Cannabidiol (CBD) is well-known in cannabis culture as one of the most active ingredients in the plant, typically associated with medicinal and therapeutic effects. However, it’s blown up in public popularity since the conversation of medical marijuana expanded a little over 10 years ago. Now, you can find CBD-infused products – typically using CBD oil – nearly anywhere you turn in the over-the-counter market of the United States.
Information about CBD is still somewhat murky for the average consumer, though. With the rise in popularity of it as a health and beauty supplement, companies have come under fire for claiming that it can cure a variety of illnesses or have marketed products as containing CBD oil when in fact they actually simply use hemp seed oil. Don’t let this turn you off – CBD is a very important cannabinoid with a variety of benefits, both for the medicinal and recreational user.
What is CBD?
Just like tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is one of hundreds of active cannabinoids present in the Cannabis sativa plant. These specific ratios of these chemicals, along with terpenes, creates the distinct cultivar varieties available (and also are what differentiates hemp from what we dub “marijuana”). Typically, strains with higher amounts of CBD present are labeled as Indica due to the cannabinoid’s tendency to aid with sleep, anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
How is CBD different from THC?
The main difference between the two is that CBD is not psychoactive, meaning you can’t get high from it. It’s because of this that the legal status of CBD is slightly more open – thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oils and products derived from hemp plants are federally legal to produce and sell.
This is not to say that CBD doesn’t have euphoric effects; it’s long been studied to show positive results when helping medical patients who struggle with severe anxiety and depression, nausea, and even seizures. And it’s not useless if you’re looking to get high from your favorite cultivar – research suggests that combining CBD and THC encourages “the entourage effect.” Essentially, this means that when the components of cannabis are used together, they work to produce stronger and more well-rounded benefits.
Is there a difference between marijuana CBD and hemp CBD?
No. As we touch on in our How to Grow Cannabis Guide and Debunking The Most Common Myths About Marijuana article, hemp is not a distinct species of cannabis but is simply a variety of C. sativa that produces little to no THC or other psychoactive components. In the U.S., hemp is legally defined as having less than 0.3% THC.
Therefore, yes…federally legal CBD products must be derived from hemp. But that doesn’t mean that CBD products you can purchase in your local dispensary or provisioning center derived from marijuana are particularly different in quality and/or effect. Hemp tends to produce more CBD; Indica cultivars tend to produce more, too. But overall, CBD is CBD.
Should I look for products with high amounts of CBD?
It depends on what you’re looking for in a high. We recommend that medical patients or those looking to alleviate symptoms like nausea or anxiety reach for something potent yet balanced, such as Rair’s 1:1 Watermelon Mint tincture. Our provisioning centers also carry HempMeds Tangerine and Sleep Support CBD tinctures for those looking to avoid THC.
Looking for a couch-locking kind of high or substantial pain relief? Try Indica cultivars heavy in CBD, such as Rair’s Milk & Cookies or Big Bud.