Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis, CBD and THC
For those who are not familiar with this topic, the plant cannabis sativa contains hundreds of chemical components whereby especially two of them have been researched and studied for many years.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the more famous one among those two as it induces psychoactive and/or euphoric effects on the user. This is also well-known as a “high” sensation.
CBD (Cannabidiol) on the other hand, is a non-psychotropic substance that does not cause the same high sensation as THC. It rather has an enormous potential in medical and therapeutic applications and the attribute to support the body in many different ways.
The current scientific research results were so promising that many countries already have legalized the manufacturing and sales of CBD products. Of course under certain restrictions which can vary from country to country. One of those restrictions is that the CBD must come from hemp and not from marijuana.
Classification of Hemp & Marijuana
Even hemp and marijuana are from the same genus cannabis plant, these two terms have been adopted over the time. Let’s have a closer look about the differences:
Hemp or agricultural / industrial hemp is a strain of cannabis which is farmed specifically for industrial applications like fibers, papers, garments and of course CBD oils.
It has a high content of CBD but is very low on THC (which makes you “high”).
The hemp plant grows much taller than marijuana (up to 19 feet 8 inch / 6 m) and has an easily recognizable thin and bamboo like appearance. It is also very adaptable and grows without much effort under different climatic conditions.
Under the US Agricultural Act of 2018 (known as “2018 Farm Bill”), hemp and hemp-derived products, including hemp-derived CBD, were legalized as long the THC content falls below 0.3%.
Unlike to hemp, marijuana usually has a high content (pun intended) on THC which can go up to 30% and is very low on CBD.
Therefore, it’s mainly grown to harvest the buds or to extract resin from its glands or trichomes to produce weed, pot, hash or whatever you want to call it.
The plant itself is moreover a low and stocky bush (not more than 4 foot 11 inch / 1.5 m). Another difference is that it needs to be cultivated carefully in a controlled environment.
As we already learned from above, due to its psychoactive or euphoric effects it’s prohibited in many countries or obliged to strict regulations.
In the US and other countries where the same regulations may apply, it’s important to know that CBD which was derived from marijuana is still treated as a controlled substance. Even if the from marijuana derived CBD product contains 0.0% THC, it is not legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.