WHAT IS CBD?
CBD is in fact short for Cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds identified as a cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. These compounds are scientifically referred to as phytocannabinoids, which occurs naturally in the plant. As CBD can be sourced from variations of the same plant, it is crucial to understand the differences and how they may affect the quality correspondingly.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HEMP AND MARIJUANA?
There are two primary strains of Cannabis – Hemp and Marijuana. There is, however, still some confusion as the three terms often get used interchangeably. The amount of THC (the psychoactive ingredient that gets the user high) plays a critical role in setting apart hemp from marijuana and vice versa.
Like any other plant humans have cultivated over the centuries, cannabis is no different. The plant has been bred to intentionally have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC, and likewise depending on its applications. This is, of course, also dependent on the distinct climate environment that the plant has adapted to.
For example, hemp has historically been and still is produced for industrial uses such as the production of fibres, biofuel, and insulation. THC, however, is a nonessential component to the manufacturing of such products and is thus normally barely detectable. In most European countries, hemp is defined as any cannabis strain that caps THC levels at 0.2%. However, the case may vary slightly amongst countries. Such regulations undoubtedly ensure that taking any hemp derivative shouldn’t give the user any psychoactive high. Conversely, marijuana can often harbour THC levels ranging from 3% to as high as 35%, thus leading to psychotropic effects.
Further differentiating hemp and marijuana is each’s area of focus when it comes to their cultivation. Hemp is a much more resilient plant and can flourish even in harsher and inconsistent climates. Since hemp products are derived mostly from the cannabis plants stems or seeds, the focus naturally falls on producing such parts. Marijuana, on the other hand, is primarily grown for its bud and flowers, as that is where the plants concentration of THC resides. This means that the cultivation of marijuana requires meticulous care and a stable climatic environment at all times.
Lastly on distinguishing hemp from marijuana is their physical appearances, or more specifically, the height of the plants. As hemp is commonly grown for its sturdy fibrous stalks towards industrial applications, its stalks are often grown closely together and is relatively taller than its marijuana counterpart. On the contrary, marijuana is normally grown to optimize the flowers, which require more space in between plants to improve airflow and prevent molds from accumulating on the plant. A mature hemp plant can grow as tall as 15ft while marijuana strains grow up to 5ft. on average.
DIFFERENCES IN THE FINAL CBD PRODUCED?
Broadly defined, hemp plants can have amounts of CBD going as high as 25% by dry weight. Provided the THC levels don’t go past the percentages mentioned previously, the obtained CBD remains to be CBD from hemp. However, in most cases, the THC has already been bred out of the hemp plant. When one smells the hemp varieties, they may notice that the terpenes (aromatic oils) aren’t as intense. (Terpenes are vital as they help in modifying and amplifying the cannabinoid benefits by allowing the body to better absorb and utilize the compounds.) The hemp plant can also have varying levels of other cannabinoids compounds such
as CBG, CBN, CBC, and CBDV. The concentration of these cannabinoids may vary significantly as growers typically do not take them into consideration.
Marijuana, or THC-rich cannabis, nowadays has low levels of CBD and high levels of terpenes, as intentionally modified by modern growers. This is largely different to marijuana plants of the past, where a moderate amount of both CBD and THC could be found.
The regulations surrounding the world of cannabis see to it that there are little to no marijuana strains having the entourage effect (cannabinoids working in the presence of each other). Some medical marijuana proponents advise that it is better to extract CBD from marijuana for its entourage effect, which may not be so practical given the current regulatory environments.
It is not always easy to source cannabis that provide the full spectrum cannabis compounds. At Cannadips, our goal is to make our CBD products available to everyone, which requires us to source from low-THC hemp plants. Hemp with a diverse cannabinoid profile and high terpene content can be even more difficult to source.
However, we believe that in addition to the strong relationships we have established with our farmers, the growing industry trend towards hemp with high terpene levels and more cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC and others, will ultimately help us continue to evolve and better our product.
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