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A budding cannabis plant under artificial white light.

Hemp or Marijuana: what’s the difference?

You may know the difference between these two plants, but perhaps you don’t and that’s why you are here. Maybe you didn’t even know that the two plants are correlated or even that they are, in fact, plants. Either way, you are here now, so let’s refresh your memory and maybe give some insight into more information that you didn’t know was available. Hemp? Marijuana? What’s the difference? Can I benefit from these two plants? Or is one better than the other? Read on to find out more.

What is hemp?

To first understand what hemp and marijuana are, you need to understand what the Cannabis sativa plant is. The Cannabis sativa plant is a naturally found plant that comes in a variety of variations. Yes, you guessed it, that is where hemp and marijuana come in. Hemp and marijuana are two different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. These variations look the same but, when you look at the chemical make-up of each plant it varies.

Hemp is the variation of the Cannabis sativa plant that isn’t as well-known but is becoming more and more popular as time and research continues. As of 2018, the hemp plant is federally legal to grow and sell throughout the states. There are still states that have decided to keep the hemp plant illegal in their particular state, so make sure to look at the laws that your state has put into place. The hemp plant is federally legal because of the chemical compounds it carries. It contains high amounts of a cannabinoid (one of 113 found in the Cannabis sativa plant) called cannabidiol (CBD). This cannabinoid has the possibility to help achieve different kinds of wellness. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plants. However, in the hemp variation, THC is at or lower than 0.3%. This is important, so keep this in mind. The hemp plant can be used in many different ways, from creams to vapes to clothing.

What is marijuana?

This variation of the Cannabis sativa plant is a bit more well known. This is because the marijuana plant has been a topic of controversy for a long time. Recently there has been more research and therefore, understanding around the topic. Marijuana, unlike hemp, is not federally legal. The marijuana plant contains high amounts of THC. THC is the inebriating cannabinoid found in all Cannabis sativa plants. Because of this, marijuana is not federally legal, but some states have chosen to legalize it for recreational as well as medicinal purposes. Marijuana gets a bad rap because of the misinformation given long ago and it still affects users as well as marijuana distributors. There is still a stigma surrounding marijuana, so keep that in mind as you read more about why.

THC versus CBD

Now that you understand that these two plants are closely related, but not the same, what about their key components? THC and CBD are often found together but can be separated from one another. That is where CBD shines the brightest, when it is the star of the show. CBD has been researched more now than ever before and that research shows promise. THC creates a type of euphoria or ‘high’. CBD does not. This is a common misconception among these two cannabinoids and is the reason that folks are apprehensive about using CBD or hemp products. We are here to tell you that CBD does not and cannot get users high.

So, which is better for you? This all depends on the reasons you want to use CBD or THC. THC, again, is only legal in a handful of states and you are only able to purchase it if you are 21 or older, sort of like alcohol. There are a few different medications that have THC in them. These can only be prescribed by a doctor. CBD, however, has many different reasons that it’s used. We’ll go over those in a bit. There is no wrong or right answer but, it all depends on what you feel is the right cannabinoid for you.

Why use CBD?

We are a CBD company, so, let’s talk about why people use CBD. Here are a few popular reasons why you may want to try CBD:

FDA approved medications: There are many FDA approved medications that contain CBD. Epidiolex is the most well-known. This medication assists those with two severe types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. There are also a handful of others that assist those going through anti-cancer treatments and the nausea it may cause. These are called Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone). These medications can only be prescribed by a health care professional.

Anti-inflammatory properties: CBD has been researched for the possibility of joint health benefits. In the study, it was asked of pet owners to give CBD to their dogs two times a day for four weeks in a row. The owners were to take a weekly test to show if anything had improved. At the end of the four weeks pet owners described their dogs to be more mobile. Therefore, the CBD may have helped with their joint health. Good news!

Antibacterial: There has been information coming out about the potential antibacterial properties of CBD. In this study they said that CBD had the capability to kill certain types of bacteria.

Skin health: Although CBD topicals don’t reach the bloodstream this does not mean that they cannot assist in the health of your skin. In this study they concluded that those with or without skin conditions had improved skin health after the use of CBD topicals. They used many different tests to explain before and after the use of a CBD topical. Their evidence was enhanced with photographic evidence.

Promote a sense of calm: Promoting a sense of calm in those who feel anxiousness could be helpful to some. In this study, they used brain imaging to exam subjects who have SAD (social anxiety disorder). The subjects who were given the CBD showed a decrease in their social anxiety disorder with evidence from brain scan imaging. Those who did not receive the CBD did not have any decrease and remained the same.

There are several other reasons why people choose to use CBD or even products made with THC. Which will you choose?