CBD vs. Hemp Oil – What’s the Difference?

hemp oil vs. cbd oil

Comparing CBD vs. Hemp Oil

“There are at least 50 shades of green in the emerging industry of medical cannabis.” So says my good friend who has a great deal of experience and is well-read on the subject of hemp oil.

I concur. Seems like there is so much to learn, it is like drinking from a fire hose.

On top of that, common misconceptions or points of confusion regarding cannabis derived oil abound. One example is found in naming conventions. There are hundreds of different products calling themselves either:

  • CBD oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Cannabis oil
  • Marijuana oil
  • …or some other creative variations you might see.

hemp oil cannabisNo wonder the average consumer is confused!

Another difficulty is that laws differ between states, counties, sometimes even cities. For this reason, becoming well versed in the world of cannabis can be likened to learning a new language that constantly changes due to constantly evolving legalities & regulations.

In this post, the goal is to define the difference between hemp and cannabis.

“Hemp” technically is the cannabis sativa plant, bred to have very little THC. The compound THC is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. Psychoactive meaning it is the compound that gives the “high” feeling experienced by consumers. In order to be classified as hemp, the plant must contain less than .3% THC.

The exciting thing about hemp is that it can be selectively cultivated to have varying levels of its different compounds. For example, hemp with up to 40% Cannabidiol (CBD) is successfully grown and harvested. As a reminder, CBD is the non-psychoactive compound, which actually neutralizes THC, in hemp. Cannabidiol has been shown to have a powerful regulatory effect on the endocannabinoid system, which helps support the nervous system and immune function in the body, to name just a couple benefits.

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What is the Endocannabinoid System?

cannabinoid research

The Endocannabinoid System : Revolutionary Medical Discovery

Many doctors and researchers believe the discovery of the endocannabinoid system could be one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of our time. To understand how and why cannabis seems so helpful to mammals (like humans and dogs), knowing about the this system is key.

There is still much more to discover regarding how this complex system functions, but so far researchers have determined that endocannabinoid receptors are found embedded in cell membranes throughout the body. There are two distinct cannabinoid receptors:

  1. CB1, located throughout the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs
  2. CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and its associated structures.

Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, and there is speculation that there may even be a third receptor, as of yet undiscovered.endocannabinoid system diagram

Noteworthy Facts About the Endocannabinoid System

  • All mammals have an endocannabinoid system.
  • Regulates immune and nervous system.
  • Promotes general homeostasis in the body.
  • Is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, which are located throughout the body – the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.
    • Cannabinoids promote homeostasis in a number of ways. One way is through autophagy, the process that regulates “cell death”. This has a powerful impact on the cell’s ability to recognize healthy cells and keep them alive, or to recognize “bad” ones like cancer, and self-destruct.
  • The endocannabinoid system is a master communicator between different types of cells in the body.
    • For example, if you are injured, the cannabinoids in your body can rally to act on the nerve cells, preventing over-firing of an inflammatory response.
    • Cannabinoids have a calming influence on immune cells. The result of this communication among the three various types of cells is a reduction in pain and inflammation.

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