Cannabis, Hemp, & Marijuana. It’s the same. Just different.
It’s one of the first questions our team will field when interacting with someone unfamiliar with the hemp world. “But it’s like weed right?” Our answer often goes something like, “Well, kind of, but not really.” The answer to that question is really quite simple, but it requires a bit of explanation.
Hemp and Marijuana (weed) both come from a line of plants commonly known as cannabis. For decades, while there was little awareness or use of industrial hemp, the term cannabis was used almost exclusively for marijuana. While it’s not untrue that marijuana is a cannabis plant, that doesn’t tell us much of the story.
It’s not the cannabis attributes that make a plant potentially dangerous or concerning. Rather, it’s components inside the marijuana variety of cannabis that cause concern for some, particularly a specific set of cannabinoids. The most popular of these components is tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. This is the element that causes a “high” or a psychedelic reaction when marijuana is smoked or ingested.
Perhaps the most significant difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount at which this THC is present. In marijuana THC levels could be 5-35%. Hemp, on the other hand, houses less than .5% THC.
And Then There’s CBD
“But what about CBD?” You ask.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is rapidly gaining popularity as a pain reliever, anxiety medication, and stress relief, among other uses. Together, CBD and THC make up just two of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in cannabis plants.
So why all the concern?
The human body has receptors for cannabinoids in every major organ system and naturally produces a good number of them. The primary objective of these systems to help the body find a healthy balance of key systems. If we come into contact with additional sources of cannabinoids our bodies will react, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. Supplementing your body with any one of these extra cannabinoids each carries its own potential risks and benefits.
As it stands, there are massive numbers of studies out around the effects, long-term impact, and effective dosing sizes for CBD. Early indications are trending very positive for a wide variety of illnesses and ailments ranging from anxiety to stress to pain and PTSD. New studies are launching and concluding almost daily, but many who’ve used the products for themselves are singing praises for the positive impact it’s had on their lives.