Medical cannabis is a trending buzz phrase today. In all fairness, its powerful therapeutic and medicinal benefits for treating epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia, and many other health disorders can’t simply be ignored.
However, it’s also easy to get confused, given the different components that make up the cannabis plant which have very different effects on the body.
Out of the 80-100 chemical compounds or cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, two main cannabinoids lead with very different interactions to the body.
One, THC, can get you high and also has some medicinal properties. The other, CBD, has very powerful medicinal qualities.
Here’s your guide to understanding cannabis and cannabinoid terminologies a lot better.
Cannabidiol oil or CBD oil is a specific cannabinoid sourced from the cannabis plant (the genus).
A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that is naturally found in the cannabis Sativa plant.
Due to its natural association with the marijuana plant, it may get some bad rap as it gets inevitably linked to the intoxicating or “high” effect that’s widely known about the plant.
But the “high” effect is produced by a different cannabinoid, known as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD (cannabidiol), although coming from the same plant, is an entirely different chemical compound.
THC and CBD are the most widely known chemical compounds secreted by the cannabis plant, but they each interact with very specific receptors in the body, causing very different effects.
CBD makes up about 40% of the plant resin extract, which makes it a very important component.
CBD oil is a product of the cannabis plant, but it’s the cannabinoid mainly associated with the medicinal and therapeutic effects of cannabis.
Unlike THC, the CBD or CBD oil product has an anti-psychoactive effect that counters the “high” and intoxicating effects of THC.
Whereas anxiety associated with the cannabis plant is mainly caused by THC acid, CBD acid helps to alleviate its negative effects.
Medicinal cannabis is produced from the cannabis plant. The same plant is used to create the known drug, marijuana, which people may use to intoxicate themselves and get high.
However, cannabis also has powerful but lesser-known medicinal and therapeutic effects and this is what medicinal cannabis is used for.
It has been known to treat a variety of ailments from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, helps fight cancer, diabetes, seizures, and a lot more.
Different cultivars of cannabis contain cannabinoids in widely different ratios than other strains.
Whereas cannabis grown for recreational use will target higher THC content, that grown for medicinal use will be selected for their higher CBD and other lesser-known compounds that provide specific healing effects.
Due to its powerful therapeutic properties, certain cannabinoids have been legally approved for prescription use.
Nevertheless, due to ongoing studies and its still-controversial nature, medicinal cannabis remains tightly regulated.
The legal use of medicinal cannabis will vary from state to state or country to country.
What is the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp?
The main difference between hemp and marijuana lies in its cultivation and intended use.
Marijuana from the cannabis plant is often planted indoors or in greenhouses. They don’t grow as large as hemp plants can grow.
Hemp plants are usually grown outdoors and are cultivated for industrial purposes.
Hemp is a variety of cannabis Sativa. It is a type of cannabis that can be separated into male and female plants.
For more than 10,000 years, hemp plants have served a wide range of use. It has been used as protein, fiber, and oil.
Hemp fibers can be used for producing paper, fabric, furniture, and building materials. From the stalk to its seed, hemp plants are very useful.
They can be used for making fuel as well.
Though hemp may contain very little THC cannabinoid or none at all, if it does, THC content is less than 0.3%, so it can’t be used to get “high.”
Hemp is selectively bred and is mainly used for industrial purposes. Biofuel, feedstock, clothing, fabric, and producing ropes are mostly the designated purpose of hemp.
They are much taller than marijuana plants and can grow to as high as 4 meters.
Marijuana is the more popular terminology for the cannabis plant. The term “marijuana” originated from ancient China, the very first known user of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
As early as 2737 BC, Emperor Shennong conducted research on the medicinal use of marijuana and even wrote a book about his findings citing marijuana as medicine for rheumatism, gout, constipation, and even absent-mindedness.
Today, marijuana is a widely-known drug with a variety of uses, from medicinal to recreational.
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