For those happy and content in their consumption of the popular cannabinoid CBD, where the molecule is sourced from, may not be too much of a concern. However, for many, the mere association that CBD has with cannabis proves to be somewhat of a stumbling block in whether they will or will not entertain the idea of introducing the food supplement to their diet.
“Cannabis is illegal… using CBD will get me high… what will the neighbours say?" Are popular objections often spoken by those sitting on the fence about whether to try the popular extract simply guided by misinformation and myth? Let’s find out more about whether CBD is the same as cannabis, where CBD is sourced from, and what the difference is between hemp and marijuana.
Is CBD the Same as Cannabis?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the name given to one of over a hundred known molecules found typically within cannabis and hemp plant. Belonging to the family of flowering plants known as Cannabaceae, the group also represents Hops, which is used to produce beer.
Rest assured, CBD is not the same as cannabis, in fact, it's far from it. You wouldn't say that Vitamin C is the same as an orange, would you? While the fruit may contain the vitamin, the two are distinguishable items. And furthermore, an orange isn't representative of the whole citrus family.
Blood orange, navel orange, Seville, mandarin, tangerine - despite bearing similarities in their genetic makeup and content of vitamin C - each has its own characteristics and nuances, independent of one another.
Cannabis, therefore, is simply the name given to a broad range of plants that account for over a hundred different species and strains - including industrial hemp. Similar to the analogy of vitamin C found in an orange, CBD is one of over a hundred molecules known as cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant family.
Where does CBD come from?
While Seville is often regarded as the best orange to make marmalade with, industrial hemp can perhaps be considered as the ideal source of the non-psychoactive CBD. A highly versatile crop, industrial hemp has been cultivated for millennia playing an important role in textiles and building materials. In addition to its industrial purposes, it turns out industrial hemp is jam-packed with CBD molecules.
While there are a few ways to extract and isolate the CBD molecule from hemp, the safest and least impactful way is by CO2 extraction (dry ice). Non-toxic, free from solvents and yielding a low environmental impact, the CBD can be safely extracted and then used as an active ingredient in things like CBD Sublingual Oil, CBD Vape Oil as well as food, drink, topical balms and creams.
The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
A commonly misconstrued query by many is, understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana. Is there a difference? The answer to this question is actually very easy to explain. Both technically cannabis, ‘marijuana' is simply a Mexican slang word predominantly adopted by the ‘War on Drugs' led by the neighbouring United States of America in the 1930s following an influx of over a million migrants from the Mexican Revolution. Similar to the words; weed, skunk, bud, grass, green, trees, marijuana commonly refers to cannabis cultivated for the high levels of THC produced by the cannabis plants flowers. While the majority of marijuana strains will contain some CBD, those same strains will typically contain hundreds of other cannabinoids - including an abundance of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC.
The visual similarity of hemp and cannabis means that you could be forgiven for wandering past an entirely legal crop and thinking it might be something more sinister. Look a little closer, though, and bright green fanned leaves, will probably be the only similarity you come across.
Where bushy cannabis plants rich in THC require masses of sunlight and warmth to grow their resinous flowers and trichomes, industrial hemp is able to grow pretty much anywhere and in any soil type. Rich in CBD, industrial hemp has traditionally been cultivated for its long stalks containing strong fibres suitable for making rope, textiles, paper and, more recently, eco-building materials like hemp-plastic and hempcrete.
While hemp will flower, compared to other strains cultivated for their psychoactive experience, the content of THC will be minimal. In fact, the most important distinction that determines the legal status of cannabis is just that – THC content. Hemp must not contain any more than 0.1% THC once dried.
So there you have it - we hope you now know that CBD is not the same as cannabis and that it is simply a molecule found within a variety of cannabis plants - which includes the very versatile and completely legal industrial hemp.