CBD vs Marijuana: What is the Difference?

The shortest answer to that would be that one is a plant and the other is a single particular component of that plant.Marijuana contains CBD, but CBD is not marijuana. Rather, it is only one among the several different chemicals that are all a part of the compound class known as cannabinoids. A bit of a longer answer might make this more clear, so here we go!

Cannabinoids occur naturally in all cannabis plants, which include medical and recreational marijuana varieties, as well as industrial hemp that is used in the production of rope, paper, or clothes.

THC is undoubtably the most well-known out of all of the cannabinoid compounds, because of its effect of getting people high. However, THC is the only cannabinoid compound that has a mind-altering effect, and lately many of its non-psychedelic cousins are seeing their popularity skyrocket.

In particular, CBD is acknowledged in the medical community for its many physical and mental benefits, such reducing anxiety or soothing aches. An added bonus is that you get all those beneficial effects without all the paranoid episodes, or airheaded giggling, or ending up as an extreme couch potato. You can find a lot more details on a reliable CBD website, but for now, we are just going to go over some basics.

Due to its staple relaxing effects, CBD has been approved by the FDA as a supplement to use for the purposes of relieving joint pain, reducing the symptoms of various types of anxiety, helping those who suffer fromPTSD to cope with it, and relieving menstrual cramps in women (though that goes for non-lactating adults only).


It is also used to reduce the issue of insomnia, ease bouts of nausea, relieve seizures, soothe bowels when they become inflamed, as well to combat the plain old episodes of moodiness that interfere with living your best life every day.

Marijuana is considered legal for medicinal use in 16 countries around the world, as well as the majority of the states in the USA. Recreational use of marijuana products is allowed in ten states, as well as in Washington, DC. You can find more precise information on the legality of cannabis use by state in this informative article.

So how does CBD actually work?

Believe it or not, there are actually university courses cropping up that teach the physiology of CBD and cannabis in general. Well, considering that a plant ingredient which directly plays with our minds is becoming increasingly more mainstream, it makes sense that there are people who want to study it and people who want to teach it, right?

One such person is Yu-Fung Lin, an associate professor of physiology and membrane biology at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine. According to the associate professor, CBD is classified as non-psychotropic, meaning that it does not induce a sense of euphoria, nor does it change the way we perceive reality. In other words, it is what we would call “not psychoactive” but see there is a reason for these two different labels.

how does CBD actually work

Although it is not psychotropic, CBD is still psychoactive. That is, it does produce a measurable effect on the human brain, just without making it go all wonky. Rather than overload our cannabinoid receptors like THC does, which results in users going on a weed trip, CBD interacts with a wide array of proteins that we have in our brains and our nervous systems.

This allows it to directly regulate the functions of various cells all throughout our bodies. The effects that we mentioned earlier on – relieving insomnia, nausea, anxiety, and pain – are a direct result of this interference with the “cellular control system” (if you would want to slap one common label onto all of those processes, to make the whole thing easier to understand).

So, in normal English, what CBD does is it hacks your brain’s informational network. It is capable of achieving the results we keep mentioning, because it directly interferes with your brain’s signaling and communication system, in a whole bunch of ways.

Think of it as a merchant caravan: if the “robber” CBD hijacks the “shipment” of signals from your stomach that carry the information about “this is making me sick”, then the “customer” brain never gets the signal package. You will have no idea that something might be making you nauseous, so you will obviously not feel nauseous over it.

However, according to associate professor Lin, CBD does more than just hijack our neural pathway traffic. We already said that it can direct the functions of various cells. This enables it to be beneficial for our bones as well, and even our immune systems.

It spreads through our entire bodies and acts as an antioxidant agent, as well as helping to prevent inflammation. What this means for the bigger picture is, treatment which incorporates the administration of CBD might protect the cells in our bodies from being damaged by neurodegenerative disorders.

With all of these excellent benefits comes a risk, though. You have tolearn to recognize your purchase, or you might fall prey to a scammer and get psychoactive THC products, or fakes like regular food-grade oil. Only buy from licensed, reputable suppliers who are transparent about their work. Also, if you are taking it medicinally, you should always ask your doctor to analyze its actual contents for you.

Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn't afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

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