This year a record number of people will take a prescription medication. Nearly 60% of American adults are using prescription drugs, and that rate is on the rise. The widespread use of these drugs has allowed people to better manage common ailments, like heart disease and diabetes. But this growing dependency on prescription drugs as a first resort has contributed to serious societal health problems like overprescribing antibiotics and prevalent opioid addiction.
There is a rapidly growing number of people who are instead turning to all-natural plant-based options as the first line of attack. The most versatile (and hotly discussed) alternative option being medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the multitude of benefits these natural remedies offer .
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CBD Oil vs Medical Marijuana
The popularity of CBD oil and medical marijuana has exploded as study after study continues to support the notion that these alternative options may really have benefits. Both CBD hemp flower and marijuana come from a cannabis plant and contain cannabinoids. However, CBD oil and medical marijuana are strikingly different.
The biggest difference between the two is the psychoactive (high/intoxication) effect. Medical marijuana contains significant amounts of the psychoactive compound THC. THC (and marijuana) is a Schedule I drug that produces a cerebral high many find unpleasant (depending on the individual) and is the biggest reason why medical marijuana is still illegal in many states.
Negative side effects of THC may include:
- Shallow breathing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased appetite
- Loss of coordination
While some people report no negative side effects using medical marijuana, for others these symptoms can be pronounced and unpleasant. CBD oil is remarkably different in this regard because it does not contain large amounts of THC and doesn't cause mind-altering effects.
Safety concerns can arise depending on how, and how much , medical marijuana is ingested. When medical marijuana or hemp flower is smoked, it carries the risk of carcinogens.
When medical marijuana or hemp flower is used as an ingredient in edibles, the proper dosage can become cloudy. It can be easy to ingest too little and not achieve the desired therapeutic effects or ingest too much and become ill.
The Legality of CBD vs Medical Marijuana
CBD oil is legal in most states (in some form), while medical marijuana is currently legal in only 29 states. In states where medical marijuana is legal, it can be difficult to obtain a prescription from a doctor if you do not suffer from a narrow list of conditions.
In Florida, for example, medical marijuana is only prescribed for conditions like epilepsy and Parkinson’s. Unlike marijuana, CBD oil is readily available without a prescription. However, each state has different CBD laws to be aware of.
Learn more about each state below:
We couldn't forget about
Puerto Rico either
CBD Oil vs Medical Marijuana Treatments
Many chronic ailments can be effectively treated by cannabinoids found in both marijuana and hemp. This is especially important when pharmaceutical drugs fail. CBD hemp flower and marijuana do have distinct qualities to differentiate their effects.
While there are medical indications for marijuana and prescription CBD like Epidiolex, retail CBD products are not intended for medical use and have not been evaluated by the FDA for efficacy or safety!
Cultivation of Hemp vs Marijuana
A license is required to grow both hemp and marijuana, and all states have specific processes to follow and laws to comply with. Hemp is more widely legal to cultivate than marijuana because of the 2018 Farm Bill. When it comes to growing hemp, hemp farms tend to be outdoor grows that do not incur the hefty costs associated with cultivating marijuana.
Buying CBD Oil vs Marijuana
Marijuana is only available at dispensaries in legal states. These dispensaries also offer CBD products and marijuana that comes with different ratios of THC:CBD. Buying hemp or CBD oil at a dispensary can be more expensive than buying it online though. Buying CBD oil at a local store is often the best way to make sure the product complies with state law. However, if your state's hemp laws are not too strict, you will definitely find hemp at a lower price online! Check out the Plain Jane Buyer's Guide for help selecting CBD and hemp products at low prices.