Consumers new to the potential health benefits of CBD are often confused about the difference between hemp and cannabis, as well as the difference between THC and CBD. These terms are defined below.
Marijuana vs. Hemp:
Marijuana and hemp are both plants of the Cannabis species. Over the centuries, marijuana was cultivated and propagated to increase the psychoactive compound THC. During the same period, hemp was bred and cultivated for its numerous industrial benefits. Although there are no psychoactive properties related to hemp, the government banned both cannabis plants with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Hemp has thousands of industrial uses, including paper, clothing, rope, canvas, and even concrete (hempcrete). Due to its uniquely strong fibers, hemp was extensively used during WWII. Only recently have states come around to legally distinguish and regulate the two different plants, and also the legality of hemp products that have extremely low amounts of THC and are thus non-psychoactive.
THC vs. CBD:
Different strains of cannabis and hemp have been bred genetically to produce different amounts of the two cannabinoids. Marijuana cultivars contain high THC and low CBD content, whereas hemp has been bred to contain much higher CBD content compared to THC. The trace amount of THC in hemp is manifested by the non-psychoactive properties of hemp. CBD has recently gained widespread interest due to its many purported health benefits.
Hemp and Hemp Extracts:
There are many misconceptions regarding hemp and its various extracts. Hemp seeds can be highly processed for industrial purposes such as lubricants, biofuel, paints and plastics. This is referred to as Hemp Seed Oil. Another form of hemp extract is labeled broad-spectrum hemp oil due to its high content of the numerous cannabinoids in hemp, many of which have been shown to have benefits. Many studies have shown that these cannabinoids act synergistically when present together, which means they enhance the properties seen with individual cannabinoids. This highly-rich form of hemp oil is used for its nutritional values (good source of Omega fatty acids, essential vitamins and flavonoids) as well as its reported health benefits.