No doubt, there is a lot of discrepancy in regards to CBD, hemp, cannabis, and marijuana. At Celestial Hemp, we strive to inform our community about cannabis as a whole.
In order to properly explain what CBD is, let’s first cover a few important key terms. The first definition, and most important, is Cannabis. “Cannabis sativa”is the scientific name given to the cannabis plant, but it is most commonly called cannabis for short. It is the overarching name given to marijuana and hemp. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis, but they are separated in the eyes of the federal government by their cannabinoid content. So, what are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors. Cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids present within itself. They naturally occur in cannabis in varying amounts depending on the strain. The most popular cannabinoid is THC. THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid that gives the “high” or “stoned” feeling that is so popular in cannabis culture. THC also has a variety of other properties, but the “high” is the one that the authorities are concerned with. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system that contains cannabinoid receptors. These cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system. This system helps to regulate a variety of physiological and cognitive processes. It, in a way, is the body’s system that regulates the balance of many of the body’s other systems. It is much more complicated than I will explain here, but that is the just of it. Now, on the marijuana and hemp.
Marijuana has over .3% delta-9 THC. This is why marijuana is still federally illegal. Hemp is the definition that the federal government gives to cannabis that has less than .3% delta-9 THC. So, cannabis is not completely illegal, it is only cannabis that has over .3% delta-9 THC that is illegal. It is by this distinction that makes hemp legal. There is currently legislation that is changing this distinction to .3% total THC, but is being fought hard against as it would make it incredibly difficult for all of the current hemp farmers to abide by the law. There was a very alarming statistic that I saw a few months ago that said by passing this legislation, it would turn 90% of all current “hemp” farmers into “marijuana” farmers. This goes to show how small the difference actually is between hemp and marijuana. In my opinion, it should just all be legalized, but we still have a few years before our politicians come to terms with America's acceptance of cannabis.
Now, on to CBD! CBD or cannabidiol, is a different cannabinoid in cannabis. This particular cannabinoid is not illegal. It does not cause the “stoned” or “high” feeling that its friend THC causes. It can safely be said that all of the effects that CBD has on the body (including the mind) are medicinal in nature. There is not a “recreational” use for CBD like there is for THC. Of course you could argue that being “more relaxed” than you would be without CBD is something recreational, but it is certainly not the same feeling that THC gives. Some of the positive uses of CBD, according to a small mountain of research, are: anxiety relief, stress relief, insomnia relief, mild pain relief, and several other ailments. Research has also shown CBD to have an anti-inflammatory property. Meaning, in theory, it could be used as a topical for sore muscles, joint-pain, and any other type of inflamed ailment. Much of this research can be found at ProjectCBD.org. So, now that you know what CBD is, how is it used?
In order to use cannabinoids, they must be decarboxylated. THCA and CBDA are the compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. In order to benefit from their effects, decarboxylation must occur. This process uses heat to change THCA and CBDA to THC and CBD. It essentially “activates'' the compounds for mammalian consumption. This can be done through setting the dried cannabis flower on fire and inhaling it, or “cooking” it in some form or fashion before eating it. There are also several different processes that separate the cannabinoids from the plant matter creating an extract. At some point in the processing, decarboxylation occurs as well. The extract that is created is what is used as the active ingredient in most cannabis products. Some examples are tinctures, salves, edibles, and several different forms of smokable concentrates.
I hope this article has shed some light on the relationship between cannabis, hemp, marijuana, CBD, and THC. If you have more questions about anything cannabis related, please submit a Contact Form and I will be happy to answer you directly, and possibly even write a new article addressing your question. Thank you for reading!