According to The Hemp Business Journal, over the next three years, the CBD market is predicted to grow by 700%. Yet, in a survey conducted in 2016, only 5% of Americans know what CBD is. For an industry that is supposed to grow exponentially, it sure does seem like the public needs to become more educated on this product. We are here to help!
Cannabis plants contain 60, naturally occurring, active compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these compounds found in hemp and marijuana plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid and is associated with marijuana’s psychoactive properties. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” effect and can offer relief and benefits without the disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria. How do cannabinoids interact with the human body and why do cannabinoids cause different effects? To answer this question, we must introduce the endocannabinoid system.
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan poured tens of millions of dollars into a study to prove that marijuana damages the human brain. But, rather than showing how marijuana harms the brain, the Reagan administration ended up subsidizing a series of studies that culminated in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a collection of cell receptors and the corresponding molecules (agonists) in the human body. This system helps to regulate sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, immune function, pleasure, pain, reproduction and fertility, memory and temperature regulation. When the ECS is in balance, one experiences homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids are the molecules that act as chemical messengers that bind to cannabinoid cell receptors and tell the body to do certain things. The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids with the help of consuming foods like fatty acids found in nuts and fish. The 60 cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis also have the ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors. Although different cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) cause different effects, it is all through the same system that similar molecular messages are sent throughout the body. Put more simply, the molecules found in cannabis plants aid in the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for many vital functions.
The CBDistillery™ is legally unable to make medical claims in regards to our products, but would highly suggest doing further research. Here are some great resources:
Project CBD: //www.projectcbd.org/conditions
PubMed clinical studies: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=CBD
The statements made regarding CBD (cannabidiol) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products and the testimonials made have not been confirmed by FDA- approved research. These products are not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.
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A commonly visited topic in the cannabis industry and with The CBDistillery™ community is the difference between CBD, cannabidiol, derived from hemp versus CBD derived from marijuana. While some canna consumers argue there is no difference between the CBD produced from these two products, others passionately debate that CBD derived from marijuana is superior. So what are the facts? Below we explore the unbiased, scientific data regarding this subject.
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis species, but are grown for different purposes. Hemp – also called industrial hemp- is one of the oldest plants known to man, dating back to 8000 BC (1). The plant itself is typically tall and thin and cultivated to produce food, oils, paper, other textiles, and high CBD extractions. Marijuana plants, on the other hand, are bred for their psychotropic properties.
The cannabis plant species, which includes industrial hemp, contains 60 known cannabinoid compounds. The levels of THC in cannabis are what legally distinguish which plants are considered hemp and which are considered marijuana. High levels of THC (3 -15%) which is the most well-known compound in cannabis and is the cannabinoid most commonly associated with the plants’ psychoactive properties, is found in higher concentrations in marijuana plants, where as industrial hemp status is given to cannabis plants with THC levels less than .3%.
CBD in hemp plants vs. CBD in marijuana plants
Cannabinoid ratios differ from each cannabis strain. Whereas the marijuana strain in Girl Scout Cookies has high levels of CBG, the Sativa strain Durban Poison is richer in THCV. Neither strain is necessarily better, they just different in cannabinoid ratios. Similarly, hemp is a cannabis strain with typically higher concentrations of CBD, CBG, CBC and sometimes THCV but will always have low levels of THC.
Are all CBD molecules created equally?
The CBD molecule when isolated is the same whether it was derived from marijuana or hemp. Thus, the argument of the CBD molecule being different in marijuana and hemp is a misconception. Franjo Grotenhermen of the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines famously declared, “CBD is CBD. The human body does not care where the molecule comes from (2).”
To better understand this, think of drinking water from the faucet of your sink or a filtered water bottle. Although the purity of the water might be different, the H2O molecule is consistent.
Similar to the above analogy, what is arguably relevant in the debate between hemp versus marijuana extracts should be the purity and safety of the cannabidiol someone is consuming, regardless of the plant, it is derived from.
The Importance of Extraction Methods
There are various ways of extracting cannabidiol from a cannabis plant, each with their pros and cons. CO2 and ethanol extraction are two of the most commonly used methods. CO2 extraction, for example, uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to extract, preserve, and maintain the purity of the CBD oil. According to ProjectCBD.org, ‘when well done the end product is safe, potent, and free of chlorophyll’ (3). When choosing a CBD product, make sure the company uses a safe solvent and a verified extraction method.
A molecule is a molecule is a molecule. This theory is consistent when it comes to all cannabis products, including CBD products derived from hemp and marijuana plants. It is highly recommended when choosing a CBD product, to look beyond which plant the molecule has been extracted from and consider the potency, safety, and most importantly, the quality which is not impacted by what type of cannabis the molecule came from but rather the purity of the molecule itself.
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