also effective for pain relief, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, nausea, and anxiety.

CBD: While it’s found in both marijuana and hemp, CBD does not have psychoactive effects. It’s known for its potential therapeutic benefits, such as reducing inflammation, pain, and anxiety, without the high associated with THC.


What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound extracted primarily from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. CBD products can be oils, edibles, topicals, and more. Importantly, CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC to be legally sold in many places, including the United States.