As both hemp and marijuana increasingly become part of our nation’s dialog, misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the two are growing equally as common. Of course, we’re not completely at a loss for why that’s the case; for decades, US policies have conflated hemp and marijuana as one in the same, treating both as Schedule 1 drugs that face severe punishments. As the conversation about marijuana begins to change, many have also begun to turn to hemp for its many benefits, as well.
But, the question remains: Are marijuana and hemp the same?
In short, no. Even though marijuana and hemp are quite different in both effect and usage, they’ve been categorized together for so long that it’s easy to see the inherent confusion.
In this article, we’ll try to point out the key differences between hemp and marijuana, what each is, and why it’s important that hemp gradually sheds its unfairly negative association with marijuana and begins to shine according to its own benefits.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
What Is Hemp?
Firstly, hemp comes from the Cannabaceae plant family, which is the same as that of marijuana. But, hemp is different in that all recognized, legal hemp products contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of the cannabinoid chemicals and is responsible for giving users the classic “high” associated with marijuana.
Because hemp has such low THC levels, its uses vary wildly from those of marijuana. Hemp has, historically, been a vital ingredient for rope, clothing, food, and many other products across several industries. Beginning with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, hemp production (which used to be required of farmers in the decades before) decreased dramatically as its association alongside marijuana grew. This eventually culminated into the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, which classified both hemp and marijuana as Schedule 1 drugs. This effectively further damaged hemp’s reputation within the US, even as hemp’s usefulness was still recognized.
But, just late last year, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp and hemp products’ cultivation, transportation, and distribution (again, as long as products contain less than 0.3 percent THC). At this point, we anticipate that the dialog surrounding hemp will once again change, but hopefully it’ll change for the better this time.
What Is Marijuana?
On the other hand, marijuana and the laws surrounding it are a bit more complex. It also comes from the Cannabaceae plant family, and some estimates suggest that there are thousands of varieties and strains (indica, sativa, or hybrids) of marijuana. Though the marijuana plant is similar to that of the hemp plant, because of its traditionally high levels of THC, most of its uses are reserved for medical or recreational purposes as opposed to textile or industrial functions.
Though THC levels in marijuana can vary significantly, it’s usually somewhere between five and 30 percent. It is precisely this THC quantity that produces the psychoactive effects often associated with “getting high.” But this is also often (and, erroneously, we might add) associated with all products from the cannabis family. Only those that have high enough quantities of THC produce these effects, which includes marijuana but does not include hemp.
Currently, there are about 38 states that have legalized marijuana in some capacity (whether medicinal, recreational, or both), with more considering laws in the future. At present, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level.
How Are They Similar?
In essence, the only similarity that hemp and marijuana have is that they both originate from the same plant family, Cannabaceae. But, their chemical makeup differs enough that comparing hemp and marijuana is like comparing oranges to lemons. These fruits may be similar, but they have numerous distinct qualities that make comparing them difficult; the same can be said regarding marijuana and hemp.
How Are They Different?
Obviously, the most noteworthy difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp, containing THC levels lower than 0.3 percent (i.e., what federal law considers legal hemp), has no psychoactive effects on users at all. Marijuana, on the other hand – which often has much higher levels of THC – does produce psychoactive effects.
Because of this key distinction, hemp is mostly used for industrial purposes, which changes the way it’s cultivated. Marijuana, contrarily, is largely used for medicinal and recreational consumption, which means that its cultivation necessitates much more precision and conditioning.
Why It’s Important to Know the Difference
As we’ve pointed out, hemp and marijuana – despite having some similarities and belonging to the same plant family – are, indeed, very different. Confounding the two as one in the same is not only overly simplistic and unfortunate, but it’s also dangerous. Here’s why:
Hemp Has Many More Uses
When we regard hemp as the same as marijuana, we may miss out on some of the amazing health benefits that it can provide. Hemp products – which have been estimated to number over 20,000 – have a myriad of uses; by disallowing all hemp from the market or misjudging it for something it’s not, we may miss out on those benefits.
Hemp Does Not Give a “High”
Surely one of the most polarizing aspects of marijuana, despite its many health benefits as well, is the “high” that users feel. Again, this high is directly tied to THC and other cannabinoid chemicals’ interacting in the human body. This means that products not containing THC do not give the user any psychoactive effects. When we assume that hemp does this, it creates a layer of animosity that should not exist.
Currently, the Laws Are Different
At the moment, hemp is legal federally – provided that it falls under the 0.3 percent THC requirement. Conversely, marijuana is only legal in select states and remains illegal federally. Understanding that hemp is viewed and treated differently under the law than marijuana is important, as possession of one or the other has different repercussions.
Additionally, now that hemp has been legalized federally, we expect there to be a growth in hemp cultivation and use in products around the nation. As a consumer, it’s wise to understand that hemp and marijuana have very distinct uses in this sense.
Interested in Learning More about Hemp?
If you’re interested in learning more about the amazing health benefits that hemp and its products might be able to bring into your life, look no further than The Hemp Doctor.
At The Hemp Doctor, our primary goal is to provide customers with information on how hemp and CBD may be able to positively affect their health more naturally. In alignment with achieving this goal, we promise to provide only the best, safest, and purest hemp and CBD products available on the market. If you’re interested in learning more about hemp, how it differs from marijuana, and how you can use it in a variety of ways, contact us online today.
Those who are interested in enhancing their health and wellness in safe and natural ways have likely heard a great deal of buzz lately about CBD. Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, has burst on to the health and wellness scene recently with much excitement. With a little research into what makes CBD special and unique in the world of natural supplements, it is easy to see why.
Learning More about CBD
Many have heard about the hemp plant, even if they have not heard about CBD, which is extracted from the hemp plant itself. As many know, hemp has been around for thousands of years and has any number of beneficial uses. One common use for the hemp plant has been nutritional: Different sorts of foods and seeds are extracted from the hemp plant and have been proven to have great nutritional value. CBD falls into this category.
Extracted directly from the hemp plant, CBD is what is known as a cannabinoid. The hemp plant alone produces more than 100 cannabinoids. Cannabinoids like CBD, when ingested, interact directly with the bodies’ endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a very important system in our body. Responsible for helping to maintain our internal balance, it assists in the regulation of things like temperature, metabolism, hormone and neurotransmitter secretion, and other important functions.
The ECS accomplishes its work through a number of receptors located throughout the body – each receptor responsible for a different task. Cannabinoids send signals to the receptors and assist them in doing their job. As a result, ingesting a cannabinoid-like CBD acts as a supplement or a booster to the functions of the endocannabinoid system. This serves to improve overall health and wellness in any number of ways.
Just a few of the ways the CBD has been shown to improve health include helping manage acute and chronic pain, assisting with common conditions like insomnia and acne, reducing the effects of mental conditions like anxiety and depression, and even managing the symptoms of more chronic conditions like cancer and epilepsy. CBD has even been proven to help benefit the health of our pets, who if they are mammals, have endocannabinoid systems just like people do. Even better, CBD has been proven to have very few side effects, and those that it does have (like occasional drowsiness, nausea, or dry mouth) are usually easily remedied by adjusting the dosage. Because it is all natural and non-psychoactive (unlike marijuana, which is a product of a different strain of the cannabis plant), CBD has also been shown to be safe for long-term use and non-addictive.
What Products Are Right for Me?
Because CBD is such a popular supplement, and because it has very few drawbacks, many are looking to incorporate it into their regular health and wellness routines. Fortunately for those interested, there are a number of providers selling CBD products. Of course, as with any product, not all CBD products are equal. It is important to find a provider who insists on quality from the very beginning – from the initial growth of the hemp plant until the time the product finally reaches the shelf.
After finding the right company to provide the products you are interested in, there are typically a
number of products to try to find the right fit for your needs. Palm Organix, for example, offers CBD products in any number of applications: softgels and tinctures to be taken orally; topical applications like salves, balms, and lotions; energy drinks; and even pet products for the furry family members in your life.
CBD and Coffee – A Perfect Pair
Often, those interested in taking CBD try to pair it with items already included in their diet. For some, this means mixing it with soup or other favorite foods. Others ingest it with their nightly cup of tea. Still, others are interested in mixing CBD with their coffee. After all, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It is, in fact, estimated that more than 75% of Americans have coffee every day.
If this sounds appealing to you, we have good news. As the popularity of CBD continues to rise, many find CBD and coffee to be a wonderful pairing. As many know, coffee, unless taken in a decaffeinated form, contains caffeine. Caffeine is known to produce a number of different effects in the body, including encouraging alertness, boosting metabolism, and even having neuroprotective properties. On the other hand, coffee is also known to cause occasional anxiety and increased blood pressure, depending upon the amount consumed. CBD, on the other hand, is known for reducing anxiety, improving quality of sleep, and reducing blood pressure.
Interestingly then, when CBD and coffee are combined, these two natural substances produced a combination that, in some ways, is the best of both worlds. Coffee and CBD each have their own benefits that have been studied and proven. Some of the positive effects of coffee, such as increasing alertness can, particularly if taken later in the day, negatively affect sleep. CBD however, has been known to help with sleeplessness. Therefore, a CBD-infused coffee in the afternoon may provide a productive boost of energy and alertness but still allow the possibility of a deep sleep when nighttime arrives. This is not to mention that, aside from interacting positively with one another and counterbalancing each other well, combining CBD and coffee allows the consumer to enjoy the positive nutritional benefits and effects of both.
Of course, it goes without saying that, when deciding to add CBD to your coffee, it can be important to remember that we are all different. And as a result, our bodies interact differently to things as well. Thus, it can be a bit of trial and error to find the right mixture of CBD and coffee that is the best fit for your needs. While it can take a bit of experimentation, finding the right blend can be a significant, beneficial, and lasting contribution to your overall health and wellness and an enjoyable part of your daily routine.
One of the more acclaimed products on the market these days is hemp oil (commonly referred to as CBD oil from hemp seeds). And there’s really no surprise, given that it has so many outstanding health benefits.
Taking the health market by storm, hemp seeds – in particular, hemp oil – are being hailed as a holistic, natural alternative to many big pharmaceutical medicines that inherently carry more health risks when used.
But, even among the glowing benefits of hemp oil, no product is ever completely devoid of side-effects. And what exactly are the possible side-effects of hemp seed oil?
Here, we’ll discuss what hemp oil is, how it can positively affect your health regimen, and any potential drawbacks there may be to using hemp seed oil.
Defining Hemp Oil: What is it?
Hemp oil is a natural product that has been extracted from pressing the hemp seed. Unlike cannabidiol (CBD) or hash oil that’s been extracted from a marijuana plant or the flowers of the hemp plant, oil that’s been extracted from the hemp seed does not contain THC.
Is Hemp Oil Legal?
With the recent legalization of hemp by way of the 2018 Farm Bill, these products can contain up to 0.3 percent THC and still be considered legal. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp production, transport, and usage is much more clear-cut at the federal level than that of marijuana, which varies drastically from state to state and still remains illegal federally.
Because of the recent legality of hemp products (again, as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC, which is not enough to produce psychoactive effects), hemp oil is legal federally. CBD oil, derived from hemp (and containing less than 0.3 percent), is also legal. But CBD oil deriving from marijuana or any other cannabinoid falls under a gray legal area federally, especially since they are still considered illegal under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Additionally, though some of these products might be legal at the state level, they certainly face more scrutiny from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) when seeking any kind of medical endorsement.
Is Hemp Oil Beneficial?
Hemp seed oil is chalked full of proteins, healthy amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and much more. It’s been discovered to be particularly useful with anti-inflammation, skin moisturization, skin cell repair, and for helping to balance out the skin’s oil production.
Because hemp oil contains beneficial amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, certain cardiovascular advantages can also be attributed to it. Hemp oil may even reduce blood pressure, stress levels, and the risk of heart disease in some users.
The Many Uses of Hemp Oil
If the benefits of hemp seed oil interest you, there are many different ways that the oil can be used to glean maximal health benefits.
Hemp oil can be used for cooking, much like that of olive oil. It’s best to use hemp oil in foods that are complemented by the oil’s subtle yet distinctive taste; recommendations include using it for sauces and dressings. When cooking with hemp oil, it’s important to remember to avoid prolonged exposure to heat, as this will destroy some of the healthy nutrient properties the oil contains.
If seeking to use hemp oil for its skin-enriching benefits, it’s best to stick with unrefined hemp oil or products with hemp oil infusions for better results. Refined hemp oil has been stripped of many of its nutrient properties which benefit the skin, making it the least beneficial choice for skin care regimens.
Finally, another effective use of hemp oil is in haircare. As with its skin nourishing properties, the fatty acids found in hemp oil make it great at providing nutrients, moisture, and strength to the scalp and hair follicles.
Possible Side-Effects of Hemp Oil
Though there are myriad benefits to be gleaned from hemp oil, users may also experience some potential drawbacks. Here are the five most common (though some are still quite rare):
- Hemp Oil Can Cause Digestive Issues
When using hemp oil, it may lead to digestive problems, particularly among more sensitive users. Hemp oil – like other types of oils – can lead to digestive troubles because it can be complex for the body to break down; these issues may include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or even acid reflux.
- Hemp Oil Contains High Amounts of Fatty Acids
Though one of the best health aspects of hemp oil – it’s high quantities of fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 – can be excellent for the body in smaller quantities, bear in mind that large quantities have been found to be dangerous. In fact, if too much of these polyunsaturated fats are consumed, users may have increased risk for cancerous cell growth, bacterial infections, and even cardiac issues.
- Exposing Hemp Oil to High Temperatures May Develop Toxic Peroxides
As we’ve mentioned, hemp oil can be a great addition to foods. But, care should be taken when exposing hemp oil to heat temperatures above 121 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, hemp oil’s fatty acids begin to break down, turning into toxic peroxides. When consumed in small amounts, these peroxides are generally not a problem, except for the possibility of slight digestive issues. However, when consumed in large amounts, these peroxides may be harmful.
- Large Amounts of Hemp Oil May Impact the Body’s Ability to Clot Blood Properly
Blood clotting may become more difficult for your body after consuming hemp oil, though this side-effect is also rare and usually requires the consumption of large amounts before it becomes a serious concern.
- Consuming a Lot of Hemp Oil May Interfere with Other Medications
For a variety of reasons, hemp oil (and it’s very low amounts of CBD) have been known to cause disruptions with the body’s ability to properly and completely metabolize certain medications. While this particular side-effect is rare, it can be possible.
For this reason, consult your doctor before incorporating hemp oil into your regimen alongside medications, specifically medications that affect blood pressure.
Curious about Hemp Oil?
The decision to incorporate hemp oil into your lifestyle is one that you should weigh seriously, taking into consideration both the benefits and any potential side-effects.
As you research and discover for yourself whether or not hemp oil is a good fit for you, take advantage of the resources and expertise available to you at The Hemp Doctor.
At The Hemp Doctor, our primary goal is to provide customers with information on how hemp and CBD may be able to positively affect their health more naturally. In alignment with achieving this goal, we promise to provide only the best, safest, and purest hemp and CBD products available on the market. If you’re interested in learning more about hemp oil and how you can use it in a variety of ways, contact us online today.