In 1970, the United States government passed the Controlled Substances Act deeming all cannabis species a Schedule I drug and banning it use. (Read how that came to pass HERE). Since then there’s been a lot of confusion about the two different species of the cannabis sativa plant- cannabis and hemp. While many politicians and policy makers seem to continue to be confused, let’s review the differences between cannabis and hemp.
1. Cannabis and hemp are basically cousins. However the hemp plant does not grow the flower or bud. (SOURCE)
2. The cannabis flower produces THC known for its psychoactive qualities or euphoric effects. Cannabis plants can be grown with varying levels of THC. While the hemp plant without the flower only contains 0.03% THC. (SOURCE)
3. Both species contain the chemical compound CBD. This compound does not have any side effects, contradictions, or psychotropic effects even with less than 0.03% of THC.(SOURCE)
4. CBD can be derived from both plants. Cannabis can only produce a whole plant treatment or the foundation for medical cannabis. (SOURCE)
5. Both plants have been proven to have medicinal qualities. THC is being used to treat epilepsy, glaucoma, asthma, addiction and more. Other conditions that are responding to CBD are multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic pain and more.
6. Hemp can be in a variety of other applications including clothings, paper, skincare products, etc… (SOURCE)
7. In breeding medical cannabis, THC is thought to act as the leader to the CBD in creating the entourage effect. (SOURCE)
8. CBD products with less than 0.03% THC derived from hemp are legal in all of the United States and can be obtained online. Cannabis derived CBD product with higher levels of THC are not (yet!) legal in all 50 states. (SOURCE) There aren’t any cannabis and hemp products approved by the FDA as both are not federally legal.
Whether you decide to use cannabis or hemp products, remember that producers should be connected to a legal farm, facility, grow, research center, state agriculture center or other unit covered by the Federal Farm Act of 2014. This will help you find the best products and ensures safe use. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof. If one brand can’t provide you with proof, move on. There are lots of great cannabis and hemp products out there for every type of use you’re looking for!