Distinction Between Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana

Cannabis

Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classes: Indica and Sativa.

All cannabis plants contain certain distinct compounds called Cannabinoids, of which more than a hundred are currently known.  Two of the most abundant are Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and Cannabidiol (“CBD”).

Marijuana

Marijuana is derived from both Indica and Sativa plants that contain a high (15-40%) levels of THC and generally low levels of CBD.

THC is the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that is responsible for creating the “getting high” effect of smoking marijuana, in addition to other purported neural effects and numerous medical benefits.

Hemp

Hemp is only derived from Sativa plants which are cannabis plants that contain almost no THC (<0.3% by law) and high levels of CBD.

CBD

CBD is a non-psychoactive component (no “high”) of the cannabis plant.  CBD actually counters the psychoactive properties of THC.

Benefits of CBD

Numerous research studies have shown CBD to be effective, in various degrees, in relieving:

Chronic Pain Headaches and Migraines Insomnia Anxiety Disorder Loss of Appetite Depression Diabetes Nausea Alzheimer’s ALS Arthritis  Bone Health Cancer Epilepsy and Seizures …and many others

In contrast to the many positive benefits of CBD, there have been almost no credible studies that have shown even mild ill-effects from consuming even high doses of CBD, to the point that many detractors have had to resort to searching for side effects from extreme dosages.

Over the past three decades, scientists have made significant discoveries and improved their understanding of how cannabinoids provide so many positive therapeutic effects on various diseases and disorders.  Much of the positive effects of cannabinoids have been found to occur as part of the human body’s Endocannabinoid System (“ECS”).

The Endocannabinoid System

The ECS is a widely-recognized neuromodulatory system located in the central and peripheral nervous system that regulates a wide range of homeostasis (healthy balance) in key body functions such as mood, sleep cycles, appetite, immune response, metabolism, pain response, cell repair and more.

Although widely-recognized by the scientific community, it is one of the most under-reported areas in our knowledge of the human body, disorders and treatment. Numerous articles confirming its existence and advancements in our understanding of it have been published in just about all respected medical journals and the National Institute of Health.

The ECS is a network of neurons, located throughout the brain, most organs and throughout the body, whose neurotransmitters depend on certain cannabinoids to send signals from one neuron to the next. Yes, the same cannabinoids found in hemp, marijuana and other plants (such as echinacea and flax) are found in the human nervous system, specifically the ECS. Cannabinoids that are found in the human body are referred to as endocannabinoids, while those same cannabinoids found in plants are referred to phytocannabinoids.

 

The ECS maintains the body’s homeostasis by keeping a narrow range in blood sugar levels, internal temperature, blood pH, and the retention of water and certain minerals. As the ECS relies on certain endocannabinoids to maintain its function, bodies must constantly produce their own endocannabinoids. If not enough amounts are created, it is thought that clinical endocannabinoid deficiency may occur, which throughout history humans have treated by ingesting phytocannabinoids.