Hemp vs Marijuana: The Real Difference Between CBD Hemp Oil & Marijuana

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Hemp Vs Marijuana

The Cannabis Sativa plant species is most likely one of the most interesting natural mysteries. Since ancient times, these plants have been grown for a variety of different reasons. Since certain species of the Cannabis Sativa plant can be grown relatively fast and at a low cost, people noticed that it made an excellent substitute for more expensive building materials.

Even today, we still use the hemp variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant family for making cheaper building materials. According to Cannabis Reports[1], hemp is also used in human and pet food, bedding, body oils, lotions, paint, lanterns candles, clothing, plastic, paper, fuel and more. Apart from the hemp variety of this plant, another very popular species is the marijuana plant, often referred to as the sister of hemp.

The marijuana plant is most popularly known for its high THC levels; thus producing psychoactive properties that cause a person consuming the plant to experience the famous “weed high”.

These plants contain hundreds of different chemical compounds, scientifically known as cannabinoids. While a large variety of chemical compounds are found in these plants, two particular chemicals seem to be more abundant than the rest, and also seems to be responsible for the majority of the actions that plants of the Cannabis Sativa family produce when consumed by a person. These two chemical compounds are known as CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

In this post, we are not looking to explain about the effects of THC, as most people already know that smoking or consuming cannabis plant extracts that are high in THC will cause them to become “high” and experience psychoactive after-effects. We would rather like to take a look at cannabidiol, a chemical compound of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is renowned for possessing a large variety of medicinal and therapeutic benefits that provides an effective alternative method for treating certain health ailments – even sometimes serious and life-threatening conditions.

We will be looking specifically at what the difference is between CBD that has been extracted from a hemp plant, compared to CBD extracted from the famous marijuana plant, and discuss whether any of these is truly better than the other.

Cannabis Marijuana Defocus Image Formula

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

We should start by differentiating between CBD and THC, the two most abundant and, of course, most popular cannabinoids that are found within the Cannabis plant species. While both of these naturally-occurring chemicals are classified as cannabinoids, there is one primary difference that sets them completely apart from each other.

This is the fact that THC is a component that contains psychoactive agents, while CBD does not contain any type of psychoactive agents. The fact that THC contains psychoactive agents is the main reason why many people seek out plants that are high in THC, since it causes that “high” that many people are familiar with.

While THC is appraised for its ability to make a person “high” amongst individuals who do experience the sensation brought on after smoking or consuming extracts that are high in THC, CBD is rather acknowledged for the many therapeutic effects that it has on the human body. Still, it is important to know that, even though these associations exist, THC still yields some powerful health benefits that people can take advantage of.

According to Healthy Living Benefits[2], the primary benefits of using products that contain a high concentration of CBD include neuro-protective features, as well as anti-convulsant, anti-psychotic, anti-emetic and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD is also a powerful anti-oxidant and helps to fight against the development and migration of cancerous tumors.

The health benefits of THC are also relatively abundant, acting as a appetite stimulant and a substance that promotes relaxation and better sleep. Additionally, THC has also been scientifically-proven to act as a powerful pain reliever.

Another important difference that should be noted between THC and CBD is the legality that affects the growth, sale and use of products that contain these natural chemical compounds. CBD is usually considered a legal substance in most parts of the country, but THC, on the other hand, is mostly legal throughout the world.

There are some locations where the use of products that contain relatively high amounts of THC is legal, however. According to Newsweek[3], you can currently legally use THC products in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington D.C. and Washington State, within the United States. More states are looking into implementing laws that will legalize the use of THC products, with California being the next to apply such laws.

THC Vs CBD

Why Aim for a Low THC / High CBD Concentration?

When people are looking for CBD products that they can utilize in order to assist them or someone close to them with the management with particular symptoms that are making their life less enjoyable, they often seek out products that have a high CBD concentration, but a very small THC concentration – sometimes no THC. This is usually done after reading more on how these products work, and what particular items to opt for when choosing to buy CBD oil for treating certain conditions.

There are numerous reasons why it is important for many people to opt a product that contains a larger amount of CBD and a low amount of THC. The laws governing the use of these products are often one of the primary reasons why people opt for such products. It can be quite difficult to find products that also contain a high level of THC, and if you do not live in a state or particular location where the use of THC is legal, then you could get into a lot of trouble – you may even face some time in prison.

Apart from the fact that the laws governing the utilization of CBD and THC mostly states that THC is illegal in the majority of locations at the moment, there is also some potential side-effects that could occur when someone takes THC. For a person who is not used to the “high” that marijuana can cause, experiencing this effect as a first-time while utilizing a solution that is high in THC can be quite frightening.

According to Leafly[4], one of the most daunting side-effects that products rich in THC may produce is paranoia and anxiety. These are the most common side-effects that people tend to experience when they use a CBD oil that is too high in THC. Yes, THC may assist with relieving anxiety, but when taken in large doses, it causes anxiety to be aggravated.

Apart from anxiety or paranoia as potential side-effects, many people who utilize products that are high in THC also complain about dry mouth, as well as dry eyes that may also become red. THC may also stimulate a person’s appetite; thus making them experience the “munchies” – this can cause excessive eating, which is bad for the body. Other potential side-effects include sleepiness, as well as impaired focus and memory.

Are there any Proof that CBD is Really Effective?

Dravet Syndrome

CBD oil has helped a countless number of individuals overcome certain diseases and health conditions. Many people had turned toward the use of CBD oil or other products that contain CBD as an active ingredient when pharmaceutical options did not work for them, and found that the CBD product worked faster and more effectively than the pharmaceutical drugs they were given, and often also find that the product that contains natural CBD extracts yield less severe side-effects than medication (in many cases, no side-effects was experienced at all with the administration of CBD oil).

One of the most famous stories about how CBD was useful in the treatment of a medical condition is the Charlotte’s Web case. This journey is now often dubbed as the “story of hope” within the cannabis community, and has provided hope to many people all over the world who is suffering from serious conditions. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly happened here and what Charlotte’s Web really is.

On the 7th of August 2013, CNN News[5] reported that a new strain of the Cannabis plant, developed by two brothers now often referred to as the marijuana industry’s “Robin Hood”, practically saved the life of a young girl who was experiencing as much as 300 seizures on a weekly basis. They continue to report that Charlotte, who is the little girl, started having seizures at the age of three months.

The seizures started to become more frequent and, soon after, occurred every single day. These seizures often lasted for up to four hours at a time, and Charlotte was constantly admitted to the ICU at the hospital.

At the age of five, doctors had basically given up hope for Charlotte. They have tried and tested a large number of different drugs, and the condition simply seemed to be getting worse. Charlotte was diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder, called Dravet Syndrome. Doctors did not know how to help the little girl anymore.

Finally, her parents took to the internet in order to find something that could work for their child. After discovering how another parent had stopped his son’s seizures through the use of the marijuana plant, the parents became interested in knowing whether their daughter could also benefit from the plant.

The only problem was, all they could find in their area was about two ounces of a strain high in CBD and low in THC. They bought it, extracted oil from the plant and started administering it to Charlotte – results were observed immediately, but they did not have any more of this specialized strain of the Cannabis plant.

Thankfully, Charlotte’s parents learned of the Stanley brothers, who grew marijuana strains that were low in THC, but high in THC. After contacting the Stanley brothers, a new strain of marijuana was developed in order to provide Charlotte with the compounds she needed. The strain provided a significant improvement in Charlotte’s condition, and today, she is quickly regaining her normal abilities. The strain that helped Charlotte gain back her life has been called Charlotte’s Web.

How can CBD be Consumed and Used?

Cbd Oil Hemp Products

One of the most wonderous factors about CBD is that it can be consumed in quite a large variety of ways. This means that every person who would like to turn to CBD to help them relieve pain, anxiety, get rid of seizures or help them in any other way, is able to find a particular type of product that is perfectly suited to their preferences and requirements.

Each of the product types that are available for the intake of CBD is different and unique in its own way. For this reason, it is also important for people to first become educated on these different types of products, and how each of these options works, before they decide which particular item they would like to buy to give CBD a test.

To give you a good overview of the different product types[6] you can choose from when buying a CBD extract, here is an overview of the most popular you will usually find available at an online store, or a local health store that stocks CBD products.

Tinctures – Tinctures containing a CBD-rich solution are by far the most popular way people are using this Cannabis plant extract. Tinctures are very convenient and they allow a person to be precise with their dosage; thus ensuring a person can gradually adjust their dose as their body becomes used to the CBD.

Tinctures also come in a large variety of flavors, which further adds to the convenience offered by this type of CBD product. We should also note that the solution found in tinctures is usually placed under the tongue, but they can also be added to food in order to avoid the taste of the solution.

Oil Concentrates – Oil concentrates that are enriched with CBD are also a very popular type of CBD product and often considered the “original”. These oil concentrates usually contain much higher levels of CBD than the other options that are available to the general public.

They are also relatively easy to use and conveniently small so they can be carried with you at all times. The oil concentrates tend to work effectively and very fast, and is also placed in the mouth and then absorbed sublingually.

Topical Creams – In recent times, CBD topic creams have become quite an interesting and popular topic as well. There are quite a large variety of options available in this category, including oils, creams, lotions, balms and more. The purpose of these topical solutions is to provide fast and effective, targeted relief of symptoms you may be experiencing.

The solution should be applied to the area where symptoms are present, such as the back, the elbow, the ankle or perhaps the knee. The solution is often combined with additional ingredients to make it easier for the skin to absorb the compounds found in the cream, and to further enhance the effectiveness that the product provides the user with.

Vape Oil – Another option that has been mentioned a lot in media publications recently is vape oil. This particular option provides a different method of internal use for CBD. CBD vape oil is specially formulated to provide an effective delivery system through the lungs. The oil is often found in cartridges, which is plugged into a vape pen.

The pen is then pulled similar to an e-cigarette, and then vapor is released into the user’s mouth. Vape oil is also quite effective and there are several different flavors available to suit the preferences of each individual customer.

Cannabis Extraction Capsules

In addition to the options we have mentioned above, we also want to note that some stores also sell CBD capsules. When it comes to capsules, there are some factors that need to be taken into account, as this particular option has various pros and cons associated with it. CBD capsules are most likely the most convenient method of consuming this substance.

You simply take a capsule whenever you need it, have some water with it, and you are ready to go on with your life. Capsules also usually contain relatively high amounts of CBD, which means they may not be well-suited for beginners who have not yet allowed their bodies to get used to this new chemical being introduced to it on a daily basis.

The fact that large doses of CBD are often found in these capsules also means that it is virtually impossible to obtain an accurate dose, since taking a second pill to increase your dose will double the amount of CBD you have been taking normally.

What is the Difference Between Marijuana CBD Extracts and Hemp CBD Extracts?

Now that we have looked at some important factors about CBD, including how CBD defers from THC, and how laws governing the use of these compounds affect the availability of products containing them, we want to take a look at the difference between CBD extracts from the hemp plant and the marijuana plant.

One of the prime differences between hemp and marijuana is the fact that hemp primarily consists of CBD and, should any THC be present, it will usually be in very small concentrations. Marijuana, on the other hand, rather contains high concentrations of THC, while the CBD levels are significantly low.

This is often viewed as the primary reason why CBD extracts from hemp is often preferred over those extracted from marijuana, since the THC content in marijuana extracts may be high as well. In turn, this could lead to psychoactive side-effects, as well as drowsiness, sleepiness and anxiety.

This, however, is not 100% true. Marijuana plants are often genetically modified in order to create new strains of the plant – and in many of these cases, the new strains are grown in such a way that the CBD levels are high and the THC levels are low. Thus, the CBD to THC ratio is not really something that people should be concerned about when it comes to determining the source of CBD extracts in an oil, tincture or another type of product they wish to buy.

Marijuana Hemp Cannabis

BioCBD explains that, in reality, there are no real differences between CBD that has been extracted from hemp and the same compound extracted from marijuana. They continue to explain that, when looked upon under a microscope, their structures are almost identical. CBD extracted from both sources provides the exact same health benefits to the user; thus, the structure of the CBD extracted from marijuana or hemp is also not what causes most people to opt for hemp – or most stores to only sell CBD oil extracted from hemp.

The real reason behind the fact that CBD hemp oil is the more popular one and widely used today is due to the laws governing the use of these substances. Since marijuana is traditionally higher in THC and contains very little CBD oil without any modification, federal authorities deem the marijuana plant as illegal.

Even when a special strain of the marijuana plant is grown, the CBD contents of the plant is still regarded as illegal (considering you are living in a location where marijuana has not yet been legalized). CBD oil extracted from hemp, however, is considered legal by most state authorities.

Conclusion

Cannabidiol extracts, also more common referred to as CBD oil, has become extremely popular in the modern day, providing millions of people with an alternative method of treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, cancer and even seizures.

These products have solid scientific evidence to back up both their effectiveness in alleviating numerous health problems that a person may suffer from, and to proof that they are safe and do not cause any harm to the human body. When it comes to buying products that contain cannabidiol extracts, the journey to finding a high-quality vendor may be somewhat difficult.

The laws governing the production of oils, lotions, capsules and other products that contain cannabidiol is quite complex. One of the most important factors that are mentioned in these laws and regulations is the fact that CBD extracts obtained from a hemp plant are legal, but when extracted from a marijuana plant, it becomes illegal.

In this post, we have described the primary differences between hemp CBD and marijuana CBD, and offered an overview of how you can buy CBD oil in your area without overstepping the law.

Image Credits
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In Post Image: shutterstock.com, infographicjournal.com
Author

Contributor : Dr. Ahmed Zayed ()

This Article Has Been Published on January 29, 2018 and Last Modified on December 10, 2018

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain Shams University. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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