There is a lot of confusion around this topic and this blog is going to address the main difference between the two.
The hemp plant and marijuana plant are different varieties of the same plant species— cannabis sativa. Much like in the gem kingdom, Ruby and Sapphire are different varieties of the same mineral corundum—sapphire is every color except for red. The difference of colors is based on presence of different elements in the stone. A high presence of Chromium creates the red color in Corundum and thus is designated a Ruby vs Sapphire which lacks the Chromium.
By comparison the hemp plant is the male variety of the cannabis sativa plant and contains a high concentration of a particular cannadinoid compound called cannabidiol or CBD (also often simply called Hemp Extract).
CBD is just one of the 144 oils that can be found in the cannabis plant. It is found in the highest percentage of all the cannabinoid compounds contained in the Hemp variety of the cannabis plant species While cannabis also contains other compounds such as terpenes (chemicals that produce fragrances), vitamins, mineral, proteins and chlorophyll, the cannabinoids are the most important.
What Is THC?
The female variety of the cannabis sativa plant is called marijuana. It differs from the Hemp plant due to the presence of a cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the oil that when ingested will initiate the “high” or euphoric feeling associated with marijuana. THC is virtually non existent in the Hemp plant and as such, creates no ‘high” or euphoria when ingested.
The CBD/Hemp Extract has many medicinal properties but will not create a feeling of euphoria or getting “high.”
When Hemp Extract has less than 0.3% THC by weight, it is considered a dietary supplement. It is also now legal to be sold over the counter in all 50 states.
More than 23,000 studies worldwide have validated that the bioactive components of the hemp plant address many health conditions. It is important to emphasize this fact. Marijuana also has many medicinal benefits. However, it contains high levels of THC which will get one “high” and is still an illegal Schedule 1 drug in many states.
Hemp Extract Has No Psychoactive Effects.
To make this point perfectly clear, if the strain of cannabis sativa plant has less than 0.3% of TCH in weight, it is classified by the government as legal for over-the-counter sales. This form of cannabis is called Hemp Extract.
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Thank you for taking your time to become educated on the science and technologies behind the best health supplements.
My best wishes for your best health.
Founder and CEO of Optivida Health
[For science-based evidence for the use of hemp extract read "Hemp Health Revolution: The A to Z Health Benefits of Hemp Extract"]