When most people hear the words CBD and HEMP, they think of marijuana. But CBD and HEMP are different from marijuana in effects, composition, and legality.
Let's take a closer look at the qualities that separate the two, including legality, effects, and the compounds within each. We’ll also discuss why understanding the HEMP plant and CBD products may be to your advantage.
What Is CBD?
There is a ton of misinformation circling about HEMP and CBD products. They often get lumped into discussions of marijuana and THC, which doesn't give the whole story.
CBD is derived from the HEMP plant, which is not the same thing as marijuana. Though they both come from the Cannabis sativa L. species, HEMP plants are biologically unique compared to marijuana plants in that they are bred to have little or no THC. Because of this essential difference, HEMP-derived CBD is federally legal.
Products made from HEMP are non-psychoactive - the plant doesn't create mental effects that could be considered intoxicating. The reason is that CBD only contains 0.3% or less of the cannabinoid THC, which is the intoxicating compound found in cannabis.
HEMP plants are used for a number of purposes: food, supplements, fabrics, and more. The plant contains higher levels of CBD and other potentially beneficial compounds, so it's also utilized in wellness products.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana also comes from the Cannabis sativa L. plant, but marijuana plants are selectively bred to contain higher levels of THC. Any plant with more than 0.3% THC is considered marijuana. Usually, the THC level in these plants is somewhere between 5% and 30%.
Marijuana plants contain the same 60+ cannabinoids present in HEMP, but the addition of THC makes them intoxicating. With that, they're used for recreational and medicinal purposes.
Unlike CBD and HEMP, marijuana is federally illegal. It's legal in several select states, and legality is on the rise, but for now, it falls under the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S.
The harvest of marijuana also focuses mainly on the flowers, not the leaves, seeds, or fibers. It falls under the jurisdiction of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.
Marijuana vs. CBD and HEMP
To sum it up, there are three main differences:
- Legality: In the U.S., marijuana is mostly illegal, while CBD is legal.
- THC content: CBD has less than 0.3% THC and is not an intoxicant. Marijuana has intoxicating effects with more than 0.3% THC.
- Use: Marijuana is used medicinally and recreationally. HEMP plants have thousands of purposes, including supplements, fabrics, and wellness products.
As people learn about CBD's potential benefits, we see more products available for consumers. And, select brands are using innovative nanotechnology to safely produce more effective, fast-acting CBD products with much higher bioavailability.