I had NO idea. I thought they were the same thing? Clearly I am not up on my weed. I am a very visual learner so as I go, I like to show pictures that I hope help.
If we have an umbrella term, it's Cannabis. Hemp and Marijuana are cousins, but in no way are they the same plant. For this very reason, this is why the Farm Bill was signed in to law in December of 2018.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law to remove hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and making it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Its provisions were incorporated in the 2018 United States farm bill that became law on December 20, 2018.---Wikipedia
In the botanical world, there are, broadly speaking, two kinds of cannabis – hemp plants and drug plants. Hemp plants include industrial plants grown for fiber, textiles, building materials, and body care. We see hemp in our beauty products, our clothing, even rope. Drug plants include intoxicating THC-rich plants such as marijuana and non-intoxicating CBD-rich plants like hemp.
The Hemp plant is HIGH in CBD and LOW in THC. Marijuana is a plant that is HIGH in THC and low in CBD. I know all these letters get confusing, so we will address those soon. But the point is that THC causes the psychoactive response, or a "high" and CBD does not. So, it stands to reason that Marijuana causes a high and Hemp does not. What was legalized was a hemp plant UP TO .3% THC. That is POINT THREE, minuscule amounts of THC that provide a HUGE therapeutic impact on our bodies.
What I found to be even more curious is that Hemp wasn't outlawed until 1937. What? Why? The Marihuana Tax Act in 1937 regulated the cultivation and sale of all cannabis varieties. However, The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified all forms of cannabis, including hemp, as a Schedule I drug. I had no reason to doubt this until I started looking deeper. As it turns out someone, specifically, WR Hearst, owner of one of the largest newspaper companies at the time, saw hemp as a threat to his paper company. (click link for full story) We were beginning to use hemp industrially as rope and clothing and so much more. He believed this would dip into his pockets with his investment in paper mills and knew just the right people to get it outlawed. There are so many concerns in this action, but even more concerning is the fact that we know now how incredible the healing properties are in hemp. We could have so many years of research under our belt and most certainly helped with many diseases.
So, there was no logical reason for hemp to be outlawed. It was strictly a selfish decision driven by money and power. Hemp was and now is legal with no reason to doubt its incredibly therapeutic properties.
What I do like to point out at this point is the misnomer between CBD oils. There is CBD oil, that I will be explaining, that is made from the hemp plant, completely legal and not producing a high. But there is also CBD oil from a Marijuana plant, which will most definitely produce a high and is illegal. So, please be careful to differentiate whether the CBD oil your friend mentions or that you find at a pop up shop is made from hemp or marijuana.
The primary difference between industrial hemp plants and drug plants is the resin content. Industrial hemp plants are low-resin plants. Drug plants are high-resin plants. The resin is what matters. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the oily resin of the cannabis plant. The gooey resin is concentrated on the clusters of cannabis flowers which are covered by tiny “trichomes.” Trichomes are specialized parts of the hemp plant that contain many oily, medicinal compounds, including CBD, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and various other terpenes. CBD and THC are the two components and terpenes of cannabis that have been most studied by scientists.
The mushroom-shaped trichomes protect the plant from heat and ultraviolet radiation. The oil also has anti-fungal, antibacterial and insecticidal properties that deter predators. The stickiness of the resin provides another defensive layer by trapping bugs. The same oily resin that protects the health of the plant includes components that are beneficial for human health...and used in CBD oil.
So there you have it. Plants have incredibly intricate design to protect them in the wild, but that same design and benefits used to protect itself can be also used to benefit the human body. And why is that? Because they are intelligently, and incredibly, supernaturally made by God for our purposes of nutrition and healing.
Both THC and CBD have their place in this world. THC has developed a bad rap when used in excess or for recreation. But when used together, THC and CBD have an incredibly synergistic relationship that science is discovering to produce amazing benefits for our bodies that are natural and safe.