Cannabis 101: What Are The Differences Between CBD and Marijuana?

While both come from the cannabis plant, there are big differences between CBD and marijuana. Marijuana, typically smoked or ingested as an edible, contains THC, the chemical compound that causes the “high” feeling. CBD typically derives from hemp and does not contain THC.

That difference – what is commonly called “marijuana” has THC, while CBD does not – is the reason why they affect you in different ways and why states regulate them differently.

Most states allow medical marijuana, but only for certain conditions and on advice of a doctor. Only 16 states allow the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes. In 2018, the U.S. Congress made all CBD derived from hemp legal in all 50 states.

The following looks at the major differences between CBD and marijuana the two for the cannabis curious who are learning about cannabis.

Words Can Cause Confusion

Maybe people who are new to cannabis may feel confused by the different names used for cannabis and the products that come from it.

Most people have used the term marijuana for decades, although no one seems quite sure where the name comes from. It also has some racial connotations, as many believe anti-cannabis groups in the United States used the term to promote racism against Mexican immigrants.

People in the industry use the term cannabis the most often. It’s also the term used more frequently in the media when writing about the industry. Still, most of the public still use the words cannabis and marijuana interchangeably to refer to products containing THC.

Cannabis also is the plant used to make products both with and without THC.

CBD is an acronym for cannabidiols. Products marked as CBD do not get you high. Rather, they are typically used as part of a wellness regiment. CBD products help people combat pain, anxiety and depression. They even have a positive impact on pets.

The Impacts of CBD and THC

Products with THC can range from pre-rolled joints to oils, tinctures, lotions, edibles and beverages. Whatever form it comes in, the thing to remember is that THC is what gives you the high feeling.

CBD contains only trace amounts (less than 0.3%, by law) and is not designed to give you a high feeling. It often is made from hemp. CBD is a wellness product that is legal in all 50 states.

It’s important to know the difference as legalization spreads across the country. The popularity of both THC and CBD indicates that legalization is likely to continue in the coming years. The latest Gallup poll found that 68% of Americans support marijuana legalization.

For those new to cannabis, it’s important to know the differences between CBD and marijuana. That will help you narrow the search for the products in the marketplace that work best for you.

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