Overview of CBD products: Hemp vs. Cannabis-Derived
Hemp vs. Cannabis: What’s the Difference?
Hemp, medical marijuana and recreational cannabis all come from the same Cannabaceae family. This family consists of 3 main chemovars: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. However, today’s “definition” of hemp is any cannabaceae plant with less than 0.3% THC (dry weight) and cannabis as anything with more than 0.3% THC (dry weight). This definition is a “crude” and unscientific way to determine hemp vs cannabis, but due to societies “governance” of cannabis this is the current legislative definition.
I heard that the CBD extracted from hemp is different than from cannabis, is this true?
This is a common question among patients and providers of medical marijuana and CBD products. The short answer is no, CBD extracted from either “hemp” or a cannabis plant are physically the same. The molecular structure of CBD is identical. The difference between hemp and cannabis will be related to other cannabinoids (e.g. cannabis will be higher in THC content than hemp etc…) and terpene profiles.
When picking a hemp or cannabis-derived product, what is the difference between Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate?
The main difference between Full, Broad, and Isolate is the amount of THC present/absent in the solution. Full-spectrum CBD products are viewed as“whole-plant” products. They will have all the natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC at or below 0.3%. In addition to the main cannabinoids CBD and THC, you’ll find a wide range of terpenes. These terpenes combine for enhanced health benefits in a phenomenon called “the entourage effect”. The downside is that THC has mind-altering effects and may present legal issues. Most often, cannabis plants are used to develop a full-spectrum product, however hemp plants can also be used.
Broad-spectrum CBD has the same content as full spectrum, with one exception: no THC. Broad spectrum products keep most of the entourage effects, but avoid the effects and legal issues associated with THC. The specific health benefits of THC do not apply to broad-spectrum products. This type of product is recommended for patients who are sensitive to the effects of THC and/or are required to be drug tested for their employment. Hemp is often used as a base for these products since they do not include THC.
CBD isolate is pure CBD – no other plant compounds are present. CBD isolate allows for precise dosing and provides all the benefits of CBD. However, the entourage effect and benefits from other cannabinoids do not apply to CBD isolate. Similar to broad spectrum, these products are recommended for patients sensitive to whole-plant products or are required to be drug tested. Hemp and cannabis plants are both used for this process since individual cannabinoids are processed and distilled separately.
Medical Marijuana Education
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