Perhaps you’ve heard about two plants making controversial headlines and classified within the cannabis plant family. These two plants, hemp and marijuana, achieved stardom long ago. Want to know the difference between hemp and marijuana? The following article shares some facts about these plants. Knowledge is power. Use the knowledge in this article to your benefit as applicable.
Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
No matter what the plant, specific molecules in a certain design structure give plants their unique characteristics. Hemp and marijuana plants contain specific traits that make them the living creations they are. Both hemp and marijuana produce something called cannabidiol (CBD for short.) CBD, merely one of over 100 cannabis family compounds, belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids, also called active chemical compounds, create different attributes found within the cannabis family plants hemp and marijuana. For example, one chemical compound called terpenes creates flavors and aromas. Another chemical component in both hemp and marijuana called chlorophyll causes both plants to be colored green. More chemical components of cannabis could be discussed. However, this article focuses on talking about the differences between hemp and marijuana. First, a little background about your body and why it can favorably interact for you with hemp and marijuana.
Your Body’s Endocannabinoid System
You are probably well aware that your body naturally contains many systems to help you stay well. Once such natural body system is called the Endocannabinoid System. This system is designed to help your body maintain wellness!
The Endocannabinoid System acts like a lock and key setup. Certain receptors naturally “unlock” and activate when specific cannabinoids chemically connect with their specific receptors in your body.
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids naturally produced by your physical body. The prefix “endo” stands for endogenous. Endogenous means that it originates within your human body. Exogenous cannabinoids (also known as phytocannabinoids because they come from plants) originate from a source external to your body such as those found in the cannabis plant family.
While the endocannabinoids are different from exogenous cannabinoids naturally found in marijuana, endo- and exogenous cannabinoids share many similar properties and effects. The similarities exist because marijuana and hemp cannabinoids interact in your body using the same endocannabinoid receptor pathways already in your brain and body.
Scientists believe cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System within your body are already there to primarily promote, maintain and sustain natural body balance and wellness. This System assists with regulating appetite, sleep, pain, mood, memory, and other bodily activities. Your body is indeed an amazing biological, chemical, electrical and energetic creation!
For example, when you ingest the THC in marijuana, the THC activates certain receptor cells in your body’s endocannabinoid system. Two different cannabinoid receptor types become active when you ingest substances from the cannabis family. One receptor type called the CB1 receptor is found predominantly in your brain. This type of receptor triggers the psychoactive effects of the THC in marijuana.
You find the other receptors called CB2 receptors mostly in other parts of your body. CB2 receptors activate many different biological functions.
THC and CBD
The most prevalent and well understood cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Here’s more about these two substances.
CBD can be produced and extracted in both the marijuana and hemp plants. However, in America, CBD extracted from hemp is 100% legal at the federal level. In fact, since President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has now explicitly been removed from the US list of federally banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Some strict requirements apply. One main requirement includes that a plant must contain less than 0.3 percent THC in order to be classified as hemp.
CBD, actually a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, works to counteract the high people get from THC. In addition to being a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD naturally acts as an anti-inflammatory, pain management substance and neuroprotective substance. However, CBD does not have the design elements to do what THC does. CBD binds to the CB2 receptors in the body rather than the CB1 receptors in the brain. It is not in the nature of CBD to produce a psychoactive high as does THC.
CBD’s neuroprotective qualities means it can protect the brain after injury. It also may reduce severity of symptoms in many psychological disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia. It also shows to be helpful in seizure disorders including certain forms of pediatric epilepsy.
These are some main differences between hemp and marijuana. You are encouraged to keep researching these two cannabis plants for your natural wellness interests.
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