What You Need to Know about Medical Cannabis and CBD Oil

You’ve probably heard quite a bit about medical cannabis and CBD oil in relation to various diseases and illnesses lately. As they become more legal across the United States, it’s important to note the differences between the two, the benefits of each, and what they can actually help with.

What’s the Difference Between Medical Cannabis and CBD Oil?

Although both medicinal cannabis and CBD oil derive from the same plant, the cannabis plant, and both have active compounds known as cannabinoids, they have slightly different effects and uses.

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the plant and contains a high ratio of THC (also known as tetrahydrocannabinoil). THC is the compound that is famous for that “high” that is associated with cannabis. It also has a number of health benefits that we will discuss shortly. However, not everyone has access to medical cannabis. In the state of Missouri, cannabis is approved for certain medical conditions only after receiving certification of need by a physician in good standing. In other states, like Colorado, the plant is fully legalized, while other states are still working through the logistics of medical options. It also remains illegal on the federal level. 

CBD does not have the high that comes with THC. The process of extracting CBD is slightly different than it is for marijuana. The plant first needs to be a strain that has a high amount of CBD and the oil is extracted from the buds, leaves, and stalks. This option is less controversial than marijuana as it doesn’t have the intoxicating properties, is not illegal, and is more widely available as a result.

Both marijuana and CBD have the capability to interact with your cannabinoid receptors, which results in a release of neurotransmitters. I call the neurotransmitters your “feel good” hormones, like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are responsible for talking with the rest of your body and have an impact on motivation, depression, sleep, stress, and pain.

The Benefits of Medical Cannabis and CBD Oil

Hemp leaf

There is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to the benefits of medical cannabis and CBD oil, but some options may work better for different health issues. Research is regularly being done into the advantages of these treatment options, but there have been plenty of benefits of the plant unlocked already.

For example, they may both help with:

CBD is also known for assisting with

  • Mental disorders
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Seizures

THC has been shown to help treat

  • Muscle spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • Low appetite

This is not the full list of medical issues that can be treated with CBD oil or cannabis either. It’s important to talk to your doctor before deciding whether to take either for your health issues as they may direct you towards the best option between the two.

You should also note that certain strains have different impacts on individuals. It may take you a little bit of time to find the right product for you. For example, sativa strains are known for increased creativity, alertness, and energy and are best for the daytime. Whereas indica is better for night time and works to stimulate your appetite, relieve insomnia and anxiety, and reduce pain. Hybrid strains can also be found.

The Side Effects of Medical Cannabis and CBD Oil

Although there are plenty of benefits when it comes to medical cannabis and CBD oil, it’s essential to talk about the side effects, too. CBD oil, as mentioned before, does have fewer side effects, but here are some you’ll need to note for both.

Some medical cannabis, or THC, side effects you may experience include:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Higher heart rate

The side effects of CBD are less clear as research has shown they may actually be caused by drug-to-drug interactions. However, it is still important to note them.

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diarrhea

Always talk to your doctor before taking multiple drugs, and that includes CBD oil or medical marijuana.

Medical cannabis and CBD oil have plenty of benefits for individuals already, and more are constantly being uncovered. Which you have access to depends on your locale but also your specific medical condition. If you’re not sure where to start or which is best for you, it’s essential that you speak with a doctor before making a decision.

Do you have a question about the benefits, the pros, or the cons of taking medical cannabis or CBD oil? We’d love to help. You can contact us by calling 816-888-5200 or through the form on our website here.