What is the Difference Between Hemp, CBD and Marijuana?

CBD, hemp and marijuana all come from the same plant genus and are very similar in appearance and smell, which can understandably cause a lot of confusion. While marijuana is legal in a handful of states in the US, hemp is currently legal grow and distribute across the entire United States.

Overview:

  • Both marijuana and hemp are considered to be cannabis and naturally contain dozens of beneficial cannabinoids that work with our Endocannabinoid Systems
  • Marijuana gets you high because it has elevated levels of the psychoactive element, THC
  • Hemp is non-psychoactive as it only has trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) and high levels of CBD
  • You don’t need a medical marijuana card to get hemp CBD
  • Hemp CBD oil can be legally shipped directly to your home in all US States

Humans long history with hemp.

Humans naturally produce cannabinoids in our own bodies and have evolved alongside the cannabis plant genus for centuries. Historical evidence from India and China indicate that cannabis was used to address a variety of wellness needs for thousands of years and the industrial applications of hemp are well known. The human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) was discovered in the 1990’s and shed light on the critical role that plant-based phytocannabinoids can play in human health and wellness.

While things are rapidly changing, the cannabis stigma still exists and many in society still don’t recognize the difference between hemp and marijuana.

The situation is quite confusing given that our very own US Department of Health has studied the benefits of cannabis enough to patent “cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants” in US patent 6630507 (awarded in 2003). And in World War II, the US government set up a program called “Hemp for Victory” to have US farmers grow cannabis for industrial use in the war.

Why was hemp once illegal?

In the late 1930’s, a few elite families with influence over the pharmaceutical, paper, and textile industries worked together to achieve a total cannabis ban. By focusing on the intoxicating nature of high THC cannabis. With racist undertones, they were able to also successfully ban low THC hemp to protect their economic interests..

As these industries grew, and dozens of other industries threatened by hemp developed and grew, the powers that be in government kept the new status quo of prohibition under heavy influence by industry lobbyists.

Recent Developments.

The US Farm Bill signed in 2014 establishes a clear federal distinction between marijuana and hemp in that hemp is defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. This Bill for the first time allows for modern agricultural equipment to be deployed in the growing of hemp and allows for interstate shipping. Critically, this Bill allows people access to the amazing benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effect.