CBD oil has made waves in several medical communities because of its reported health benefits, but many people are confused about the difference between hemp CBD oil and cannabis CBD oil.
How Hemp Differs To Cannabis
While hemp and cannabis both come from the same genus of Cannabis plants, people generally use ‘cannabis’ interchangeably with ‘marijuana’ to refer to the drug that is often smoked.
Both hemp and cannabis contain over 60 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids work on our endocannabinoid system and produce various physiological effects. There are two important cannabinoids to note: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is psychoactive. That high feeling you get from consuming cannabis? THC is responsible for that. THC doesn’t just get you high, though: research shows it also provides relief for those suffering from pain, nausea, glaucoma, low appetite and erratic sleep patterns. While cannabis contains high amounts of THC, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC. In other words, cannabis should be able to get you high while hemp shouldn’t.
CBD isn’t psychoactive, but it has a range of health benefits. While both cannabis and hemp contain CBD, hemp generally contains a higher concentration of CBD.
Cannabis is usually associated with a plant called Cannabis indica, while hemp is usually associated with Cannabis sativa. This is because indica naturally contains higher amounts of THC than sativa.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Hemp = low THC and high CBD, while cannabis = high THC and low CBD. Seems simple enough, right?
Not really. Distinguishing between hemp and cannabis is tricky because we have to decide how little THC the plant has to contain in order to define it as hemp.
There isn’t a distinct point where hemp becomes cannabis, although many entities define hemp as containing 0,3 percent THC or less. This measurement originated in Ernest Small’s book, ‘The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics’, where he himself stated that the number was arbitrary. According to Small, cannabis and hemp shouldn’t necessarily be seen as separate plants, but rather, they fall on a spectrum. Because the difference between cannabis and hemp is a matter of semantics, some people don’t believe we should draw a distinction between the two at all.
In US law, hemp is defined as all parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant containing no psychoactive properties. At a federal level, hemp is legal and cannabis is not. Industrial hemp is a versatile plant, cultivated for its seeds, stalks and flowers. Hemp is used to produce paper, clothing and fabrics, construction materials and biofuel. Hemp can also be used to produce CBD oil – a useful product with a variety of health benefits.
The Amazing Health Effects Of CBD Oil
In 2013, a five-year-old girl named Charlotte Figly made headlines across the country. At the age of 2, she was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. By the age of 5, she was having about 300 seizures a week. She stopped talking and moving.
Her family tried everything to ease her symptoms, but nothing made a significant difference – not until they tried medical cannabis. They found a strain of cannabis that was low in THC and high in CBD, extracted oil, and gave it to Charlotte. Amazingly, it curbed her seizures – but her parents needed a steady supply of the right strain of cannabis to keep the seizures at bay.
Charlotte’s parents met with the Stanley brothers, a group of Colorado-based growers who cultivated a low-THC, high-CBD strain of cannabis. This strain was originally called ‘Hippie’s Disappointment’ because it wouldn’t get anyone high. Fortunately, that’s exactly what Charlotte needed – the benefits of CBD without getting stoned from the THC.
From here, the Stanley brothers and the Figlys worked together to produce a strain of cannabis called ‘Charlotte’s Web’. The Figlys used this to create CBD oil for their daughter. Charlotte’s seizures went down to once a week, and she began talking, moving, smiling and learning again. Charlotte’s story was told by CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, in an influential documentary called ‘Weed’. From there, many people – including parents of children suffering from frequent seizures – sought out CBD oil.
Charlotte’s case, while famous, isn’t totally unique: many parents are apparently turning to medical marijuana to find relief for their epileptic children.
The benefits of CBD don’t end with seizures. Studies have indicated that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, and analgesic properties. Patients use CBD oil for many ailments, including chronic pain, depression and anxiety, fibromyalgia, and lupus.
Because of these health benefits, several companies have created health supplements that harness the power of CBD oil – supplements that are now, thankfully, more accessible than they were back in 2013.
When Charlotte had her first dose of CBD oil, her mom sprayed a few drops under her tongue with a syringe. Nowadays, that’s not the only way to consume the oil. GreenGardenGold, for example, sells hemp CBD oil products in the form of capsules, shots, massage creams and more. CBD oil can also be vaped.
Photo Credit: GreenGardenGold
So, What’s The Difference Between The CBD Oils?
Charlotte’s Web is technically considered a hemp product because it contains less than 0,3% THC. That said, it was created by cross-breeding industrial hemp with cannabis.
Since CBD is contained in both hemp and cannabis, CBD oil can technically be extracted from either kind of plant. That said, hemp extract is generally higher in CBD, making it an excellent source for the production of CBD oil. Once again, we’re reminded that the distinction between cannabis and hemp is fairly arbitrary. The difference between hemp CBD oil and cannabis CBD oil can easily be a matter of semantics.
In the United States, the Federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits the use and sale of cannabis because it contains THC. The presence of CBD isn’t considered an issue in terms of US law.
Because of this, hemp is legal while cannabis is not – at least, it’s not yet legal at a federal level. Certain states, like Colorado, allow for the cultivation and sale of cannabis. In these states, CBD oil produced from cannabis is legal.
Here’s the thing: although cannabis contains higher amounts of THC than hemp, CBD oil – whether from cannabis or hemp – shouldn’t contain high amounts of THC. Neither hemp CBD oil nor cannabis CBD oil should have a notable psychoactive effect on the user. In other words, CBD oil should allow you to reap the health benefits without feeling high.
What To remember If You Want To Try CBD Oils
While some people swear by the benefits of hemp CBD oil, others prefer cannabis CBD oil. Some strongly recommend hemp CBD oil because there is little-to-no trace of THC in hemp. This means that it’s ideal for children and those who want to avoid the psychoactive effect. Hemp CBD oil is also more accessible – and legal – for most people.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Others favors cannabis CBD oil. On Project CBD, for example, Martin A. Lee argues that the presence of THC will actually enhance the health effects of CBD oil. This is because of what’s known as the ‘Entourage Effect’ – the idea that the chemical compounds enhance one another when they work together.
It’s also important to remember that hemp oil isn’t always the same as hemp CBD oil. Not all hemp oil contains CBD. CBD is specifically found in the stalks and stems of hemp, and not in the seeds. While there is anecdotal evidence that hemp seed oil has a range of benefits, it’s important to bear in mind that not all hemp oil contains CBD. If you’re specifically looking for CBD oil, remember that not all hemp oil will contain CBD.
Most companies will specify whether their products contain CBD. But, as in many different industries, some CBD oil manufacturers might mislead their customers. In 2015, the FDA issued several warning letters to companies that claimed their products contained CBD. In some instances, the products contained no CBD at all. Green Garden Gold have done extensive studies to ensure that their products hold the best standard possible. The Med Pac CBD Oil contains 4000mg naturally occurring CBD and lab tested for quality control.
As consumers, we must remember to do our research when it comes to the supplements we consume. If you want to try CBD oil, whether it comes from hemp extract or cannabis extract, ensure that it comes from a high-quality and reputable source. If you’re using CBD oil to treat or relieve a specific ailment, it’s best to seek the advice of a medical professional that is familiar with CBD. Visit Green Garden Gold if you want to learn more about hemp CBD oil and quality control.
Accredited: Sian Ferguson for Canny Media Network
Image Source: Societykush.com