In recent years, there has been an increased interest in holistic approaches to health and wellness, in particular towards cannabis-derived products, such as Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Despite the fact that ‘Cannabis Oil’ and ‘CBD Oil’ both come from the cannabis sativa plant, these substances are not the same, but are distinct in their composition, effects, applications and legal status.
Cannabis oil, sometimes referred to as marijuana or THC oil, is an oil infused with a THC-rich cannabis extract. CBD oil, on the other hand, comes from the non-psychoactive chemical compound in the hemp plant.
|Low (Less than 0.2%)
|Legal Status in the UK
In this article, we break down the key differences between the two, so you can better understand what you should be looking for.
THC and CBD are isomers, which means they share the same chemical formula with different chemical structures. Despite both being cannabinoids then, this means they bind differently with the receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, and deliver different effects.
Cannabis oil can contain varying levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant responsible for a “high” or intoxication, whereas CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC which shouldn’t produce psychoactive effects. Instead, CBD oil is thought to work with other elements in the body linked to feelings of mental and physical wellness.
This is because THC binds to our CB1 receptor which produces the “high” sensation, whereas CBD doesn’t attach to CB1 or CB2 receptors like THC does, and thus doesn’t produce intoxication.
However, when CBD and THC are consumed together, it is thought that CBD binds to the receptors and blocks THC, which can mitigate some of the effects of THC. This is referred to as the “entourage effect” where taking THC and CBD together is thought to be more effective than either alone.
CBD oil is legal in the UK because it contains no THC, whereas cannabis oil isn’t.
In the UK, cannabis oil derived from the marijuana plant is subject to strict restrictions due to its potential THC content. However, CBD oil is legal in the UK, as long as it is extracted from industrial hemp plants, contains less than 0.2% THC, and has a Novel Food authorisation issued by the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).
While some people use cannabis oil for recreational purposes because of the potential psychoactive effects, CBD oil tends to be used for its therapeutic effects, such as pain and stress relief. Indeed, CBD oil has been linked to a number of benefits for our physical and mental health, ranging from support for ADHD symptoms to a natural solution for allergies.
In general, drug tests are designed to detect THC in a person’s system, not CBD. This means that your chances of a positive drug test result for CBD are minimal, however you could test positive on a drug test for THC.
Potential Side Effects
THC, on the other hand, can lead to intoxication effects, such as disorientation, dizziness and paranoia. More serious reactions can include panic attacks and psychosis, and high doses can lead to hospitalisation.
How Are Cannabis Oil and CBD Oil Similar?
Due to their almost identical chemical makeup, CBD and THC produce some similar effects — and can even work together to compound their benefits, otherwise known as the above-mentioned entourage effect. For example, both CBD and THC have been linked to pain, stress and insomnia relief.
Cannabis Oil vs CBD Oil: Which to Choose?
The legal status of cannabis in the UK means you should choose CBD oil instead of cannabis oil. It’s simple to take, adjustable to your specific needs, and seamless to incorporate into your routine.
Just make sure you purchase your CBD oil from a reputable brand that uses safe and certified processes, and is transparent about their ingredients and manufacturing processes — in particular as a 2022 Analysis of Over-the-Counter Cannabidiol Products in the United Kingdom found that of 29 CBD products available to British consumers, only 38% of the analysed products were within 10% of the advertised CBD content.
At Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD Shop, we sell a range of third-party approved CBD products designed to improve the health and wellness of all our customers. Each product comes with a lab report so you know exactly what’s in it.