Many people erroneously believe that hemp and marijuana are the same. In fact, U.S. law made the same mistake until quite recently. In 2015, an amendment to the Farm Bill made hemp legal, but much of the confusion persists. To clear up some of this confusion, let’s look at the key differences between these two useful plants.
THC vs. CBD
The main difference between these two plants can be seen in their active ingredients. Marijuana contains a psychoactive substance called THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the uplifting effects. Hemp, on the other hand, contains very little THC and cannot be used for recreational purposes. Legally, hemp is considered to be any cannabis plant with less than .3% THC content.
Both plants contain a substance called CBD (cannabidiol), and this is responsible for most of the medicinal benefits that have been ascribed to cannabis. Thus, CBD gives people a way to get the “medicine” aspect without the “drug” aspect. For thousands of years, cannabis has been used for both recreation and medicine. Now, science has been able to separate the two.
Medicinal Uses Of The Hemp Flower
In most cases, CBD oil is extracted from hemp seeds, but the use of flowers from mr hemp flower has become a viable alternative for many people. You can smoke it, eat it, or make it into a drink, much like you could do with any type of cannabis. Surprisingly, there is some significant research on the positive effects of CBD.
First of all, CBD has been shown to help control seizures, especially in those who are chronically prone to them. Let’s start with this study, performed on a group of children with Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is an epileptic condition that causes frequent and drug-resistant seizures, which usually begin in the first year.
Over the course of 14 weeks, one group was given CBD while the other was given a placebo. Normal epilepsy treatments also continued during this time, in order to avoid tainting the study with abnormal conditions. To make a long story short, the frequency of seizures in the CBD group was decreased by more than 50%. The placebo group only experienced a decline of 0.8%, so this one is pretty conclusive.
For a second example, let’s look at this study, which was performed on a group of arthritic dogs. Each one was given a daily dose of CBD (2 mg per 1 kg of body weight) for 4 weeks, and the results were quite encouraging. The dogs in question showed fewer signs of being in pain and were more active. It is also worth noting that no significant side effects were observed.
Finally, we might also mention the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. This study, performed on mice with pancreatitis, might offer some evidence. These researchers found that CBD decreased the manifestation of symptoms and decreased the activity of its associated enzymes.
Does THC Have Medical Uses?
It is objectively true that THC has some usefulness in medicine. In particular, it makes a good anti-nausea drug. However, the intoxicating nature of the plant makes it an impractical treatment for some.
For instance, a person who spends a lot of time behind the wheel should probably avoid medicinal THC. Even if they are able to drive safely while under the influence, the law will not make any distinction between them and a drunk driver. Those who work with large machinery or other dangerous things might also want to avoid cannabis-induced inebriation.
Which Cannabis Plants Have The Most CBD?
As we already mentioned, the hemp plant generally contains more CBD oil than its popular counterpart. As we can see from looking at this research, the CBD content of hemp varies quite a bit. In fact, many varieties of industrial hemp contain little to no CBD, mostly because it was never a priority for this industry. On the other hand, some hemp seeds were found to contain as much as 25% CBD. To put that in perspective, understand that high-grade recreational cannabis will normally contain roughly that same amount of THC.
At this point, you might be wondering: Is hemp considered to be Sativa or Indica? Maybe Ruderalis? The truth is that it might be any of these. Prior to the banning of cannabis, there was little to no distinction made between hemp and any other plant in that family. A hemp plant might be Sativa, Indica, or Ruderalis. At this point, the word “hemp” refers to any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC.
As a source of CBD, Cannabis Indica is usually the better source. There seems to be some variation on this, but the general trend is clear. This extensive study looked at the chemical compositions of many strains (both Sativa and Indica). They found that the Indica strains had a level of CBD that was more or less equal to their level of THC.
In conclusion, the difference between these two flowers is a very simple one. The Marijuana flower contains high levels of THC while the hemp flower does not. This definition comes from the law and does not really reflect anything about the nature of either plant. Some varieties of industrial hemp will contain more than 0.3% THC, blurring the line even more. Although this topic is a little confusing, we hope that we have answered all of your questions and given you a better understanding of how things work.