On doing a bit of research on the very popular CBD products in the market, one finds that they are derived from cannabis plants. Marijuana is a cannabis plant and you know where it is leading. At least some people develop a wrong idea in their minds that CBD products that you get in the markets are extracted from marijuana.
So what is the truth? Legal CBD products are derived from hemp plants, which too belong to the cannabis family but is quite different from its relative marijuana.
Exploring the Chemical Composition of Hemp and Marijuana
As per the definition of FDA, marijuana is any plant of the cannabis family that has a THC level greater than 0.3%. What about hemp? FDA defines hemp as any cannabis plant or plants part that contains less than 0.3% THC.
THC is an active cannabinoid found in cannabis plants and is infamous for its intoxicating properties, which is why the FDA gave a clear definition to the legality of CBD by associating it with THC content. Only hemp CBD products are legal in the US and the business should comply with the regulations recommended by the FDA.
Uses of Marijuana and Hemp Plants
Selective crop breeding has been practiced traditionally, and it started for thousands of years. The differentiation of cannabis plants into hemp and marijuana was a result of selective crop breeding. The marijuana plants were bred for medicinal properties and psychoactive effects, while the hemp plants were bred for their seeds and fiber.
Hemp seeds have high nutritional value, and hemp fiber is used in the textile industry. The breeding of hemp to extract the cannabinoid CBD out of it, which is an ingredient of several medicinal products and health supplements, is a relatively new discovery.
The Appearance Is Different Too
Years of selective breeding have led to notable differences in the appearance of the plants, and you can clearly distinguish marijuana and hemp by merely looking at them. Marijuana plants are bred for their flowers because the majority of active compounds like THC are present in the flowers and the farmers target accelerated flower growth. This is why marijuana plants are bushier and shorter than hemp plants.
Fiber production was one of the key traditional uses of the hemp plant and the fiber is obtained from the plant stalk. This resulted in hemp plants being taller and thinner than marijuana plants.
Being members of the same plant family has nothing much to do with the chemical composition of marijuana and hemp plant. Thinking that they are the same because they belong to the cannabis family would be like calling cabbage and broccoli the same because they are members of the same species.