Lots of people are curious about CBD. But some may feel held back from trying it over concerns about THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Along with CBD, or cannabidiol, THC is the second most prominent cannabinoid in the hemp and marijuana plants — both two types of flowering plants in the Cannabacaea family. When taken in large doses, THC can cause people to feel a euphoric “high” sensation. Those who are new to CBD may not know that there’s a big difference between hemp-based and marijuana-based products, and that not all hemp-derived products contain THC.
What’s the Difference Between Marijuana- and Hemp-Based CBD Products?
As we stated earlier, both marijuana and hemp are varieties of the cannabis plant. The main difference between the two is that the hemp plant naturally contains low levels of THC, while the marijuana plant is known for its high THC levels that evoke a familiar “high” sensation among users. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, all hemp-based CBD products are legal to buy and sell throughout the United States, provided they contain 0.3% or less THC. Marijuana-derived products are only legal in states that have medicinal and/or recreational marijuana laws in effect.
The cannabis seeds in both the hemp and marijuana plants don’t contain any cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found, however, in the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the plants. Even though cannabis strains that are high in THC produce feelings of euphoria, they can be used for medicinal purposes, as in some prescription drugs like Sativex, that are taken to help treat conditions like multiple sclerosis. In terms of hemp, the plant can also be grown to make different kinds of products that include:
- Animal Feed
- Food such as hemp seeds, hemp milk, hemp oil, or hemp protein powder
Hemp is used to make paper and textiles because it grows a lot quicker than trees and other types of crops, thus making it a sustainable product. What some may not know is that hemp is also highly nutritious because it’s considered a complete protein that contains large amounts of fiber.
CBD vs THC: What are the Similarities and Differences?
Both CBD and THC are compounds of the cannabis sativa plant. They are also two of the most prominent cannabinoids. Marijuana plants and hemp plants produce THC and CBD, however, the marijuana plant contains higher concentrations of THC, while the hemp plant does not. Instead, the hemp plant contains high concentrations of CBD. While THC can be psychoactive when taken in large amounts, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that will not cause anyone to feel “high” when taking it.
THC and CBD communicate with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system works to help bring the body back into, and keep it in, a state of balance. Its main function is to help support other systems, like the digestive system, the reproductive system, the nervous system, and more. Even though both cannabinoids interact with the ECS, the way in which they do so differs. For example, THC connects to the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, while CBD only binds to these two receptors in a very weak manner. Researchers believe that CBD works in the ECS to stop the body’s own endocannabinoids from being broken down too early.
Is There THC in CBD?
Put simply, yes and no. Remember, CBD is just an extract from the hemp plant. So no, there is no THC in CBD because they are two different compounds. But there can be THC in CBD products. It all depends on the variety of CBD products that you buy. Full-spectrum products contain CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients. Broad spectrum products are very much like full-spectrum products except that all of the THC has been filtered out of them. Lastly, CBD isolate products contain only 99% pure CBD, as the rest of the plant parts have been removed through a special process. So if you’re looking for a full-spectrum product, then yes, it will contain THC. However, since only hemp-based products are federally legal throughout the US, they will only contain 0.3% or less THC, and therefore, will not cause you to feel “high” while using them.
If you still want to try CBD but have concerns about THC, or are subjected to routine drug tests, then broad spectrum and CBD isolate products are great alternatives. Your body can store THC and CBD in its fat cells for several days to weeks after you’ve taken them. And while not every drug test is able to detect CBD, most standard tests can pick up THC. So if you’ve used a marijuana-based product, then a test will absolutely show up as positive. However, sometimes people who’ve used hemp-based, full-spectrum products have produced a false positive on drug tests. For this reason, you may want to opt for a CBD isolate product.
What’s the Bottom Line?
CBD and THC are both wonderful cannabinoids that work well with the body’s endocannabinoid system, however, not all hemp-based CBD products have THC in them. Under federal law, all hemp-derived products must contain 0.3% or less THC. You may only buy marijuana-based products in states where medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is legal, as these products contain high amounts of THC that will evoke feelings of euphoria. If you want to take advantage of all the stuff that the hemp plant has to offer, then you might want to opt for full-spectrum CBD products. However, if you have concerns about THC or have to take regular drug tests, then broad spectrum or CBD isolate products are recommended. When it comes to finding the best products for your needs, it’s highly recommended that you spend some time researching brands, products, and CBD in general. This way, you’ll be sure to make an educated decision on whether you should choose a full-spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate product.