Marijuana Vs. CBD: What is the difference, and which is better for me?
Recreational Marijuana use is now legal in twenty-one states, with our home State of Maryland becoming the most recent this past year. Now that marijuana is becoming more and more accessible it is important to understand what it is, how it affects our bodies and the differences with CBD.
The health and wellness benefits of Cannabis have been well documented over the past decades, whether those health benefits are obtained through the use of Hemp or Marijuana. So what are the things that separate the two, and does CBD still have a place in our health and wellness regimens as Marijuana becomes more and more available without prescriptions?
In this post, we will discuss those questions and more, as we take a deep dive into the two products and compare all the available information. We hope the information will make consumers more informed and able to make the best health and wellness decisions.
So, let’s get right to the details and dive into what is Marijuana.
Marijuana, What is it?
Marijuana is a type of Cannabis plant. Typically the flower, or bud, of the plant is used for consumption. The marijuana plant is a high THC low CBD plant, which is why consumers experience a psychoactive effect and high. Over the decade marijuana has been selectively bred to increase THC levels and lower CBD levels making the high, and side effects of the high, much stronger than in the past.
The most common ways in which Marijuana is used is as a smokable, whether rolled in paper or packed into a pipe, bud, as edibles typically in candy forms, or as a vapable oil. There is a myriad of names for Marijuana including but not limited to weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, and mary jane.
What does Marijuana do?
The major active ingredient of marijuana is THC. THC enters the bloodstream either through the lungs when pot is smoked or through digestion when edibles are used. The THC then enters the brain where it interacts with cannabinoid receptors. The high levels of THC over-activate these receptors which cause most of the psychoactive effects of Marijuana. Some of the immediate effects caused by this can include body intoxication, a sense of euphoria, dizziness, loss of time, altered senses and moods, altered body responses, and many other changes to your physiology.
Long-term effects of Marijuana use can include loss of memory and cognitive functions, mood swings, and an increased chance of developing a substance use disorder or addiction, increased anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
There have been several studies on the positive effects of marijuana on our bodies, the most common benefit being that of relief from severe pain and inflammation.
Is Marijuana harmful to my body?
Anything that is smoked or vaped into our lungs is harmful to our bodies, so if your method of consumption is inhalation then yes damage is being caused to your lungs. Marijuana, or THC, itself is not known to be harmful in moderated doses though when over consumed it has been shown to cause motor function harm and other bodily harm such as intense nausea and vomiting.
Marijuana products are can be especially harmful when consumed by children, though many of the products are made to look like candy and marketed with bright colors and cartoony characters.
How does CBD compare to Marijuana?
Hemp is another type of Cannabis plant, CBD is a natural product extracted from the hemp plant and can be produced organically without synthetic processes. The only real difference between a Hemp plant and a Marijuana plant is that Hemp has a low THC content and a much higher CBD content, so there is no psychoactive effect or “high”.
CBD works as a gatekeeper for the body’s production and regulation of natural cannabinoids that connect to the Receptors and signal the Endocannabinoid System in our body to do its job. The regulation of these natural cannabinoids produced by the body is important in maintaining equilibrium or balance, in our physiology. CBD, unlike THC which just hyperactivates these receptors, helps tell the body to slow down the production of endocannabinoids when the Endocannabinoid System is being over-active, or to increase production when the Endocannabinoid System is not active enough. In this way, CBD helps maintain our equilibrium.
CBD is made by extracting the natural oil from the Hemp plant, full spectrum CBD is the extracted oil without anything removed or added to it in post-processing. There are a few methods to extract oil from the plant but one of the cleanest and the most effective currently is hydrocarbon extraction. This process is done at sub-zero temperatures which preserves the beneficial compounds of the plant in the oil.
What does CBD do?
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues. CBD's most well-documented and scientifically proven benefit is treating epilepsy, especially in major cases that don’t respond to typical pharmaceutical medications. You can read more on the National Library of Medicine website. Studies have also shown CBD to be effective in treating inflammation, making it potentially a strong choice for pain relief and pain management, as stated by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). CBD has been researched for its health benefits in dealing with stress, anxiety, or ADHD. Research has also been conducted on CBD as a treatment for PTSD and sleep disorders.
It is widely accepted that CBD offers a general feeling of wellness and relaxation, as well as being great for regulating our reactions to stress throughout the day.
Is CBD harmful to my body?
CBD, like any supplement, vitamin, or medication, carries some risks. Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and sleepiness. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, so if you are on daily prescription medications it is important to consult with your doctor before starting CBD.
Another cause for concern with CBD is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of some CBD companies’ products. A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than labeled, which is why it is important to purchase from a company that provides recent 3rd party lab test results for each of their products upfront. Catoctin Hemp makes it simple to find results for each product on the product page, and on every product label.
Does CBD still have importance to our health when marijuana is so available?
While marijuana has many documented health and wellness benefits it also has the possibility for a lot of side effects in the short and long term and is not for everyone. The high felt and psychoactive effects can cause more anxiety and stress in people looking to alleviate those very things. CBD does not cause anxiety, paranoia, or depression and can be used to regulate those feelings in our bodies instead. In fact, CBD has been shown to be counteractive to the harmful effects of marijuana and lessen the intense highs of THC.
If you are looking for something that may help with your mood, health, wellness, and relaxation CBD is a great, natural, option. You can find all-natural organic CBD products, with easily accessible 3rd party potency and purity tests, at Catoctin Hemp.