What Is the Difference Between Marijuana and CBD?

You may be acquainted with the term ‘cannabis’ as the recreational drug known as marijuana or pot. Whenever we hear the word ‘cannabis’, the image that emerges in our mind is the burning joint or the bong filled up with white smoke. However, you cannot equate the term ‘cannabis’ with marijuana. Before revealing the difference between marijuana and CBD, at first we need to focus on the term ‘cannabinoid’ as it is the connecting point between these two.

What is cannabinoid?

In the cannabis sativa plant, you may find more than 480 natural components among which nearly 66 are classified as ‘cannabinoids’ chemicals. Whenever someone talks about marijuana substance, it directly indicates to THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. The reason for recognizing marijuana as THC is that this substance is mainly responsible for creating the cannabis’ psychoactive effects.

Apart from the primary psychoactive ingredient of cannabis plant, there are other ingredients as well such as CBG, CBC, CBD, CBN and CBNL that belong to different classes of cannabinoids. However, while THC is considered as the most powerful ingredient of marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD) is another major ingredient of the plant.

Since CBD is the part of ingredient for marijuana, we cannot formally differentiate it from marijuana itself. However, most of the people are acquainted with the effect of marijuana as the effect of THC. Therefore, it is better to focus on the difference between these two major ingredients of marijuana- CBD and THC.

Most of the strains of marijuana occur due to the use of high level THC whereas the strains of high-level CBD are not so common. However, as per the recent studies, CBD oil has attracted much attention from the medical community, as they prefer it to THC. Let’s explore the difference between these two compounds of marijuana.

The High Effect

While THC is classified as marijuana compound containing psychoactive effect, CBD is categorized as non-psychoactive agent. Therefore, you cannot get high by taking CBD. While the first ingredient is used for the recreational purpose that is harmful enough, the later is used as medical marijuana that is used by the doctors for its minimal side effects. Even CBD is being used on younger children for the treatment of different ailments.


While people feel anxious and paranoid after taking THC, they feel just the opposite after taking CBD. In fact, research shows that the anxiety occurred due to ingesting THC, can be eliminated by the counteract effects of CBD.


When people get high due to psychosis effects of marijuana or more specifically the effects of THC, the non-psychoactive agent CBD can protect them because of its antipsychotic properties. That’s why people who are suffering from schizophrenia, can be treated with CBD as an antipsychotic medicine.


Marijuana is most commonly used as a sleep aid because of the sleep inducing effect of THC. On the other hand, CBD is responsible for promoting wakefulness and therefore, CBD is a poor choice for sleep medicine.

Legal Status

There are differences in the legal status between these two compounds. Where most of the countries follow strict restriction about marijuana and THC, it is minimized for CBD. Although the later is technically illegal due to its classification as Schedule I drug, however, researches prove that it is going to clarify the FDA testing for the treatment of epilepsy on children.

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