Cannabis vs CBD Oil: Everything you need to know.

Abbie T
4 min readMar 12, 2020


With so many cannabis products lately it’s hard to know which is which? When you actually investigate, it turns out Cannabis and CBD Oil are not the same thing. Really?? you say — I can’t be the only one who thought CBD Oil was just cannabis with a new marketing name. I thought CBD Oil was just a way to sell Cannabis legally. But no, these are two different substances.

Cannabis is Marijuana, what we like to call weed, or pot. Cannabis contains CBD and other chemicals. CBD is simply a chemical found in cannabis, it is this chemical that has been isolated from the cannabis plant to produce a new product. CBD produces slightly different effects to Cannabis. The full name for CBD is cannabidiol, but this has been shortened to CBD which is now its common name.

Before I consider the merits of both, I need to give you some background. The Cannabis plant contains over 100 different chemicals. The most abundant chemical in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant chemical in cannabis. Manufacturers are producing CBD as a stand-alone product as it does not contain THC which is the chemical that can cause a few negative mental reactions if you are sensitive. THC will make you high but it can also trigger anxiety, paranoia and other mental disorders. CBD still makes you feel high, in that it produces feelings of relaxation and stress relief, but it does it without involving THC.

All cannabis, that is both recreational cannabis that you buy from local dealers, medical cannabis and legally sold cannabis has THC. THC is the chemical responsible for feelings of:

  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • loss of motivation
  • dizziness
  • increased appetite
  • loss of coordination
  • shallow breathing

CBD does not cause any of these mind-altering effects because it does not contain THC.

This sounds great, why don’t we all switch to CBD, and avoid THC. You have to be aware the high experienced by substances containing THC is different to the high experienced by CBD. CBD causes an uplifting feeling, it calms the mind but a THC high is more potent, causing more of a mind opening experience both positive and potentially negative. With CBD, users report feeling happy or calm whereas cannabis produces a stoned effect.

Whilst adopting CBD and leaving cannabis behind seems ideal, there are reasons why legal cannabis can still be an important way to self medicate or self develop.

Medical cannabis has less THC than recreational cannabis so less negative downsides but it still has the positive aspects of THC that CBD products lack. Good grade cannabis is a better quality product than CBD. It has more quality control and research compared to CBD. CBD is still being trialled, we are still learning how to produce it to an acceptable standard and there is less regulation and knowledge in general about CBD so it is still an untested product compared to cannabis, and the quality of the CBD you can purchase varies. You’ll need to do a bit more homework with CBD compared to cannabis.

CBD products also generally do not contain satisfactory levels of CBD. It is medical cannabis that contains more effective amounts of CBD. Many over the counter CBD products only contain 25mg-400mg CBD per bottle. You need to choose a CBD product with an effective amount of CBD to make it worthwhile. Finding a dose level of CBD that is effective for you is part of jumping into the CBD world.

The research for cannabis and medical cannabis also makes it at present a more worthwile choice for some. Medical cannabis has been proven to provide pain relief and be effective in treating a host of medical complaints. Whilst doctors are positive about the effects of CBD, it hasn’t yet been proven by research to be as effective as Medical cannabis.

So which should you choose? Cannabis is important in helping with medical conditions, including arthritis, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. It is effective at relieving pain and giving you a real strongly felt high. CBD is more useful for general wellness, to feel calmer or less anxious, to help with falling asleep, or to get rid of muscle cramps such as period pains. CBD is easier to purchase, is safer to take than cannabis due to no THC content, and you won’t need to get a prescription. The choice depends on what you are looking for. Someone who needs a substantial high or to have a more mind altering experience should opt for cannabis. Someone wanting to avoid the negative effects of THC or wanting help with mood and anxiety should try CBD.

  • For general wellness, feel calm, relaxed, CBD
  • For medical condition, pain management, strong high, cannabis.