5 Therapeutic Differences Between CBD & MMJ

In 2020, both medical marijuana (MMJ) and cannabidiol (CBD) are mentioned in the media, in advertising, and in everyday conversation more than ever before. Both MMJ and CBD have become treatments du jour for a wide range of ailments, from glaucoma to insomnia to chronic pain and even depression. Both substances are improving the lives of millions of people in numerous wonderful ways.

But what are the therapeutic differences between CBD and MMJ? This can be a confusing question for a lot of people, because the two substances are very intermingled (often quite literally) and are mentioned together frequently. Are they the same thing? Are they drastically different?

Well, the fact is that they are not the same thing. MMJ contains CBD, but CBD does not contain MMJ. So while CBD and MMJ have a lot in common, they often have quite different effects and uses. In this article, we will discuss the differences between CBD and MMJ.

MMJRecs - cannabis flower

Image by Seaweedjeezus on Pixabay: MMJ has many therapeutic benefits.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. It is a psychoactive substance that is used for medicinal and recreational purposes by people all over the world. The flowers, fruits, and leaves of the cannabis plant are harvested and dried to form marijuana, which can be smoked and inhaled, vaped, or added to foods and drinks.

A Brief History Of Marijuana

The cannabis plant originated in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Evidence suggests it was used for spiritual purposes in burial ceremonies across Eurasia since before 3,500 BC. It was introduced to the western world in 1842 by Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who researched marijuana while working as a medical officer with the East India Company in Bengal and brought a quantity back to Britain.

Marijuana was first made illegal in the United States in 1906. It remained a criminal offense to use marijuana nationwide until 1973 when, slowly but surely, states began to decriminalize the use of marijuana. In 2012, after much lobbying and deliberation, Washington became the first U.S. state to lift the ban on marijuana. Since then, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana, and 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.

What Is MMJ?

MMJ stands for “medical marijuana”. MMJ is, for all intents and purposes, the same as any other type of marijuana. The distinction comes only in its legal status. In 22 states, marijuana is illegal unless it is for medicinal purposes. In these states, it is not permitted to use marijuana unless it is prescribed by a medical professional.

What Is CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol. It is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the active compounds in marijuana. It is used for medicinal and health-boosting purposes.


Image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay: CBD is often used in oil form.

What Are The Therapeutic Differences Between MMJ And CBD?

There are several therapeutic differences between CBD and MMJ. These are important to understand, because they will inform your decision on which substance is best suited for your particular needs.

1. MMJ Has Psychoactive Effects

MMJ has psychoactive effects that are caused by the compound THC. Generally, the more THC a strain of medical marijuana contains, the more psychoactive it will be. While CBD is an active compound in MMJ, it is not in any way psychoactive. CBD, when taken on its own, has no psychoactive effects.

2. Treatment With MMJ Or CBD Requires Different Legal Considerations

A key difference between CBD and MMJ is their status under the law. MMJ is legal in 33 states plus D.C. MMJ is still illegal under federal law, although state laws hold sway and the federal ban only means that MMJ cannot be taken across state lines. CBD, on the other hand, is legal in all 50 states.

3. CBD And MMJ Provide Different Therapeutic Benefits

CBD and MMJ provide different therapeutic benefits. CBD is mainly used to treat pain, insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, and IBS. MMJ is used to treat a wider range of medical conditions. including glaucoma, chronic pain, MS, migraines, cancer symptoms, arthritis pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

4. CBD And MMJ Have Different Side Effects

The only potential side effects of CBD are mild diarrhea, tiredness, and a change in appetite. MMJ can have stronger side effects that include increased appetite, drowsiness, increased heart rate, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, paranoia, and exacerbation of schizophrenia symptoms.

5. CBD And MMJ Can Be Ingested In Different Ways

CBD is ingested mainly in oil form. CBD oil can be taken in capsules or added to foods or drinks. MMJ is most commonly smoked, but can also be vaped, eaten, or added to drinks.

How Do You Apply For An MMJ Letter?

The best way to apply for an MMJ letter is to have an online consultation with a licensed MMJ medical professional. MMJRecs is an online telemedicine platform that sets up consultations between MMJ patients and MMJ doctors in their state. Getting an MMJ letter is an easy and quick process that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Featured image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay

How To Decide Whether To Use CBD Or MMJ

If you’re suffering from specific physical or emotional symptoms, you might be interested in using medical marijuana (MMJ) or CBD products to help alleviate those symptoms. However, things can get confusing when it comes to how to decide whether to use CBD or MMJ. Both substances offer relief from some medical conditions, but a few aspects of their usage can differ. Keep reading for a breakdown of the differences between CBD and MMJ so you can make an informed decision.

What is marijuana?

Also known as cannabis, marijuana is a mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. It can be consumed in a ton of different forms, including cigarettes, water pipes, vaporizers, and even food products (called “edibles”). The main psychoactive or mind-altering chemical in marijuana is called THC. When it’s consumed, many people experience a feeling of euphoria and a sense of relaxation. Some people might also experience heightened sensory perception, an altered perception of time, and/or increased appetite. There are 11 states in the U.S. in which recreational marijuana is currently legal.

What is MMJ?

MMJ, or medical marijuana, is marijuana that is used for medicinal purposes. Currently, there are 33 states in the U.S. that offer legal medical marijuana. MMJ products are used to treat a variety of physical and emotional medical conditions, including but not limited to:


MMJRecs - marijuana plant

Image by Sam Doucette on Unsplash: Medical marijuana can help treat a variety of medical conditions.


Many people wonder, “Do I need a prescription to use MMJ?” The answer is technically yes. In order to get legal MMJ products, you are typically required to have a licensed physician in your state fill out a written form that verifies you have a valid need for MMJ. Some states also require you to apply for an ID card. The exact requirements for MMJ usage do differ from state to state, so it’s always a good idea to check with your individual state’s regulations before you act.

If you don’t have a physician who can help with the documentation you might need, MMJRecs is at your service! They can connect you virtually with a doctor who can assist you with your medical certification (as well as offer a way to get your ID card) so that you can get all set up to purchase MMJ products at your convenience.

What is CBD?

CBD comes from the word cannabidiol; it’s one of the two properties found in marijuana (the other being THC, the one that gets you high). CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana products and is sold in many forms, including oils, gummies, and extracts. Because of its lack of THC, you won’t feel high when you use it, but you can still feel its many positive effects, such as relief from pain, reduction in symptoms of anxiety, and lower blood pressure.

So, is CBD the same as MMJ? They’re similar in that they treat many physical and emotional symptoms, but the main difference is that you won’t feel high when you use CBD. There are also a few things CBD can help with that MMJ products can’t, including reducing symptoms of depression, decreasing seizures, and helping with psychosis. CBD is legal in 23 states. Another 14 states do allow CBD oil to be legal. There are just three states that have completely banned CBD products: Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

What are the differences between CBD and MMJ?

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I use CBD or MMJ to treat my symptoms?”, there are some main differences you should keep in mind.

  1. You do not need any kind of medical intervention to purchase CBD products if it’s legal in your state. In fact, it’s possible to purchase CBD products in many stores and online. You might want to try CBD products if you don’t want to get evaluated by a doctor (like you would need to do in order to purchase MMJ).
  2. There are basically no side effects when using CBD. Marijuana can cause increased heart rate, coordination problems, dry mouth, red eyes, memory loss, and slower reaction times. High rates of THC use (and long-term use) can also result in possible long-term psychiatric problems.
  3. Not every drug test will result in a positive for CBD use, but all drug tests will result in a positive for MMJ products.

So, when considering whether to use CBD or MMJ products, research which would better treat your individual symptoms and best fit your needs. Some people might find that CBD products work well enough to treat their issues (including things like easing migraines, decreasing seizures, and working as an anti-inflammatory). However, MMJ products might be a good option if CBD products won’t do the trick. For example, CBD products won’t help with increased appetite, but MMJ products can.


MMJRecs - cannabidiol

Image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay: CBD oil has virtually zero side effects, so you can always use it safely.


Bottom line: Both CBD and MMJ products are safe to use and don’t need to be monitored by a doctor in order for you to use them. If you’d like to limit the amount of side effects or don’t wish to have the feeling of being high, CBD products will work well for you. CBD is also legal in more places in the U.S. However, MMJ products are great for people who want relief from their symptoms along with experiencing a euphoric and relaxed state.

Talk to your doctor before trying any of these products to make sure they won’t interact with any other medications you might be on or other physical conditions you have. Then you can start getting the benefits of these products as soon as possible!

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash