For the first time, since the 1930s “reefer madness,” marijuana is once again legal in certain states. This is thanks to the recognized medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) oil extracted from the plants from the cannabis genus.
CBD, due to its medicinal properties, is increasingly becoming the subject of many scientific studies, while finding its way onto shelves of significant pharmacies. However, not all cannabis plants are the same, which raises the question about the origin of cannabis-derived products and their differences.
In this article, we’ll discuss the differences of the cannabis plant, and more importantly, the variations of CBD oils derived from different plants.
Hemp vs. Weed
To better understand the differences between the products derived from marijuana or hemp, we must first differentiate the two plans.
Cannabis refers to a genus of plants that has several species, and two classifications: hemp and marijuana. While the difference between species falls under the domain of botany, the classifications of plants are purely for legal causes.
The classifications of cannabis plants are devised to separate the intoxicating cannabis, from non-intoxication cannabis. And though weed and hemp look almost the same, they’re quite different when it comes to chemical contents.
One of the first differences is the content of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, which gets you high. Hemp, to be federally legal, must contain less than 0.3% of THC. Weed, which is only permitted in several states, has more than 0.3% THC, with some strains having 30% THC or more.
Having low levels of THC, hemp plants are not likely to get you high, unlike marijuana. Marijuana, with 0.3% or more THC, is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has no accepted medical and industrial use. Hemp, on the other hand, being federally legal, has an extensive industrial use, ranging from food, textile, construction, and paper industry.
Being so different, these plants do have one thing in common – they both produce cannabidiol or CBD. However, people tend to believe there’s a difference in CBD based on which plant it was derived from. So, let’s take a look.
The Difference in CBD
Both plants, though from the same family, feature different chemical compounds. However, on a molecular level, there is no difference between hemp-derived and weed-derived CBD. Regardless of where it came from, CBD remains molecularly identical.
However, from a legal perspective, things aren’t so simple. For some states, the legality of CBD largely depends on the source plant. If the state hasn’t legalized medical marijuana, CBD derived from weed is considered illegal. But, if the state allowed recreational marijuana use, the same rules apply to weed-derived CBD products.
Hemp-derived CBD products and oils are a different story altogether. Hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity and is federally legal, and so are its CBD products. Still, most states have specific regulations regarding these products.
It would help if you kept in mind that cannabis-derived CBD oil may contain traces of THC, which may be detected during a drug test. If you’re facing a mandatory drug test, after ingesting cannabis-derived CBD oil, it’s highly recommended that you perform a THC detox.
THC and Contamination
While the molecular difference of CBD remains the same, despite its source, the CBD products derived from different plants may have some differences.
The hemp plant is known for removing pollutants from the soil, like heavy metals and other chemicals. If the levels of these contaminants within the plant are high, they may potentially taint CBD products derived from these plants.
Weed is usually grown in better-controlled conditions, and the risk of chemical pollution is small. It also has a higher concentration of resin, yielding higher quantities of THC and CBD oils. However, if not properly isolated, CBD products may contain traces of THC, which is why hemp-derived CBD has a more significant medical application.
Despite its origins, CBD remains CBD. If properly isolated, CBD products sourced from marijuana are no different than those gained from hemp.
Still, keep in mind that whole-plant or full-spectrum CBD products derived from weed may contain small quantities of THC.
In the end, you should always use CBD oils that have been third-party tested and passed safety regulations.