The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, and therefore lacks the primary component that forms the marijuana high. Furthermore, industrial hemp has higher concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction.
However, CBD edibles also come in other forms, acceptable for non-human use. For example, CBD for dogs and CBD for cats has become a widespread way of providing our furry friends with comfort and pain relief. We can give CBD oil for dogs to our canine friends in the form of CBD dog treats. Furthermore, CBD oil for cats comes in a similar form, and we can use it to treat various diseases and conditions, like the Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Crohn’s disease, but also for treatment of pain, anxiety, nausea, cancer, and any inflammatory diseases.
The National Cancer Institute details several studies into the anti-tumor effects of CBD. One study in mice and rats suggest CBDs “may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.” CBDs may do this by inducing tumor cell death, inhibiting cancer cell growth, and by controlling and inhibiting the spread of cancer cells.
So what exactly is Industrial Hemp? For most people, the first thought which comes to mind when someone mentions “industrial hemp” to them is – marijuana. But, industrial hemp is very different from marijuana, specifically in terms of the potential to get someone “high”, as it contains very small amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the psychoactive chemical).
CBD is a cannabinoid, a classification of chemical compounds. THC is also a cannabinoid, better known as the one that gets you high. There are over 100+ cannabinoids that we know about. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds unique to plants like cannabis and hemp that are also found in our bodies. Our body has an endocannabinoid system that connects with these cannabinoids. This is a large part of why cannabis and hemp are known for their healing abilities.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring compound found in cannabis. It’s known for therapeutic properties and has no psychoactive effects. CBD oil is typically extracted from cannabis plants using either CO2 or ethanol extraction methods. It’s then incorporated into common CBD oil products, including tinctures (drops), vape liquids, gummies, capsules and topical creams and lotions. CBD oil derived from hemp has less than 0.3% THC so is federally legal in the U.S. and can be purchased online or in some local stores. CBD oil derived from marijuana has more than 0.3% THC so can only be purchased at licensed dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Unlike THC, which primarily binds to CB-1 receptors located in the brain, CBD works in the body by manipulating receptors throughout organ tissues, the immune system, the pain response system, the hormonal system, and other whole-body regulatory systems. Basically, since its receptors have been found to exist in virtually every cell and tissue type in the body, CBD is believed to work on every aspect of human health and behavior – from the subcellular level to the whole-body leve and beyond.
CBD derived from marijuana is a different story, and the law varies from state to state. But as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, you have nothing to be concerned about anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, if you want to take your CBD on a trip outside the country, definitely look into local laws to avoid getting into awkward situations while you’re away.
Although cannabis can be used to make marijuana, CBD itself is non-psychoactive—meaning that it doesn’t get you high the way smoking or eating cannabis-related products containing THC (the plant's psychoactive compound) can. Still, there’s a lot doctors don’t know about CBD and its effects on the body, and a lot consumers should understand before trying it.