There are many varietals of the Cannabis sativa plant, all of which contain different amounts of THC (the psychoactive component), CBD (a nonpsychoactive component), and other components. Cannabis sativa varietals that have more than 0.3% THC are commonly referred to as marijuana. Hemp is any varietal of Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC, and it will not get you high.
As cannabis and hemp become more extensively researched and widely available, we are starting to realize the true therapeutic power of these plants and their derivatives.* But they still generate a lot of confusion. Today, we’re clearing up the murkiness surrounding cannabis products, their differences, and the legality of taking them so we can focus on all the benefits of hemp oil extract as well as the ins and outs of buying and consuming it.*
For a long time, researchers were only concerned with studying THC, the psychoactive component that is concentrated in marijuana. However, within the past decade, they have become increasingly interested in the therapeutic benefits of the other compounds found in both varieties, especially cannabidiol (CBD).* It’s important to know that although THC and CBD are the most studied components of cannabis, there are many more chemical compounds found within the plant, such as the phytocannabinoids cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
An introduction to hemp and how it differs from marijuana and CBD.
Researchers have discovered that whole-plant hemp extracts that contain these other compounds are more beneficial than isolated extracts of just CBD or THC, due to a phenomenon called “the entourage effect.”*
Once extracted from the plant, CBD is then diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil. It can also be extracted from hemp, a form of cannabis used for industrial purposes.
Summary: CBD oil is legal throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe (except for Slovakia), as long as its extracted from the hemp (not marijuana) plant, which contains less than 0.3% THC.
Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate
A potent compound extracted from the cannabis (marijuana or hemp) plant, CBD already has plenty of stigma around it.
In fact, one of the first trials of Sativex, a medicine that contains both CBD and THC, reported significant improvement in pain and sleep quality in 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients (4).
Stephanie is a certified nutrition consultant. She graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in journalism and psychology in 2003, and later studied holistic nutrition at Bauman College in Berkeley, California.