Natural alternative medicines continue to grow in peoples’ interest and awareness. As more studies show the positive effects of specific natural remedies, people reconsider their pain management methods.
However, for those new to the idea of natural alternative medicines, it can be confusing to distinguish between them. For instance, you may hear about how medical marijuana helps people manage chronic pain symptoms but don’t know what sets it apart from CBD. Or perhaps you’re wondering what the difference is between cannabis and hemp.
Let’s look at some of the main terms and concepts within cannabis-related remedies and learn how they’re both related and different, as well as how each one can be used.
Cannabis: What Is It?
Let’s start our understanding with cannabis. Cannabis is a family of plants with different species among them. Specifically, it’s the plant most people think of in association with hemp and marijuana. Marijuana comes from one of two species: Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica.
One way to remember the difference between these strains is that Sativa is most often associated with uplifting effects like increased energy and mood elevation. At the same time, indica is associated with relaxation. This strain typically has higher amounts of CBD than Sativa.
The main chemicals to be aware of in both Sativa and indica are THC and CBD. These are the chemicals responsible for the medicinal effects we use this plant for. However, these two chemical compounds are very different.
THC vs. CBD
Although both can simultaneously be found in Sativa and indica, we use them differently and isolate them.
THC is responsible for the high associated with marijuana. Because THC is psychoactive, it can affect thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination, concentration, and our senses to some degree. This is also why some states made it illegal.
However, despite the psychoactive effects, research and patient reports indicate that indica strains are beneficial for sleep issues, chronic pain associated with certain diseases, anxiety disorders like PTSD, and inflammation. Sativa strains are helpful for mental ailments like depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, and other diseases like glaucoma and HIV/AIDS.
CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive properties. Instead, CBD is a group of cannabinoids that specifically interacts with a different type of receptor in the body than THC. It’s also more widely available, as you don’t need a prescription to acquire it.
CBD is excellent for treating milder symptoms in all the diseases and conditions mentioned above. It also comes in different concentrations depending on one’s needs.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp is another word you’ve likely seen floating around. We sometimes see it as an ingredient in lotions, cosmetics, and even clothing.
Hemp comes from the cannabis plant. However, it contains less THC than marijuana. According to the FDA, hemp’s concentration of THC (legally less than 0.3%) is too low to get a person high by the same standard as marijuana’s THC. So this is why we see it commercially used in a wide array of products.
Hemp is often referred to as the non-intoxicating varieties of cannabis harvested for fiber, seeds, and CBD.
So what is marijuana, then?
Marijuana is simply a type of cannabis with a high concentration of THC. All marijuana is cannabis, but not all cannabis is marijuana since marijuana comes from only one species of the cannabis plant. All hemp is cannabis since hemp can be derived from any cannabis plant.
So, both hemp and marijuana plants are considered cannabis. However, only one species (Sativa or indica) of cannabis is considered marijuana with high levels of THC. In contrast, hemp can come from multiple cannabis species.
Marijuana is used for medical marijuana prescriptions and requires registering for a medical marijuana card in a given state with a physician recommendation. Patients in Ohio must have lingering issues with an approved condition.
Delta-8 vs. Delta-9
Speaking of THC concentration in cannabis, there are two primary concentration levels people focus on: delta-8 and delta-9 (so named because of which atom they bond on, the 8th or 9th).
THC in marijuana is considered delta-9. While delta-8 and delta-9 are almost identical and both result in a high, delta-8 is only about half as potent as delta-9.
Furthermore, delta-8 derived from hemp is considered psychoactive to a degree but considered legal in some states since hemp is generally known to be less concentrated.
Putting It All Together
Understandably, it’s easy to get confused about the different parts, concentrations, and uses of cannabis plants. But it can easily be broken down by knowing the hierarchy of things.
- All hemp and marijuana come from a family of plants called cannabis
- Hemp can come from any cannabis plant
- Marijuana only comes from one of two specific species of cannabis
- CBD and THC are found in cannabis plants, although concentrations vary
- THC is psychoactive, CBD is not
- Marijuana contains more potent THC than hemp in general.
For severe health issues, marijuana may be the solution to managing symptoms, especially if traditional treatment methods yielded minimal results. It can help improve quality of life drastically.
The same can be said for CBD in milder cases. To get a medical marijuana prescription, you’ll need to see a physician first. Schedule an appointment with our experienced medical marijuana team today to see if a medical marijuana prescription is right for you. Our team can also answer any questions about CBD and help you figure out the proper dosage and consumption method for you.
If you’re already confident in taking CBD, check out our online CBD store. We’ve got several third-party-approved products to help you find relief. We’ve even got options for pets!
Living with any chronic condition is complex. But it doesn’t mean you have to accept significant suffering as part of your daily life. Cannabis-derived remedies can help you find relief so you can live life to the fullest.