CBD & THC is everywhere nowadays. It’s not all that rare to find hemp derived edibles at your local coffee shop or to drive by a billboard advertising these products too. Hemp and cannabis are slowly becoming a part of our mainstream culture. But there are still so many questions… like what’s the difference between Hemp and Cannabis? And what actually is CBD? By the end of this blog, you will understand these common questions so well, you’ll be able to teach your bff all about these plant-powered products.
Hemp (a variation of cannabis) is a gorgeous green, bushy plant that grows best in warm and slightly humid environment. Hemp plants can be male or female. Male plants are grown for their fiber and seeds, while female plants are grown for their flowers. Hemp plants grow big and tall through the summer but once the days start to get shorter, they start to produce their gorgeous therapeutic flowers. These incredible flowers house some of nature’s most powerful medicine. The leaves surrounding the flowers are coated with sticky little globes called trichomes which are filled with all the plant-powered magic including the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Hemp and Cannabis have been used in our society for thousands of years but has recently been criminalized and highly-regulated within the past century. Hemp and Cannabis consumption, cultivation and importation was banned in 1937 under the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. While it is still illegal to do these things on a federal level, a lot of states have been voting and changing this standard since 2012.
However hemp falls into its own unique category. In the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was declared nationally legal as long as it fits a certain criteria. That criteria? No more than .3% Delta 9 THC. As long as your plants fit this criteria, it can be grown alongside fruits and veggies like the agricultural necessity is is.
Let’s break down these concepts even further…
A variation of cannabis with <.3% of Delta 9 THC.
A plant that produces flowers with psychoactive effects.
Sticky bulbs/hairs that house terpenes and cannabinoids.
The chemical compounds that give flower it’s potency.
The chemical compounds that give flower its unique scent and effects.
A system of nerve receptors in the human body.
If you saw a hemp plant and a cannabis plant growing alongside one another you would not be able to tell the difference. From a physical perspective, the plants are identical. The only difference between hemp and cannabis is their cannabinoid content. Like mentioned before, hemp is defined as having less than .3% Delta 9 THC. While hemp is required to have small amounts of Delta 9 THC, it has recently been strategically cultivated to have high amounts of CBD. Farmers cultivating hemp have to submit tests with their local Department of Agriculture proving their hemp plants have less than .3% Delta 9 THC both before and after harvest.
CBD and THC are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in hemp and cannabis. Just like how caffeine naturally occurs in coffee beans, CBD and THC naturally occur in hemp and cannabis. Technically speaking, CBD and THC are “cannabinoids”. Cannabinoids come in all kinds of shapes and effects which is based on their molecular structure. Some cannabinoids have more molecular bonds and as a result, have stronger effects (Delta 9 THC). While even just one less bonding molecule can make a cannabinoid half as potent (Delta 8 THC). Check out the graphic below to see some cannabinoid molecular structures.
Our bodies are equipped with something called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS)- it is an entire system of nerves dedicated to processing cannabinoids. We were literally made to engage with cannabinoids! Which, sounds made up but it’s true! When we consume cannabinoids, there is a corresponding nerve receptor just waiting to welcome that cannabinoid and make magic happen. When THC enters the ECS it, binds with receptors throughout the brain and body sending various mental and physical signals which gives us the unique euphoric sensation. When CBD enters our ECS, it is hypothesized to not actually bond with receptors but more so act as a modulator for preexisting neuro-pathways. Like encouraging and strengthening pathways for serotonin which is why CBD is great for regulating moods and anxiety.
“The endocannabinoid system regulates distinctive physiologic processes in the human body. It is implicated in stress response pathways, pain, obesity, mood, the sleep-wake cycle, hunger, and has other functional activities in organ systems including the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, skeletal muscle, hepatic, reproductive, and urologic systems.”
CBD and THC affect our bodies in a wide variety of ways.
Here is a short compilation of some of their uses and benefits:
Our bodies are designed to use cannabinoids, their presence in our bodies has irreplaceable benefits that help promote a true state of homeostasis. By mindfully introducing CBD and THC to your daily routine you could help regulate your mood, relieve pain, sleep better, be more present and so much more. The most amazing part of this plant is how safe it is. Nobody has ever died from consuming too many cannabinoids, but you should always start slow. If you are interested in trying out CBD and THC, check out Seventh Hill’s product line with a wide variety of cannabinoid profiles available nationwide.