Is There a Difference Between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD?
There are so many people so new to medical and recreational cannabis that questions still abound. Some questions get asked more frequently than others. For example, many a new user wants to know if there is a difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD. The technical answer is ‘no’. But thanks to the use of vernacular, you could also answer ‘yes’.
Confusion dominates this particular question because people define cannabis in different ways. They also view CBD differently based on the type of plant it is extracted from. But through the lens of strict cannabis biology, CBD is CBD no matter where it comes from.
1. Just Another Cannabinoid
The first thing to note about CBD is that it is just one of more than a hundred cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBD is fully legal in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. That is not the case with THC, one of the other cannabinoids naturally occurring in cannabis plants. While some states have legalized it, THC remains illegal at the federal level.
In Utah, where cannabis use is restricted to legitimate medical purposes, THC-derived medications can only be sold through licensed pharmacies. Pure Utah is one of only fourteen licensed pharmacies in the state. It operates in Payson. Yet CBD-derived products can be sold anywhere in the state. You can buy them at corner stores, grocery stores, etc.
Knowing what CBD is constitutes a good start. But it still doesn’t fully explain why there’s so much confusion between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD. For more information, we need to look more closely at the cannabis plant.
2. Cannabis Sativa and Indica
Cannabis is a type of plant rather than a single plant species. The two most commonly known types of cannabis are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Some would argue that sativa and indica are species while others would say they are varieties. But let us go one step further.
Marijuana and hemp are also varieties of cannabis. Both are cannabis plants in every way. We make a distinction in this country due to the legal constraints created by federal law. That law categorizes any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC as marijuana. Anything at 0.3% or less is considered hemp.
In order to differentiate between the two in the marketplace, the cannabis industry tends to refer to hemp by name. Yet marijuana is referred to as ‘cannabis’, perhaps to remove some of the stigma associated with it. Therein lies the only difference between CBD products.
3. The Name Tells You Something
Hemp CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, which is a specific type of cannabis plant engineered to maximize CBD content. Industrial hemp has very little THC, if any at all. On the other hand, cannabis CBD doesn’t have to come from a hemp variety. It can also be extracted from a marijuana variety.
These days, cultivators are utilizing crossbreeding and genetic science to create entirely new cannabis strains. As far as Washington is concerned, the only thing that matters is THC content. But to cultivators, playing with different genetic formulas gives them the opportunity to maximize, minimize, or enhance certain cannabinoids. Therefore, you can have a new strain of high THC cannabis yet still extract CBD from it.
The simplest answer to the question is that CBD is still just a cannabinoid found naturally in cannabis plants. If it is marketed as hemp CBD, it comes from a plant with 0.3% or less THC. On the other hand, cannabis CBD is extracted from plants with more than 0.3% THC. That is really it.