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  • Jennifer Betz

How is CBD Different from Medical Marijuana?

Marijuana and CBD

Why Do You Need a Doctor's Recommendation for Medical Marijuana, But Not for CBD?

If you use CBD or have a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, you are already taking a proactive approach to your own health, wellness, and symptom management. Even though using a natural form of therapy requires more direct personal involvement than filling a prescription at your local K&B, you recognize that the results are well worth the extra effort.

Therapeutic cannabis products help you feel your best without some of the undesirable effects and long-term consequences of using standard medications. However, learning about how to use cannabis for your health may feel a bit like trying to navigate your way through a labyrinth.

One of the biggest sources of confusion is in trying to understand the difference between medical marijuana and CBD, and what the laws are in Louisiana regarding both. In this article, we answer some of the most common questions about medical marijuana versus CBD.

Medical Marijuana and CBD are Both Legal in Louisiana

Medical Marijuana Laws in Louisiana

Despite some of the toughest cannabis laws in the country and nearly 40 years of back-and-forth, the Bayou State was first in the Deep South to dispense medical marijuana. In August 2019, Capitol Wellness Solutions in Baton Rouge welcomed its first customers, and there are currently nine dispensaries serving every precinct in Louisiana.

Patients in Louisiana can access a variety of medical marijuana products including edibles, sublingual tinctures, distillate syringes (otherwise known as Rick Simpson Oil or RSO), suppositories, metered-dose inhalers, and topical creams at every marijuana pharmacy throughout the state.

You probably already know that you need a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor in order to shop in a Louisiana dispensary. If you are looking for someone to talk to about how to register, give us a call or schedule an appointment for an evaluation with Louisiana Marijuana Card.

Once you have your card, you can walk right into any one of the nine dispensaries in Louisiana and chat with a friendly pharmacist who will help you make your selection.

No worries if you are concerned about exposure to COVID or if it’s too far for you to drive. Governor Bel Edwards signed a bill in June 2020 that allows dispensaries to deliver to every precinct in their district.

CBD Laws in Louisiana

Some CBD formulas became Federally legal in 2018 with the Agricultural Improvement Act, but states have been slow to catch up with regulation. Louisiana didn’t clarify its stance on hemp-derived products until it passed HB 491 in 2019.

As a result of the bill, CBD is legal in all forms except those intended for inhaling or vaping. Products must meet stringent purity and labeling standards, and they can only be sold by licensed retailers. However, you do not need a recommendation from a doctor, and there are no limitations on possession.

Now, residents of Louisiana who are 18 and over can purchase CBD products that are certain to be safe, pure, and potent, from licensed retailers all over the state. For added convenience, you can even pick up your CBD at most medical marijuana dispensaries—and some may deliver.

Medical Marijuana and CBD Come From Different Plants - Kind Of … Sometimes

What Science Says About Hemp Versus Marijuana Plants

CBD can be extracted from hemp, or it can be extracted from marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are scientifically the same plant—cannabis. Different strains create different effects, but the categorization of effects for different strains is up for debate in the scientific community.

Legal Distinction is Everything

From a legal standpoint, however, hemp and marijuana are very different plants. Hemp plants contain no greater than 0.3 percent THC by weight, and they are legal in the United States.

Extracts made from hemp are not considered to be controlled substances, and they are legal for interstate commerce (so long as they are legal within the states where they are being bought and sold). Most of the CBD commercially produced in the US is derived from hemp.

Marijuana plants have a higher THC content than hemp plants, and marijuana is on the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances. That means that at a Federal level, marijuana and anything extracted from the plant (including CBD) is still illegal.

States, however, create and enforce their own laws about both hemp and marijuana. This is why Louisiana has its own medical marijuana program and stringent regulations surrounding hemp-derived CBD.

Medical Marijuana and CBD Have Different Effects

Now that we’ve covered what laws about hemp and marijuana mean, and you know the plant variations that distinguish between CBD and medical marijuana products, it’s time to take a closer look at how their effects vary.

Understanding Cannabinoids

CBD and THC are chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. CBD is hemp’s dominant cannabinoid, and THC is the dominant cannabinoid found in marijuana.

However, scientists believe that there are more than 100 other cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. You may have heard of or seen products containing CBN, CBC, CBG, or Delta 8. These are each separate cannabinoids, much like vitamins A, K, and folate are all separate nutrients found in your favorite salad greens.

What Does the THC in Medical Marijuana Do?

So far, THC is the only common cannabinoid known to cause a “high.” Its interaction with other cannabinoids in individual strains can affect the way it makes you feel, but euphoria is a common way to describe the feeling.

THC has powerful analgesic effects, it can help calm stomach upset, reduces spasticity, and may improve psychological conditions. There is a growing consensus within the medical community about the symptoms and conditions that THC can help.

What Does CBD Do?

CBD does not get you high. As a matter of fact, its side effects are few and mild. Most people don’t notice drastic changes—they just feel better.

CBD helps to reduce inflammation, induces relaxation, and it can help eliminate seizures. It is the main active ingredient in an FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug called Epidolex.

Can I Take Medical Marijuana and CBD at the Same Time?

Absolutely! When multiple cannabinoids are combined, they produce what is called an “entourage effect.” This alludes to the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. CBD has individual effects. THC has individual effects. Together, you get their individual as well as their combined effects.

Some people appreciate the fact that CBD can reduce the intoxicating effects of medical marijuana. While it’s completely okay to thoroughly enjoy your medicine, it can be a challenge to manage when you have other things to do. Taking CBD along with your THC-infused gummies or tincture can help you feel sharp and alert while tackling that to-do list.

Final Thoughts

CBD and medical marijuana products are both derived from the cannabis plant. While the science community is unsure of exactly how different hemp is from marijuana, State and Federal laws draw a clear distinction.

CBD and medical marijuana are both legal in Louisiana, however, and they are excellent choices for your natural wellness needs. Medical marijuana will generally produce a euphoric “high” feeling, while CBD may help you relax without feeling any loss of control. Taking them both together will produce the most powerful effects, and CBD may counteract the buzz produced by THC.

You need a recommendation from a doctor for medical marijuana, but you can purchase CBD at any licensed retailer with no recommendation as long as you are at least 18.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Questions Answered With Louisiana Marijuana Card

At Louisiana Marijuana Card, we strive to give you the information and support you need in order to make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved-ones. That’s why we are constantly adding new articles to our blog, and we take pride in our patient support services as well.

If you ever have any questions, need a consultation, or are looking for a medical marijuana recommendation, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (833) 253-2943 to talk to our compassionate staff. You can also book an appointment for a medical marijuana evaluation online by clicking here.

You deserve to feel your best every single day. Our doctors are happy to help you find the products and dosing that meet your individual needs to achieve the highest level of wellness possible.


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