Even as CBD is becoming a huge factor in the cannabis industry, there’s still some confusion among consumers. One of the big questions many people have is what the differences between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD are?
CBD products are becoming a huge presence in the cannabis industry. At last year’s Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo, for example, CBD companies represented at least 20% of all marijuana companies at the event.
And experts predict massive growth for the CBD sector. One group estimated that the CBD market would grow by 700% between now and 2020. Another analysis said that CBD would become a $3 billion industry by 2021.
Some Basic CBD Info
THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s what gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t get you high. In fact, CBD counteracts some of the potentially harmful side effects of THC.
But the most important thing about CBD is that has a lot of health benefits. So far, researchers have found that CBD can help treat a range of conditions including nausea, seizures, inflammation, anxiety, certain types of cancers, and much more.
OK, now that we’ve got a general sense of what CBD is, the other big variable is how CBD is obtained. In general, CBD products are derived from either cannabis plants that include THC, CBD, and tons of other cannabinoids, or from hemp plants that contain smaller amounts of CBD and hardly any THC.
Cannabis and hemp aren’t the same plants. Hemp usually refers to a particular strain of cannabis called cannabis ruderalis. It’s relatively low in cannabinoids and is typically grown to produce a variety of fibers and textiles.
Cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, on the other hand, are high in all sorts of cannabinoids. Because of that, these plants produce a range of effects when consumed.
The Differences Between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD
There are some important differences between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD.
Hemp plants have significantly fewer cannabinoids than cannabis. That means that to get enough CBD, producers have to process many more hemp plants than they do when they get CBD from a cannabis plant. Some experts have said that hemp CBD could, therefore, introduce contaminants and impurities into the final product.
Others have argued that CBD is most effective when it interacts with other cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis plants. And since hemp plants are so low in these other, complementary chemicals, hemp CBD might not be quite as potent.
But on the plus side, hemp-derived CBD has historically been easier to get onto the legal market. That’s because although cannabis is illegal at the federal level, many farmers can legally grow hemp as an industrial crop. This means that it’s usually easier to produce CBD products from hemp than it is from cannabis plants.
Changes To CBD Laws
But the laws that govern CBD in the U.S. could be getting a little bit trickier. Last month, the DEA made some slight changes to its rules about cannabis and CBD.
It assigned CBD its own legal code, which means it’s now easier for law enforcement to track, monitor, and crack down on CBD. That’s especially true if it was produced by plants with high levels of THC.
Despite this adjustment, many have said it wouldn’t really change the actual CBD industry. As long as CBD comes from plants with low THC, it should still be relatively safe from a legal perspective. And that means that hemp-derived CBD should still be the easiest to produce and move onto the legal market.
The Final Hit
Regardless of this recent legal change, it seems clear that CBD is here to stay. It’s already established itself as a huge industry with massive potential for growth. And current research suggests that it can be a powerful medicinal product.
It also seems clear that there are real differences between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD. While many claim that CBD from cannabis plants can be especially potent and pure, hemp-derived CBD may still be the safest regarding legality. That means that hemp-derived CBD is likely to be the most widely accessible. As cannabis laws continue to change, however, expect the CBD industry to adjust and evolve. In the end, hopefully, that means that more and more people will have access to high quality medicinal CBD.