Cannabis is an old plant that has been used for a variety of purposes over the centuries. Different varieties and parts of the plant are widely used in the construction, textile, and automotive industries, as well as in the food industry as a healthy foodstuff that is rich in essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants. Some of the negative connotations related to the presence of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in this plant are slowly disappearing, thanks to all the advantages that this highly versatile plant provides.
But let’s take a closer look at the two most common cannabinoids.
CBD & THC
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound that is predominantly found in certain varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. It is a non-psychoactive compound that cannot give you the feeling of being high.
THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the sensation of feeling high. It can be administered by smoking cannabis. It is also available in oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more, in countries where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.
THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp contains a lot of CBD and only minor quantities of THC.
Hemp & Marijuana
Cannabis is mostly known as marijuana because of its use over the years as a psychoactive drug. But the cannabis plant is much more than a drug, and it has a lot of potential benefits.
There are three subspecies of cannabis, which is more accurately named Cannabis sativa L.: sativa, indica and the less economically important and dispersed ruderalis. To learn more about sativa and indica read this blog. Some forms of sativa are the well-known “industrial hemp” or “hemp” varieties that are legally used for foodstuff production and other industrial purposes.
CBD & THC: Chemical structure
CBD and THC have the same atomic components: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, the slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body.
Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
CBD & THC: Legal status
The legal status of CBD in Europe is defined by the EU and national regulations. Whether a certain CBD product can be legally sold in a specific country depends on its classification.
In the United States, cannabis is legal for medical purposes in 50% of the states, and another seventeen states allow products that are high in CBD and low in THC for medical use.
THC created a lot of fear and prejudice related to the cannabis plant in the past. But with science and technology evolving rapidly, we can take a new look at this potential “all in one healing plant”.
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