I have read some articles recently that to my knowledge were completely false about the differences between CBD extracted from hemp versus CBD extracted from marijuana. This article will summarize the differences between the two. I will first go through a couple quick definitions, then I will define what CBD is, and then discuss the “entourage effect” and its importance in the efficacy of “whole-plant” CBD oil.
The first important step is to understand that the word “cannabis” is referring to both marijuana and hemp, the two different types of cannabis. What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? The important thing to understand is hemp is an agriculture product that can be used for a multitude of products (plastic, fuel, food and more) and marijuana is almost entirely bred for the euphoric effects that THC produces. Hemp often has less than 0.3% THC and marijuana has a much larger cannabinoid profile. Basically, marijuana makes you high, hemp does not.
What then is CBD? CBD stands for Cannabidiol and is one of the many cannabinoids (more than 100 cannabinoids have been found by some accounts) found in cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive (meaning it will not get you high).
How does CBD affect your brain function? Essentially, CBD helps your brain to operate more efficiently. CBD acts like lubricant for your brain synapses, and that’s why patients with seizures often benefit from it. CBD has also shown to be effective for pain management and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and MS.
In 2011, a paper in the British Journal of Pharmacology laid out the synergistic contributions of the multitude of other cannabinoids and terpenes. Many studies show that pure THC does not have the efficacy as “whole plant” cannabis does. The term “whole plant” refers to marijuana that contains all of its cannabinoids and terpenes. THC is like the engine of your high and the cannabinoids and terpenes are the steering mechanism. If you want to go super-fast like a drag race, then you’ll want something that’s high in THC; however, if you want the full effects of being high, then you’ll want a strain that has a range of cannabinoids and terpenes.
What this ultimately boils down to is this: CBD extracted from hemp is not going to contain much else besides CBD. If this is all you have access to because you live in a state where marijuana remains illegal, then CBD-only products are a great option. However, a much better option is utilizing whole plant cannabis that has a range of terpenes and cannabinoids.