Healthcare Technology Featured Article

September 13, 2021

Health Benefits and Differences between CBD, Marijuana, and THC Concentrates

As the laws regarding cannabis are changing across the states and in other countries around the world, more people are starting to discover the benefits of the weed along with the variety of products and derivatives that come from it.

As legal dispensaries open up across Canada and the states, medical marijuana, along with recreational cannabis and CBD products, are easier to obtain than ever. However, there can be confusion as to what all these different products do, and how best they can be used. Indeed, there may be benefits to marijuana that you don’t even know.

This article will try to explain some of the differences between the products available today, the different ways that they can be used, and the health benefits when applicable.

Why are there so many different types of cannabis and marijuana products now?

One of the first ways that the laws surrounding cannabis changed, was to allow patients to receive marijuana by prescription to relieve various symptoms.

In the UK, medical marijuana is generally only prescribed for two or three different ailments, but in the US and Canada, many people are benefiting from these law changes. In the US alone, there are more than 3.5 million medical marijuana patients. Canadian patients can visit establishments such as Canna Cabana Dispensaries, and in the US there are 36 states to choose from to get medical marijuana.

The problem is, that not everyone likes smoking which traditionally has been the way that most people ingest marijuana. Therefore, once different regions decriminalized cannabis, manufacturers got wise and started to produce different products.

Also, not everyone wants to ingest THC either. For some, the main reason for using cannabis derivatives is purely to obtain the health benefits that CBD offers.

What are some of the cannabis products available today?

For some people, the only way to enjoy marijuana is by smoking the dried flower, but many more prefer other methods.

Some of the varied ways that CBD and THC can be ingested today are as follows:

  • Cannabis breath strips
  • Frozen pizzas
  • CBD gummies
  • Tinctures
  • Lip salve
  • Coffee and tea
  • Beer and wine (alcohol-free)
  • Soda
  • Ice pops
  • Extracts or concentrates
  • Vape cartridges

Some of these products can contain a combination of THC and CBD, others only have the latter ingredient, and some contain very high levels of the former. For instance, THC concentrates such as butter, shatter, and waxes can contain staggeringly high levels of THC while having only 1 or 2 percent CBD.

Below you can see some of these products in a little more detail, and also read about what the differences are, and the benefits.

Cannabis edibles

These are often popular with anyone worried about the health problems associated with inhaling smoke. They are also popular due to their sheer convenience. What could be easier than popping a cannabis breath strip under the tongue and letting it dissolve away?

The list of available edibles just seems to get longer each day, and now includes such diverse items as ice cream and cotton candy. It is these options that make edibles a very popular choice for both recreational and medical-oriented consumers.

When it comes to the benefits, then there are several. Edibles are known for taking longer to take effect than inhaling, but the effects can last longer. There is also no smoke, and often no odor, depending on the edible that is chosen.

They can also come with minimal or no THC, so therefore someone can enjoy the health benefits without getting high. There are many ways that CBD works to improve health, and edibles can be used to help with a number of areas. They can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and improve appetite. Conversely, they can also help with weight loss.

THC Concentrates

This is an area that is gaining in popularity as the final product can contain very high levels of THC. Derivatives such as shatter or BHO are aimed often at the recreational user, although THC is known to help with both neuropathic and central pain too.

Due to the production method of some types of concentrate, such as butane hash oil (BHO), some states have declared the manufacturing process illegal. There are many options though that are not made with flammable liquids or solvents.

When it comes to the THC levels, they can be much higher than the flower. According to the Cannabis Training University, some THC concentrates have levels from 50% up into the mid 90% range.

Concentrates are ingested differently to weed and CBD too. Often concentrates can be used with vapes, or in edibles, but the most common way is a method known as dabbing.

This is where the concentrate is heated to a very high temperature where it vaporizes before being inhaled. As far as health benefits are concerned, the concentrate chosen could be used to relieve symptoms such as nausea and pain, although care needs to be taken as the strength may be much higher than the individual is used to.

Vaping cannabis and CBD

According to Medical News Today, the CDC has advised against vaping CBD due to the long-term effects not yet being clear. However, vaping remains a very popular way to ingest both THC and CBD.

Vaping has been popular for many years now as a way to ween people away from tobacco, and it is seen as being a much more sociable method of smoking. One of the reasons for this is the lack of unpleasant odors, and smoking cannabis this way results in the same benefit.

Health benefits for smoking CBD or THC products remain largely the same as far as pain relief or help with other medical symptoms is concerned. However, there are other benefits too.

There is no need to use tobacco with dried flower so therefore there are fewer carcinogens to worry about. This is also true even if you are smoking pure weed and no tobacco. Also, more of the THC is ingested through vaping than with a cannabis joint.

Many individuals claim that vaping cannabis tastes better than smoking it in a joint. This may be due to the temperatures involved and the terpenes being destroyed in a joint.

What are the healthiest ways to ingest cannabis and its derivatives?

As far as vaping and other methods are concerned, there haven’t been enough studies or enough time to ascertain the long-term effects.

Tobacco was first reported to be linked to lung problems way back in 1602, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that a definitive report was released connecting it to lung cancer. Similarly, it could be in the future that vaping is deemed to be unhealthy.

However, as there are many other ways to enjoy cannabis either for its health benefits or for recreational use, smoking or vaping aren’t always necessary.

Whether you want to consume CBD or a combination of that ingredient and THC, there are dozens of safe alternatives to choose from. So perhaps creams, drinks, and edibles are the best choice, although that will largely come down to the consumer.


With so many different ways to consume CBD and THC, it can get a little confusing, especially for the beginner. These are just a few products and methods that can be chosen as well as smoking. As the health risks and benefits are still only now being studied, it is difficult to know where cannabis will truly head.

For now though, if you want to avoid smoking but still enjoy marijuana, you can settle down with a tasty pizza and soda. Although you might find you have to start watching the waistline.

Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]


FREE eNewsletter

Click here to receive your targeted Healthcare Technology Community eNewsletter.
[Subscribe Now]