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CBD vs. Marijuana: 5 Ways CBD is TOTALLY Different Than Marijuana

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In the last decade, cannabis has become one of the most popular substances on earth. Through budding social advocacy and legalization efforts, it seems that the world at large is finally beginning to recognize the recreational and medicinal benefits of cannabis.

In particular, cannabidiol (CBD) — one of cannabis’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids — has garnered significant cultural acclaim and media attention. Proponents of CBD often draw attention to the cannabidiol CBD’s stress-relieving, mood-boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties.

However, despite the cultural buzz surrounding cannabis, the terms “CBD” and “marijuana” are often incorrectly used interchangeably. In reality, both substances are dissimilar enough from one another to warrant complete distinction. So, whether you’re new to cannabis or you’re brushing up on your CBD facts, here are five key differences in the CBD vs marijuana battle.

CBD Oil vs Marijuana: CBD is Non-Psychoactive

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, and most types of CBD products don’t contain any other cannabinoids. As a result, the CBD experience is entirely non-psychoactive, meaning that it’s effective, but won’t cause sensations of impairment or inebriation.

On the other hand, many other cannabinoids enter the equation when comparing CBD oil vs marijuana. Marijuana contains over a hundred unique cannabinoids, including THC, which is chiefly responsible for the trademark “high” associated with cannabis. In fact, the term “marijuana” is often used today when referring to high-THC cannabis strains.

Some people enjoy the combination of CBD and THC, and the diverse range of cannabinoids found in marijuana can provide a broadened user experience. However, if you’re looking to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without feeling intoxicated, isolated CBD products are your best bet.

CBD Is a Cannabinoid, Marijuana Is a Plant

One of the most apparent distinctions between CBD vs marijuana concerns what these substances actually are. In truth, comparing them is much like comparing apples and apple seeds.

Marijuana is a broader term that encapsulates every naturally-occurring component of the cannabis plant, from its CBD terpenes to its trichomes. Marijuana can refer to a field of marijuana plants, dozens of marijuana variants, or “strains,” and marijuana products in various forms.

In contrast, the scope of CBD is much smaller. As a cannabinoid, CBD is a component of marijuana that can also be found in hemp (which is cannabis that contains low amounts of THC). Perhaps the easiest way to distinguish between CBD vs marijuana is to remember that marijuana can be grown, but CBD can’t.

CBD Products Are Isolated and Processed

When thinking about CBD oil vs marijuana, marijuana’s history of recreational, medicinal, and ritualistic use extends back thousands of years. Because cannabis grows naturally throughout the world, the plant became readily accessible to various human populations who enjoyed the plant via a variety of preparations.

In contrast, when comparing the history of CBD oil to cannabis — such as CBD oil vs marijuana — it becomes clear that isolated CBD is a relatively new phenomenon. Thanks to modern technological innovations, companies can now extract CBD from cannabis plants and create pure, potent CBD products. However, isolated CBD went unrecognized by our ancestors for the majority of human history up until the 20th century.

Today, CBD and marijuana are abundantly available, but the facts remain unchanged. Cannabis can be grown and enjoyed directly from the earth and has been for centuries. On the other hand, CBD isn’t accessible without the right tools and know-how, and its existence in an isolated form is only made possible by our industrialized world.

CBD and Marijuana Are Regulated Differently

At the moment, CBD is enjoying a surge in popularity and has even accumulated significant mainstream appeal. While many factors have contributed to CBD’s success, it’s clear that the cannabinoid couldn’t have attained such status without favorable CBD laws.

That’s because, for decades, the US government didn’t draw a legal distinction between CBD vs marijuana. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the US regarded recreational and medicinal cannabis — and all of its constituents, including CBD — as prohibited substances.

However, the United States federal government later passed the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which removed low-THC cannabis (defined as hemp) from the Controlled Substances Act. While this legislation didn’t technically legalize CBD, it did make hemp-derived CBD products legal to purchase across the United States with some state-by-state limitations.

Unfortunately, the same freedoms don’t apply to both CBD oil and marijuana. Marijuana — which typically contains more active THC — is regulated with more scrutiny and is only legal to possess, purchase, and use within certain states as of 2019.

CBD Vs. Marijuana: They Have Different Effects

Given that CBD and marijuana are so closely related, it’s easy to see why people assume that they’re extremely similar. We’ve already covered that most CBD oil for sale is non-psychoactive, while marijuana is very psychoactive, but both substances also have notable therapeutic properties that differ from one another.

In general, CBD can help social anxiety or stress relief, provide relief from aches and pains, and curb inflammation. Beyond that, it also has proven utility as an antiepileptic: in 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex as the first CBD-based antiepileptic drug.

When comparing the effects of CBD vs marijuana, there’s a lot more to consider. Marijuana contains dozens of cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — which imbue the plant with numerous effects, many of which have medicinal utility. Aside from the benefits of CBD, the THC content in medical marijuana can reduce neuropathic pain, spasticity, and other symptoms. Researchers have also identified that another cannabinoid found in marijuana, called CBN, possesses neuroprotectant and antibiotic properties.


While CBD and marijuana are different enough to warrant distinction, it’s also clear that both substances possess a wealth of research opportunities. At Kratora, we’re proud to offer our customers 100% THC-free CBD isolates in a variety of mouth-watering flavors and topical solutions. Shop with us today to receive same-day shipping on orders submitted before 3 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturdays (excluding holidays).

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

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