CBD Oil From Hemp VS Marijuana
For those of you who may have wondered what the difference is between Hemp derived CBD and Marijuana derived CBD...this one’s for you.
There are, indeed, many differences between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD oil in terms of its cannabinoid profiles, effects, and legality. However, before we dive deeper into this subject, we’d like you to get a better understanding of what cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are and how they’re different from each other. Let’s get straight into it.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is an annual herbaceous plant with two primary classifications — Indica and Sativa. Marijuana and hemp are members of this plant genus; hemp belongs to the Cannabis sativa species only, whereas marijuana can be a member of either Cannabis indica or C.sativa species.
The cannabis plant species contains 60 known cannabinoid compounds, including the more well-known CBD and THC. The levels of THC in cannabis are what legally distinguish which plants are considered industrial hemp and which are considered marijuana. High levels of THC (3 -15%), the cannabinoid commonly associated with the plant’s psychoactive properties, is found in higher concentrations in marijuana plants, whereas industrial hemp status is given to cannabis plants with THC levels less than 0.3%. However, it must be noted that UK law stipulates that THC levels should be less than 0.2% in CBD products being sold in the UK.
Because both marijuana and hemp come from Cannabis sativa, they share certain traits. However, marijuana and hemp are not the same things. Below we will highlight several distinct differences between these two plants.
What is Hemp?
Hemp - also called industrial hemp - is one of the oldest plants known to man, dating back to 8000 BC. Hemp is a cannabis plant that is harvested commercially for its seeds, stalks, and flowers. Because it grows sturdy and tall — up to 2 to 4 meters in height — it’s typically cultivated outdoors.
Different parts of the plant are used for different uses:
- Seeds are often used in food and cosmetics.
- Stalks are the source of fibre used in building materials and clothing.
- Flowers, on the other hand, are harvested for its cannabinoid content.
The cannabinoid content of hemp is where it differs the most from marijuana. Namely, hemp comes with high concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, but it carries almost no THC (below 0.3%). It’s the THC content that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. Unlike marijuana, hemp derived CBD is completely legal in the UK, provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU- approved, and contains no more than 0.2% THC.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a cannabis plant that is harvested for its euphoric, relaxing, and psychoactive properties. As opposed to hemp, the seeds and stalks of marijuana aren’t used commercially as a food source, or in the textiles industry. Instead, the plant is cultivated for its highly resinous flowers containing an abundance of cannabinoids. The THC content of marijuana is much higher than it is in hemp. Marijuana can have up to 30% THC per dry weight.
This type of cannabis is illegal for recreational use in the UK and is classified as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Medical use of cannabis however, when prescribed by a registered specialist doctor was legalised in the UK in November 2018.
Given the above differences, those new to cannabis may think CBD from hemp is somehow different than CBD from marijuana, but in short - it’s not.
CBD is CBD Regardless of the Source — But Not All CBD Oils Are Created Equal.
On the molecular level, CBD when isolated is the same compound regardless of whether it’s found in high-THC (Marijuana) or low-THC (Industrial Hemp) cannabis plants. Thus, the argument of the CBD molecule being different in marijuana and hemp is a misconception. Franjo Grotenhermen of the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines famously declared, “CBD is CBD. The human body does not care where the molecule comes from.” To better understand this, think of drinking water from the faucet of your sink or a filtered water bottle. Although the purity of the water might be different, the H2O molecule is consistent. Similar to the above analogy, what is arguably relevant in the debate between hemp or marijuana extracts should be the purity and safety of the cannabidiol someone is consuming, regardless of the plant it is derived from.
There are, however, several differences between CBD products, such as CBD oil, depending on where the CBD is sourced from.
CBD Oil Made from Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
As mentioned earlier, there are a few aspects which help us distinguish between CBD oil derived from hemp vs. CBD oil derived from marijuana. Here’s a breakdown of the most important differences:
1. Cannabinoid Content
The majority of CBD oils on the market are full-spectrum extracts. This means they contain not only CBD but also a range of other cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis plants. Now, the main difference between CBD oil from hemp and marijuana is the ratio between THC and CBD. Hemp-derived CBD oil usually contains high concentrations of CBD, but its THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3% (although the legal THC content in the UK is <0.2%). While marijuana-derived oil is sourced from selectively bred high-CBD strains, it also comes with significant amounts of THC, ranging between 5% and 30%. In fact, some high-CBD flowers can have equal levels of THC and CBD. Which brings us to another issue regarding the differences between CBD oil made from hemp and marijuana.
Industrial hemp may be grown under licence in the UK because it's a strain of the cannabis plant that contains little or no THC. By contrast, it is illegal to grow marijuana in the UK, as it has much higher levels of THC - the psychoactive cannabinoid that recreational users use to get "high". Supply or production of cannabis (excluding industrial hemp) is punishable under the Misuse of Drugs Act with up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Being in possession of cannabis is punishable with up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
While almost all cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD is not, and can therefore be extracted from Hemp plants and legally sold in the UK. The Home Office has however stipulated that CBD oil must contain a maximum THC content of 0.2%, and that the THC must not be easily separated from it. For that reason, CBD oil sold in the UK must be derived from Hemp as opposed to Marijuana, as it would be physically impossible to find a marijuana plant with <0.2% THC. However, specialist doctors in the UK are now able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products with higher THC levels.
3. Effect Profiles
Due to its low THC content, hemp-derived CBD oil has no intoxicating effects on the user. In other words, you won’t get high off of CBD hemp products. Instead, you may feel relaxed, more alert, free of physical and mental discomfort, and notice positive changes in your overall well-being thanks to how CBD works in the endocannabinoid system. By contrast, CBD oil from marijuana can get the user high, although the psychoactive effects of such products are less intense since CBD counteracts THC’s intoxicating properties. In addition, marijuana-derived CBD oil acts as a strong analgesic, relaxant, anti-depressant, and can tackle a wide range of chronic, often treatment-resistant, conditions.
Full-spectrum CBD hemp oils are usually labeled as dietary supplements and can be found among other over the counter products in pharmacies and health stores across the country, as well as specialist online retailers. The main purpose of using CBD hemp oil is to restore the chemical balance in the body by stimulating the human endocannabinoid system and enhance the overall quality of one’s life. As a company selling CBD products, CBD Porter are not allowed to make medical claims about CBD hemp oil, but we strongly encourage you to do your own research in that matter. As for marijuana-derived CBD oils, you can find them only in medical dispensaries across the UK, and they will need to be prescribed to you by a specialist doctor. They are most often used as a medicine to combat a variety of conditions applying for the medical marijuana treatment, such as chronic pain, inflammation, sleep disorders, cognitive dysfunction, neurological diseases, tumours, HIV/AIDS, and more.
5. Entourage effect
When it comes to CBD oil, it’s not just about cannabidiol; there are other cannabinoids to take into account as well as terpenes and other phytochemicals. According to studies conducted by experts in the cannabinoid field, all constituents in cannabis work synergistically to produce a unique set of effects in each cannabis strain. These effects are stronger than those produced by each cannabinoid alone. This phenomenon is commonly known as the entourage effect. The ratio between THC, the addition of terpenes, and the number of the so-called minor cannabinoids all determine the way we react to cannabis.
That’s why at CBD Porter we stock a wide range of high quality full spectrum CBD products for you to try.
CBD Porter’s CBD Products are Legal and High Quality
As we have already mentioned, Hemp-derived CBD oil is a legal product in the UK, and can still offer you the full spectrum of cannabinoids — with only trace amounts of THC. If you purchase your CBD products from CBD Porter, you can rest assured that they will meet with UK legal requirements. All products stocked on CBD Porter are derived from Industrial Hemp plants and use CO2 extraction processing. THC levels in Full Spectrum CBD products will be <0.2%. Alternatively, if you’d rather avoid THC altogether, you can find 0% THC products available at CBD Porter. Head to our ‘shop’ now to browse our complete CBD stock range.