Medical marijuana (image)

Medical Marijuana: THC vs CBD

Submitted by Jeanie McDuffee, Simply Lavender LLC

You’ve probably heard people using abbreviations such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). You have probably wondered why there are so many names for marijuana. The cannabis plant can be bred into marijuana (containing THC) or hemp bred basically without THC. Hemp is used for its fibrous stalk to create many household items such as paper and clothing. Hemp seeds are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and other dietary needs.

Hemp contains CBD and provides therapeutic relief for a range of medical conditions. Research has found there are as many as 66 other cannabinoids that provide therapeutic benefits. What’s most interesting, though, is the synergy between these cannabinoids and the hundreds of other chemicals found in cannabis. The interaction of these chemicals is called the entourage effect. The entourage effect has sparked the use of whole plant extracts in cannabis oils and analgesics intended for pharmaceutical use.

A 2015 study1 by researchers in Israel showed the superior anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects of CBD-rich whole plant extracts. The researchers attributed their results to the entourage effect of CBD with other chemicals in the plant. CBD oils are gaining popularity because of their ability to medicate without any psychoactive effects. I personally have been able to use CBD oil instead of a narcotic for pain.

Researchers have identified more than 400 different chemicals in cannabis. Some of them include amino acids, ketones, limonene, linalool and other terpenes. Recent research suggests that the synergistic effects of the compounds in cannabis—with terpenes in particular—often counter the less-desired effects of cannabis. For example, linalool, a terpene found prominently in lavender, helps reduce anxiety. Why am I sharing the chemical components? Because they are the same components found in many essential oils.

Like CBD oils, cannabis sativa essential oil is now available in all 50 states. There is no need for a card because they contain almost no THC. Cannabis sativa essential oil is steam-distilled and therefore does not contain enough THC for psychoactive effects. The essential oil can be used for pain relief, reduce side effects of chemotherapy, reduce muscle spasms, lower blood pressure; and relieve symptoms of asthma, constipation, depression, epilepsy and insomnia.

Please be your own best advocate and research what is best for you. I have only scratched the surface of information in this article. Don’t be afraid to talk with medical professionals as the stigma associated with medical marijuana has been dwindling. Feel free to contact me about making a personal essential oil blend for you.


1. Referenced study here:

Further information taken from: and Cannabis Sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules by Christelle M. Andre, Jean-Francois Hausman, and Gea Guerriero

Simply Lavender LLC makes proprietary aromatherapy blends. Jeanie McDuffee is a certified aromatherapist from NY and has been practicing for 15 years. She works from home, just give her a call at (607) 345-1474. Find her website and online store at She offers classes at Northland Pioneer College in Show Low.