cbd versus cannabis oil

The Difference Between CBD oil and Cannabis oil

By Patrick Eley


CBD (cannabidiol) oil and cannabis oil are not the same. All varieties of hemp and may types of cannabis fall under the species, Cannabis Sativa.1 Scientists argue about exactly how many varieties of Cannabis Sativa exist, but hemp has distinct characteristics. A heartier plant great for textiles, hemp contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids, but never more than 0.3% THC. 

Cannabis containing higher concentrations of THC is federally illegal right now, a gray area with many states no longer enforcing prohibitive laws. Over half of the states now have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana. Mexico and Canada have recently decriminalized cannabis use completely. 


Hemp has a storied history not only as a medicine but as an industrial fiber reaching back millennia, even being grown by founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. Today, hempseed is a popular protein supplement, being one of the few vegan complete proteins and also an excellent source of dietary fiber and omega-three fatty acids. It is an extremely eco-friendly textile, grows without added water in many parts of the country, and self-pollinates year after year.

The essential oils of hemp contain over 120 identified cannabinoids, including a large concentration of CBD. While many cannabinoids offer benefits, CBD has received particular attention due to its substantial success in treating seizures. That attention made a whole new population aware of CBD who didn’t realize how many benefits it provided beyond those headlines. 

Cannabidiol has been shown in models to fight Alzheimer-like and Multiple-Sclerosis-like neurodegenerations, ischemia, sciatic nerve injury, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory.2 Many find it curbs anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia–without intoxicating effects. No euphoria, buzz, or high is induced as there would be with THC containing cannabis oil. 

CBD oil is generally derived from the “hemp” variety of Cannabis Sativa. Lawmakers now classify hemp as a completely different substance from “cannabis.” The DEA changed its classification of CBD from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 5 drug in 2018. The federal government reiterated in August 2019 that they do not consider hemp or CBD a controlled substance. 


Why would anyone use cannabis oil instead of CBD oil unless they were looking to get high?  THC is a potent anti-inflammatory in its own right shown to reduce symptoms of arthritis and depression.3 Possibly more significant than CBD or THC alone, cannabis oil contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and compounds known as terpenes.

Terpenes give plants their unique aromas and have a synergistic “Entourage Effect” with cannabinoids. Scientists find that the “Entourage Effect” creates more significant therapeutic potential in cannabinoids than when they are by themselves. Cannabinoids contained in cannabis oil in addition to THC and CBD show therapeutic promise. 

Scientists have already found potential in cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinol (CBN). THCV appears to improve memory. Cannabigerol may be a treatment for Huntington’s disease.7 Cannabidivarin acts as an anticonvulsant.8 All of these compounds exist in some concentrations in cannabis oil.

It’s not so much that Cannabis Sativa is a miracle drug. It’s more the human body was designed to utilize cannabinoids. Humans have an endocannabinoid system throughout their cells and tissues. The body’s cannabinoid receptors help calibrate inflammation, immunity, and nerve transmission.4 Since cannabinoids act as tools for the endocannabinoid system, it should make sense that cannabis isn’t something you can overdose on or is toxic to the body.


CBD oil has a distinct advantage if you are new to cannabis or don’t like the euphoria THC produces. Also, CBD can be taken in an isolated form if you need to pass a work screening for THC. With that said, the full benefits of cannabis are found exploring full-spectrum hemp and cannabis oils with their varying combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes. Both oils are produced using similar extraction methods to remove impurities and nonbeneficial chemicals. Both can be vaporized, consumed orally, and absorbed transdermally via creams and salves.

CBDinside is an independent, New York based CBD comparison platform. Many of the CBD products that appear on this site are from companies from which CBDInside receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CBDinside does not include all CBD companies or all CBD products available in the marketplace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to Top