Cannabis vs Hemp


As we mentioned earlier in the article, the chemical output of both hemp and marijuana are fairly similar – While hemp may not produce less THC than it’s marijuana relatives that doesn’t mean it produces zero THC. Hemp, instead, primarily produces CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. And even though it won’t get you high, when examining hemp, CBD has a wide array of potential medical applications.

CBD, Hemp and Medicinal Value

Hemp derived CBD is often found in the form of products such as CBD oil or CBD tinctures, both designed to be consumed; industrial hemp buds can also be smoked for their CBD content, if so desired. We talk more about the non-intoxicating properties of CBD in our article “CBD vs THC“, but CBD has been shown to have positive results in trials relating to a variety of medical conditions, from seizure to neurodegenerative diseases. And despite not getting someone high CBD is quickly becoming as important a part of hemp (and marijuana) cultivation as it’s uses as a textile.

It’s important to note, though both expressed from hemp, CBD oil and Hemp oil are not the same products. CBD oil and other CBD products are typically manufactured similarly to other THC concentrates, IE: from the flowering bud of the hemp plant. The buds of the plant are stripped of their cannabinoid content (typically via some fashion of chemical solvent) and sold as a concentrate of cannabinoids. Hemp oil is expelled solely from the seeds of hemp and, again, is often used for it’s nutritional value – Not because it contains any measurable amount of CBD.

Cannabis & CBD

Cannabis plants also contain CBD, though often in lesser percentages than their hemp relatives. This doesn’t mean the marijuana plant contains a minute amount of CBD, though, with ratios of up to 50% not uncommon. Though we know very little about exactly how these cannabinoids interact with each other it is believed they are both capable of working in greater harmony together, an action commonly and colloquial known as “the entourage effect”.

On their own both THC and CBD offer promising medicinal benefits, but research has commonly shown that both tend to work much more effectively in harmony, their combined effects equaling something greater than the sum of their individual selves.

Again, with what we think of as cannabis this isn’t much of an issue, as cannabis plants produce THC and CBD alike. For those taking a pure CBD product as a medicinal supplement, however, many have found that an additional ‘boost’ of THC helps magnify the medical properties of CBD several times over. An interesting conundrum, as CBD is also potentially a compound that can help people sober up from the effects of THC.

Though there are marijuana derived CBD products available rarely will they be 100% THC-free; CBD products that include THC are typically labeled as “full spectrum” on the market, and will only be available in areas where either recreational or medicinal marijuana use has been made legal. If keeping your medication free of intoxicating cannabinoids that will get you high is important to you, make sure to search out CBD products listed as “broad spectrum” or “isolate” instead.

Wrapping Up

Though the terms have been used interchangeably through-out history the modern definitions of hemp vs marijuana are one that deserve greater scrutiny, particularly as hemp and marijuana are used for vastly different things in our modern society.

Hemp and marijuana are both plants with great benefits, but confusing the two is to no one’s benefit, despite their genetic similarities and common backgrounds as Cannabis sativa cultivars. With hemp now federally legal for cultivation in the United States, and marijuana legalization spreading more and more every year, understanding the differences between these two plants has never been more important.

We hope our article on the difference between hemp and marijuana has been helpful – Remember, if you want to get high? Cannabis is your solution. But if you’re looking for a world of helpful industrial products, hemp plants have many things to offer. Until next time!

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