Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plants, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Colorado hemp we’re now using!
Cannabis sativa L. has been selectively bred for recreational uses to obtain the maximum “high”, so the level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been increased very much (up to 20-25%) and, in upping the potency through selective breeding, CBD has been selectively eliminated from recreational varieties or, eventually, it is rarely found in specific varieties. CBD is often found in hemp – in varieties used to produce fiber and seeds. But the combination of CBD/THC in cannabis seem to be beneficial for medical use.
The past year has seen a surge of interest in marijuana’s CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with significant therapeutic properties. Numerous commercial start-ups and internet retailers have jumped on the CBD bandwagon, touting CBD derived from industrial hemp as the next big thing, a miracle oil that can shrink tumors, quell seizures, and ease chronic pain — without making people feel “stoned.” But along with a growing awareness of cannabidiol as a potential health aid, there has been a proliferation of misconceptions about CBD.
But one of the big differences between CBD and THC is, according to Jane West, cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and founder of the marijuana networking group Women Grow, that CBD is non-intoxicating. “Its potential benefits come with few or no adverse effects,” West tells MarieClaire.com. “So really, this is something that everyone, even those who are reluctant to consume cannabis, can try to incorporate beneficial cannabinoids into their lives without any sort of high or residual THC in their bloodstream.”
CBD oil derived from whole-plant marijuana has seen promising results for numerous medical treatments, including treating children with epilepsy. (In 2013, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduced the world to a child who after using CBD oil went from having 300 seizures a month to only two.) On April 19, the AP reported that an FDA panel is reviewing a a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil made from whole-plant marijuana called Epidiolex, a possible treatment for rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. If approved, it would be the first marijuana-made medication sold on the U.S. market. A day later, on the marijuana community’s “high holiday,” April 20, New York Senator Chuck Schumer introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level. Forecasters are predicting that legal cannabis in the U.S. will be outselling soda by 2030.
In most cases (and in all cases in which the coffee shop doesn’t want to risk being sued), coffee shops can’t advertise CBD as doing much of anything, one way or another. While clinical trials attempt to determine an effective dose for a particular condition, says Esther, the growing “wellness empire” is free to leave the effects to your imagination. “People who are selling CBD don’t even have to make specific claims. The relationship between the actual amount of CBD and the effect doesn’t have to be very specific, because there is no specific effect that they’re talking about,” says Blessing. “So if I have a CBD latte, I might feel a little relaxed, or a little less neurotic, or who knows.”
The final advantage in the above list of a lower cost per milligram is one worth looking into further. As previously mentioned, because a full spectrum product is derived from a whole plant ex-tract it typically costs more (you the consumer are getting more than just CBD). Chase Terwilliger, CEO of CBDistillery, adds, "It is less expensive to manufacture isolate-based products com-pared to full-spectrum products. Rather than taking advantage of a larger margin, we decided to pass the savings along to the consumers." For those looking for a pure CBD product, you will al-so be delighted to find that CBD oil made from isolate is typically less expensive than a full-spectrum product. Which brings up a final point which is to do your research on the industry standard pricing for cost per milligram to ensure you are not paying an unnecessary premium.