CBD, what is it?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is one of more than 60 compounds found in both hemp and cannabis. It acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, creating physical changes in the body, which can be beneficial in many ways. Scientific and clinical research, much of it sponsored by the US government, underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere.
What is the difference between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD?
It’s important to understand that CBD is the same whether it is from hemp or cannabis. The only difference between the two is the levels of CBD and THC. Cannabis and hemp differ in the levels of naturally occurring THC that they contain. Hemp has high levels of CBD and negligible levels of THC and vice versa for cannabis. THC is a cannabinoid like CBD. However, its properties are very different and often antagonistic to the effects of CBD. Hemp is naturally high in CBD and low in THC; the reverse is true of cannabis. In fact, hemp contains only about 0.3% – 1.5% THC, while cannabis contains about 5% – 10% or more THC.
CBD has positive implications in a vast number of illnesses and has been shown to boost general health, hair and skin. Research isn’t conclusive here, although it is strong, and in the coming years, we are expecting to see more and more evidence. THC, on the other hand, can benefit other disorders but comes with drawbacks, such as the feelings of being high and possible induction of feelings of anxiety and paranoia and more.
As CBD’s medicinal qualities continue to make waves across the country, more states are starting to look into medical marijuana legalization laws so their residents can get access to CBD products to treat their debilitating medical conditions. If a patient lives in a state with no laws in place or no legal access to CBD products, he or she may feel as if there’s no viable alternative that can provide the same relief.
Here’s where hemp-derived CBD products come in. There’s been much debate suggesting that CBD derived from industrial hemp has the same properties as cannabis-derived CBD, making it a potential alternative for patients who can’t legally access medical marijuana but can legally acquire hemp-derived CBD products. CBD is legal whereas THC is not. To use medical marijuana, it has to be legal in the state that you live in plus you need a doctor to prescribe it. Hemp CBD is much more accessible and can be bought from many outlets. A lot of people aren’t entirely familiar with hemp-derived CBD, however. What exactly is there to know?
A few facts about CBD derived from industrial hemp:
- Agricultural hemp and medical marijuana both come from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant.
- Agricultural hemp, which is often referred to as “hemp stalk,” grows differently than THC-containing cannabis, and looks similar to bamboo.
- THC-producing marijuana plants are grown to an average of five feet in height, spaced six to eight feet apart. Agricultural hemp is grown to a height of 10 to 15 feet or more before harvest, placed three to six inches apart.
- Hemp has little potential to produce high-content THC when pollinated.
- As long as agricultural hemp plants are pollinated by members of their own crop, the genetics will remain similar with low levels of THC.
- There is a strong legal argument that production and distribution of CBD oils/products derived from imported raw material industrial hemp is not a violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA); in fact, one Colorado law firm has published a written opinion making the case.
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