The brewing debate on hemp vs. marijuana has created a lot of confusion among the general public. Many people believe that hemp is marijuana and vice versa. But, that notion is completely false.
Lawmakers and governments also add their two cents’ worth to the confusion. Hemp is legal nationally, but marijuana is not. Moreover, individual states have their own laws on both of these. In some cases, even the police have hemp vs. marijuana dilemmas.
But, if you’re planning to jump into the hemp vs. marijuana debate, you’ll have to know the facts. In this article, you’ll learn about marijuana species that have the highest levels of CBD. Also, you’ll discover how hemp and marijuana are similar and what sets them apart. In the end, you’ll get the answer to the question — where is your CBD coming from?
What’s What — Hemp vs. Marijuana vs. Cannabis
First, you have to differentiate the terms hemp, marijuana, and cannabis. People often use the terms “marijuana” and “cannabis” interchangeably. Both terms refer to the same thing, but the cultural and biological context is important here.
Cannabis is a plant that’s part of the Cannabaceae family. There are three well-known species of that plant: cannabis sativa, indica, and ruderalis.
The two most commonly referenced species are sativa and indica. To illustrate, sativa and indica are species of cannabis that you can smoke to get high. But, that’s a broad generalization.
Sativa commonly causes an energizing effect that can increase creativity and focus. It can also help reduce anxiety and stress. In contrast, indica has a more relaxing and calming effect — it makes you lethargic, at worst.
Psychoactive Properties of THC and CBD
All cannabis species contain different chemical compounds — cannabinoids. Those compounds can have different effects on humans, both negative and positive. The two most important compounds are THC and CBD. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD for cannabidiol.
So, what’s the difference between the two compounds? Well, THC can produce strong psychoactive effects while CBD can’t. Among other things, THC can cause delusions and hallucinations. So, people who consume cannabis to get high do so because of THC.
In contrast, CBD can’t produce a high, but it should have many healing properties. It may reduce pain, prevent seizures, and ease migraines.
Now, let’s see how THC and CBD relate to the sativa and indica species of cannabis.
In that regard, sativas often have higher doses of THC and lower doses of CBD. On the flip side, indicas have higher doses of CBD and lower doses of THC. But, lab tests show that the difference in THC/CBD levels in sativas and indicas is rather minute.
Since sativas produce an invigorating effect, you could consume them during the day. In contrast, indicas may make you drowsy, so they are better consumed at nighttime.
The third species — ruderalis — has very little THC and higher levels of CBD. But, this species is weak since it may not produce any effects. Because of that, there are no benefits to using it for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
In general, people believe that hemp and marijuana are species or types of cannabis. Some think that hemp and marijuana are just synonyms for cannabis. But, those broad generalizations are technically false.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is only a term that refers to different varieties of cannabis that can induce a high. In general, it refers to cannabis varieties that contain THC in quantities that exceed 0.3%.
As far as legality goes, marijuana is illegal in the US on the federal level. Additionally, the word “marijuana” has a sinister past. Evidence suggests that it once was a racist reference for Mexicans fleeing to the US during the Mexican Revolution.
Many poor Mexicans smoked marijuana at that time. So, politicians used the term to spread anti-Mexican sentiment. Not long after, “marijuana” became synonymous with crime, immorality, and shame. As a result, lawmakers passed laws prohibiting the use of “marijuana” to protect the public.
Even to this day, some consider the word “marijuana” racist, even though the connotation has changed quite a bit.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp, on the other hand, is associated with varieties of cannabis that have less than 0.3% THC. It’s a strain of Cannabis sativa; in other words, it is cannabis that doesn’t produce a high.
Mankind has been using hemp for over 10,000 years to produce all kinds of products. People use it to make food, clothing, fuel, and paper.
In terms of legality, hemp is legal in the US — on the federal and state level. The new 2018 Farm Bill makes it legal for companies to grow hemp and produce hemp-derived products, including CBD oil.
Where Is Your CBD Coming From?
You’ve learned that CBD is a cannabinoid that is found in all cannabis derivatives — hemp and marijuana. So, your CBD oil can come from either of these.
It’s important to note that hemp CBD and marijuana CBD don’t differ based on their chemical compositions. CBD is CBD regardless of where it comes from. Your body will react the same to either option. The only major difference between marijuana and hemp CBD is in the level of THC.
Hemp contains at most 0.3% THC and higher doses of CBD, while marijuana-derived CBD oil can contain anywhere from 5% to 30% THC. So, hemp CBD oil won’t make you high. It will just help you feel calm and relaxed.
In contrast, marijuana CBD oil comes with psychoactive effects. But, the high will be less intense. That’s because CBD counteracts the intoxicating effects of THC. Marijuana CBD oil is good for treating depression and relieving pain.
The legality aspect of hemp and marijuana CBD oils is more fluid. Since hemp is legal in the US for industrial use, hemp-derived CBD oil is completely legal. But, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, and so is marijuana-derived CBD oil.
In general, CBD oils that you may find on the open market are hemp-derived. People can buy them online from trusted manufacturers but would have to get their marijuana CBD oils from the dispensaries. Since marijuana is still illegal, marijuana CBD oil could also be illegal in your state. So, be sure to check the local laws.