Immediately after reading this article I realized this is not the difference I was expecting. While the USDA says that it takes a chemical analysis to tell the difference between hemp and medical marijuana, for most of us it would only take 2 seconds to notice the difference between a field of hemp and a medical marijuana grow operation. As far as definition is concerned the two are not so far off from one another. Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis and it would seem that the only real difference is that “marijuana” or more recent term “medical marijuana” is classified as a variety of cannabis with a high percent of THC and, occasionally, high CBD as well.
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested in a 2014 publication.
There's also the question of CBD's legality – something that's a lot grayer than the black-and-white picture most companies paint. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers CBD, like all cannabinoids, a schedule 1 drug. That means it's just as illegal as heroin and ecstasy. Meanwhile, hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is legal , so long as its THC content is negligibly low. But because the agriculture department doesn't test for CBD – only THC – in hemp, more companies are getting away with selling products they say contain CBD, says Sara Jane Ward, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine who's been studying CBD in rodent models for more than 10 years. Needless to say, the legality of CBD is "very confusing and very gray," she says.
With the rapid rise in the popularity of CBD in everything from vape juice to lattes, many people are asking- “what is CBD oil?”. To answer that question, let’s first answer the question- what is CBD? CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp plants. CBD’s benefits are numerous, making it a popular supplement. We’ll explore the effects of CBD oil in more depth below, but in short, it interacts with receptors that keep the body balanced and running normally.