top of page

What’s The Difference Between Medical Marijuana & CBD?

Marijuana vs. Hemp

The Tennessee medical marijuana program has opened the doors for many new patients to access alternative medicine to treat their conditions. Low-THC oil and CBD products will be widely available for patients in the near future, and some will find themselves wondering what the difference between medical marijuana and CBD really is.

Medical marijuana requires approval from the state to purchase and use, and it differs from CBD in some very important ways that might make a big impact on patients with certain conditions.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is a category of plant-based products designed for medical applications. Medical marijuana products can contain as many or as few compounds from the cannabis plant and are processed to be consumed by medical patients.

Medical marijuana products can range from flowers, concentrates, topicals, gels, pills, oils, and just about any other type of way you can think of.

Medical marijuana is very flexible in the way it can be consumed, and as such medical products are made in many different compositions.

The differentiation between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is mostly that one is legal only for medical use and one can be used by anyone, and in truth the differences could really stop there.

Because the cannabis plant is a plant, whether it’s grown recreationally or medically doesn’t really change the plant. However, there are many compounds within the cannabis plant that have therapeutic value and they are frequently extracted and synthesized for specific medical applications.

Because medical marijuana products are made with different considerations for medical patients, often there are certain types of products that are used nearly exclusively for medical reasons, such as RSO or Rick Simpson Oil, extremely high THC products, and topicals.

What is CBD?

CBD is a compound within the cannabis plant. Being one of the two more famous compounds (CBD & THC), CBD has shown extraordinary promise in several medical applications as a standalone cannabinoid, as well as in combination with other compounds from the cannabis plant.

CBD or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound that interacts with the same cannabinoid receptors throughout your body that THC does.

While THC binds to those receptors, CBD does not.

Instead, it works to make that receptor more efficient by agitating the receptor to produce more or less endocannabinoids.

While THC introduces itself and begins to work throughout the body, CBD seems to help introduce endogenous cannabinoids, present within the body already.

Although CBD is commercially available and doesn’t require a medical diagnosis to purchase, many CBD products are highly unregulated and can contain many other chemicals and compounds not from the cannabis plant.

Should I Use Medical Marijuana or CBD?

CBD is a medical marijuana product, and it is often included as one of the top ingredients in many medical marijuana products.

In fact, CBD is commonly found in very high concentrations within medical marijuana products because CBD is a receptor-agitator and inhibits the strength of THC’s psychoactive effects.

Often medical patients take a ratioed dosage of THC:CBD in combination with other compounds and terpenes that produce the famous entourage effect.

THC and CBD both have strong anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties and can work together with other compounds to produce a very effective treatment option.

While THC is psychoactive, CBD can help mitigate the intensity of those psychoactive effects, allowing THC’s other medical benefits to shine, while reducing the potential for a negative experience.

CBD can have excellent therapeutic value for pain relief, anxiety, seizure reduction, and many more conditions.

Unfortunately, because of the limited regulation on commercially available CBD products in the United States, not every CBD company is the same, and not every CBD product is safe for consumption.

Why is Medical Marijuana Better Than CBD?

Medical marijuana products are highly regulated and are observably a better alternative for patients with health conditions that cause them to be exceptionally vulnerable.

Precise dosages and exact ingredients in medical marijuana products are especially important for chronically and terminally ill patients, and special care should be considered for the medication they will consume.

It is recommended that patients with such conditions should purchase CBD products from medical marijuana retailers.

For many, exact ingredients and precise dosages will be important when considering CBD as a medicine. CBD as a standalone product is often taken for anxiety, inflammation, and pain relief, and to treat those symptoms the product needs to contain only the appropriate ingredients.

Many manufacturers add synthetically derived terpenes, chemical additives for vaping products, and even toxic chemicals like dextromethorphan to tinctures.

Because of the limited rules and regulations surrounding these products, manufacturers do not have the same considerations for public health and safety that medical grade manufacturers are bound by.

Because of this, it is recommended that CBD products are only purchased from a safe and reliable retailer, and for those looking to treat symptoms of medical conditions CBD should only be purchased from a medical marijuana retailer.

Medical Cannabis in Tennessee

Being a Tennessee cannabis patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.

Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!

We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at (833) 781-5611 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical cannabis card in Tennessee.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

At Tennessee Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (833) 781-5611, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Tennessee Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information!

38 views0 comments


bottom of page