As CBD & its products become the main topics of discussion in the field of herbal medication, the ever-widening scope of its study can by no means be undermined. Even the common man is aware of the developments of it as at least once in a while, he or she is bound to hear about CBD or its products. Thus, we can say that CBD’s popularity rise graph is going up at a quite better rate than expected with the momentum. However, since the popularity is rapid & the knowledge is limited, there is a bit of a scope for certain confusions. One major question which people often turn to is – are CBD & Hemp the same?
Of course they are not the same things but, they are related to each-other & also connected. This explanation has been put ahead in this article.
WHAT IS CBD?
When we talk about CBD, we always take into consideration its array of benefits to treat various ailments. We also talk about the wonder that it can treat both humans & animals, thus being a universal medication. In addition, the zero side-effects factor is also a USP. However, these are just the things visible from a distance. A closer look is necessary to know this wonder herb since something with so many goods deserves attention. It is hence important to know about cannabinoid. Cannabinoids were found in cannabis plants only you thought? Not at all. There are three different categories of cannabinoids. So which one does CBD fall into? This has been solved as follows:
- EndocannabinoidThe human body has its own system producing cannabinoids which is called the Endocannabinoid System or the ECS. The word ‘endo’ means from ‘within the body’ & hence endocannabinoids or eCBs are cannabinoids produced within the body. Anandamine, 2-arachidonoylglycerol are some of the eCBs.
- PhytocannabinoidThe word ‘phyto’ relates to plants & hence these are the ones produced by the plants. CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, CBN, etc are some of the phytocannabinoids. These are present in different ratios in the cannabis plants & the content varies from the difference in families of plants, i.e. Cannabis Sativa & Cannabis Indica.
- Synthetic CannabinoidsThese are artificially prepared in the laboratory & hence based on the need, any cannabinoid can be prepared.
Thus, CBD or cannabidiol is one of the phytocannabinoid extracts of the cannabis plant alongside 100+ others. It was discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams & his team at the University of Illinois. However, they had no idea about what it was & were not sure of what they had discovered. After few years, it was identified by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who figured out its atomic structure too. Since then, more research on CBD was done & it was found that CBD is more than what it was expected to be as it housed countless positives with negligible negatives.
CBD is a sister compound of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Also, since it comes from the cannabis plant, it is expected to cause intoxication & be addictive. However, in reality, the nature of CBD is completely opposite to rest of the cannabinoids, specially THC. This is indeed the most important thing about CBD which makes it stand out of the league & a preferred choice over THC. CBD is completely non-psychoactive & doesn’t cause any addiction. There have been repeated tests on it & even WHO has specified in its report that not only is CBD non-addictive but also it is completely safe as there are no records of fatality or addiction so far due to the use of CBD. As a word of mouth notion, you might often heard that CBD gets converted to THC in the human digestive system. However, even organisations like WHO have done this test & found that it was completely false. In fact, apart from laboratory method, there is no way CBD can get converted into THC.
WHAT IS HEMP?
Hemp or Industrial Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant just like Marijuana. It has been in existence since long & was used extensively for making clothes, textiles, paper & ropes. With changing time & technological advancements, discovery on its usability increased considerably & today it is used in making biofuel, shoes, insulation material, cement, paint, biodegradable plastics & animal feed as well.
A major difference between hemp & marijuana is related to the belongingness to the Cannabis Indica family. Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Indica family while marijuana may belong to both Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa sects. There are similar features in both due to similarity in the same breed of plant, but, since they are two different entities, there are naturally going to be certain differences. The major differences are as under:
- While marijuana has high concentration of THC & less content of CBD, hemp has higher content of CBD & lower content of THC. In fact, hemp has THC in trace amounts, so less that unless dosed heavily, THC can’t be detected in the body even.
- Hemp is used for both industrial & medical purposes. The industrial purposes have been harnessed since a long long time dating back to centuries. The medical purpose has been met with more technical developments in recent times.
- Hemp is legal in all the states of America as long as the THC content is below 0.3%. Marijuana for medical & recreational usage is legal in some while it is illegal in other states.
- One major difference is also in the anatomy of marijuana & hemp. While marijuana plants grow short & bushy with broad leaves, hemp plants are taller, with thinner leaves & are more concentrated towards the top.
CBD vs HEMP – A COMPARISON
CBD & hemp have both been defined in previous section. Reading the article, you might have understood certain differences for yourselves. Since we are talking about the differences between the two, it is necessary to differentiate them broadly as under:
- Hemp is a plant in itself & houses various cannabinoids. CBD on the other hand isn’t a plant but a component of the plant present in large concentration.
- Being a component, CBD has different benefits while hemp, as a whole has other benefits too apart from having housing CBD.
- Hemp & CBD both have edible usage in plenty. While hemp seeds are rich in omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids, they can be eaten directly as seeds or sprouted or even cold-pressed into oil. This oil is indeed used for cooking up ahead on its own & is a common kitchen-shelf item for many. CBD oil on the other hand is an extract & can’t be used fully as a whole. Though it doesn’t cause any side-effects, yet it is used as an extract instead of being used as a complete individual food. Yes, there are CBD edibles in the market like cookies, brownies, gummy bears, etc but they contain only traces of CBD in them wrt specified dose or quantity. There are CBD cooking oils as well but they contain CBD mixed with olive oil.
- Hemp seeds are rich in fats for most while proteins, carbohydrates are also present. CBD doesn’t have any such content.
- While CBD products are only restricted to topicals & oral dosage items, hemp items are many & they are as under:
– Clothes & Textiles
– Cooking Oil
– Animal Food
From the above sections, we get to see a major difference between hemp & CBD. Both are a part of each-other & very closely related but, the hemp is the source of it & hence takes the advantage in the variety of ways that it serves in. When talking about the benefits, as is clear, CBD has more of medical benefits like treating anxiety, seizures, insomnia, schizophrenia, relieving of pain, skin repair, acne reduction, anti-inflammation, vomiting & nausea, heart benefits, etc., the products range from oils, tinctures, vapes, capsules, edibles, topicals, etc. On the other hand, hemp houses a huge variety of products as well as different benefits.
Wrapping things up, CBD & hemp are no less than Santa’s Christmas bag loaded with goodness. Both have been in the scenario for a long time & both have contributed widely to good as well. History has given us evidences of how hemp has been of use for mankind while cannabis has been of use for medical ailments. With growing time, there was an increase in the popularity of it. Sadly, in 1900s drug opposers mistook hemp as an addictive stuff too & that was the curtain call for hemp. Now that it has been recently legalised in the USA & Britain, there are high hopes to reap both industrial & medical benefits through it. While industrial firms are working towards getting the job done through hemp products, medical firms are researching into CBD as well continuing with producing CBD supplements since CBD products are still under Schedule 1 drug which is not allowing for CBD’s entry into the ‘safe for medical consumption’ drugs & extracts. Thus, the road has been half travelled & there’s still a lot to strive for.
Nevertheless,the benefits that both these entities carry can’t be undermined due to which the legalization has been done under strict rules so that what has been started prevails & serves both industrial & medical purpose thus ensuring better economy & prosperity of the country