Hemp-derived CBD products seem to be everywhere these days. Gas stations, grocery stores, even your Aunt Sarah all sell Hemp CBD products touting the same benefits as marijuana-derived CBD, but are they really the same? If so, why is it so much easier to find hemp-derived CBD as opposed to the alternative? Today we’ll address the confusion regarding marijuana- versus hemp-derived CBD products.
Hemp is any variety of cannabis that contains .3 percent THC or less. Unlike marijuana that can contain THC levels as high as 30 percent total volume, hemp products will never cause psychoactive changes in the brain and body.
However, just because hemp contains negligible amounts of THC does not mean the other cannabinoid levels are low. In fact, hemp (especially hemp flower) contains a wide array of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds that all work together to produce some exciting effects.
In fact, hemp is a substantial source of CBD – a compound that looks and behaves the exact same way whether pulled from hemp of marijuana. And, now that hemp (including hemp CBD) is federally legal, more businesses are opting into the hemp hype.
Like marijuana, CBD concentrations are highest in the hemp flower. Feminized hemp seeds which only produce female (flowering) hemp plants are especially attractive to farmers eager to get into the CBD game. As opposed to industrial hemp that grows tall and lanky with minimal foliage, hemp flower contains CBD levels as high as 20 percent or more.
Businesses that specialize in hemp-derived CBD extraction follow the same basic practices as those who extract cannabinoids from marijuana. The products they create from hemp-derived hemp are also comparable. However, due to legal discrepancies between the two, the products will never be the same.
CBD is CBD is CBD. It is the same chemical regardless of source and will elicit the same effects, as well. However, CBD derived from marijuana as opposed to hemp is still a Schedule I substance because of the slight chance that it contains THC. Essentially, everything sourced from marijuana — even pure CBD — is federally illegal. Though some local jurisdictions permit the sale of marijuana-based CBD, these laws do not transfer across borders.
As such, it is illegal to travel with or ship CBD extracted from marijuana. Hence, no marijuana-based CBD companies should sell their products online (if they do, be wary!). Only dispensaries and state-regulated cannabis product providers can sell marijuana-based CBD products. Many states also require a medical marijuana license to legally attain marijuana-based CBD products.
How to Find Reputable Hemp-Derived CBD Products and Distributors
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, consumable CBD products are not only federally legal but regulated, too. However, only food and drink are regulated – not topicals, tinctures, or smokable hemp products. What’s worse, many products lining the shelves of drug stores and supermarkets do not contain the levels of CBD that they claim (if at all) and may contain contaminants including heavy metals and pesticides.
While the FDA scrambles to stop the inaccurate processing and labeling of CBD products nation-wide, it is up to consumers to protect themselves as we wait for the FDA to catch up. Those looking for the best CBD products online must, therefore, do their research before ever making a purpose. Consider the following when searching for quality hemp-derived CBD companies and products:
- Company Background: Does the website list their CBD source? Do they make any guarantees regarding product potency and quality? Do they seem knowledgeable about CBD in general or are they treating it more like a buzzword with little depth behind it?
- Reviews: Check reviews both on and off of a company website. Remember that companies can choose which reviews they display on their own website but cannot for third-party review sites like Facebook, Yelp!, and so on. It’s always best to refer to a variety of review sites when making a purchase decision.
- Product Packaging: Are the product’s ingredients clear and easy to understand? If not, consider that a red flag and proceed with caution.
Why it’s Better to Choose Hemp-Derived CBD
There aren’t a lot of differences between hemp-based CBD and marijuana-based CBD, but the distinction is important no less. For the highest CBD concentrations and the least amount of hassle, product manufacturers should source their CBD from hemp instead of marijuana, and should always buy local to ensure product quality and regulatory compliance.
Have you noticed any differences between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD? Share your experience in the comments below.