Cannabis products that society once considered taboo are growing in popularity. As scientists conduct more research and lawmakers pass new regulations in favor of these plant products, the physical and mental health benefits are being brought to light, especially in regard to CBD and hemp products.
These two buzzwords may seem interchangeable, but there are actually key differences that separate them. Read on to learn about their differences and similarities, and become well-versed in the world of cannabis.
The Species of Cannabis
You may be surprised to learn that there are several different types of cannabis plants. Here are the three main species of plants that cannabis products are derived from:
- C. indica
- C. sativa
- C. ruderalis
While these are the three main plants, over the years different genetically altered variations have grown in popularity. For the sake of the two compounds that we will be discussing, our main focus will be on the C. indica and C. sativa plants.
Now that we have a better understanding of the different types of cannabis plants out there, let’s take a deeper dive into the compounds and characteristics of the C. indica and C. sativa plant.
Marijuana vs. Hemp
Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants, but they differ in which one they come from. Simply put, marijuana is the C. indica, and hemp is the C. sativa. The main difference between the two is that marijuana contains 30% or more of the psychoactive compounds known as THC. Hemp, on the other hand, contains less than .03% of THC.
THC is the part of the plant that creates the euphoric feeling known as the “high.” Because of this, manufacturers choose marijuana for THC-related products specifically for the benefits of the “high” users will get, while they choose hemp for ingestible products that won’t get you “high,” but do have a variety of other benefits.
Are Hemp and CBD the Same?
Since we’ve determined that hemp and marijuana are variations of the cannabis plant, we can discuss what kind of compounds manufacturers extract from each. We’ve already discussed the psychoactive compound known as THC, but one of the other compounds growing in popularity is CBD.
CBD is present in all variations of cannabis plants including the C. sativa and the C. indica. Therefore, CBD is a compound found in hemp that chemists can extract, but the two are not the same. C. sativa (AKA hemp) is the choice plant for CBD due to its low THC yield compared to C. indica’s (AKA marijuana’s) high one. Due to CBD’s low or nonexistent THC yield, it doesn’t cause any psychoactive reactions, or a “high” like THC does.
Manufacturers use industrial-grade solvents and a professional extraction process to draw out desirable compounds from the plant such as CBD. The oil that they extract is what manufacturers use to create products to promote relaxation, decrease stress, and more. Here are just a few of the most common:
- Tinctures & oils
- Oral pills
- Body oil
- Face masks
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