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Understanding the terms regarding cannabis can be a little puzzling, more so for those first time users. So, let’s talk about some fundamental definitions before addressing, is there a difference between CBD oil and medical marijuana?

Fundamental Cannabis Definitions

Cannabis is referred to as either CBD or marijuana. The plant produces various cannabinoids which include THC and CBD. Depending on how it is bred determines the levels and specific ingredients. Legally, products of cannabis that contain more than 0.3% of THC are suggested to be derived from marijuana. Products that contain less than 0.3% THC are suggested to be derived from CBD.

Medical marijuana is a term to depict products that have more than 0.3% THC and are taken for medical reasons. Along with other logically occurring compounds, medical marijuana products usually have higher levels of both THC and CBD.

THC occurs naturally in cannabis and is known to produce psychoactive effects that are typically related to marijuana.

CBD also occurs naturally in cannabis and is known for its beneficial effects and has no psychoactive effects.


CBD oil describes the extraction from cannabis that was purposely bred for its high content of CBD. This extract is typically used to produce products such as capsules, topicals, vape, liquids, gummies and tinctures.

CBD oils derived from CBD have less than 0.3% THC and were legalized federally in 2018 in the United States by the Farm Bill. Because of that you can now purchase CBD products in stores and online legally.

CBD oils derived from marijuana contain more than 0.3% THC and are viewed as a Schedule 1 drug just like marijuana. They are referenced as full extract cannabis oils or FECO.

Can CBD Oil be Medical Marijuana?

CBD oil could be medical marijuana if it is derived from marijuana and not industrial CBD. If CBD is derived from marijuana it would meet the marijuana definition and be used for medical reasons.

CBD oil derived from CBD would not be thought of as medical marijuana. Even though the products are also made from cannabis, they are derived from CBD and bred for containing high contents of CBD but they have to contain less than 0.3% in order to be sold legally without a license for medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana License Benefits

CBD oil products derived from CBD can be easily found and purchased online in all fifty states across the US. Although most people find these products to be highly effective, others feel the need for the higher THC products in order to be more beneficial.

If you reside in a state where medical marijuana is legal, then you can have access to a medical marijuana license to obtain these products.

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