The Difference Between Cannabis & Hemp
There is a lot of misleading information about the difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are actually both cannabis, the difference being the amount of THC present. If the plant (cannabis sativa or cannabis indica) contains 0.3% THC or greater, it is defined by the Unites States government as the controlled substance marijuana, however, if it contains less than 0.3% THC, it is hemp. Most CBD extracts and isolates are derived solely from the hemp plant, specifically the leaves, stem and stalk, due to the many regulations on the sale of CBD and other cannabis derived products.
What exactly is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many naturally occurring cannabinoids active constituents of the cannabis plant. Though many cannabinoids have purported health benefits, THC and CBD are have had the most research done are are the most widely available. The most notable difference between CBD and THC is that THC produces a euphoric, almost psychedelic, “high”, while CBD does not. Still, both molecules (and likely many of the other cannabinoids) have their place depending on the person and problem being addressed.
What is the Endocannabinoid System and how does it work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) exists inside you even if you don’t use cannabis in any form. It is made up of three parts:
– Endocannabinoids: cannabinoid-like compounds that occur naturally in the body
– CB1 and CB2 Receptors: structures in the central and peripheral nervous system that endocannabinoids and cannabinoids bind with to signal to the body to take an action
– Enzymes: proteins that help and break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids
These parts work together in our body to regulate and enhance many of our body’s natural processes and functions including sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and reproduction. Though the specifics are incredibly complex and not yet fully understood, cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system in a meaningful way that should not be taken lightly.
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