Where does CBD come from?
In the last few years, the CBD market has seen exponential growth. Even though CBD has turned into the “it” wellness product of the moment, many are still confused about its origin. Does CBD come from hemp or cannabis? Is there a difference between the two?
You may have also noticed that there are a variety of hemp-derived and cannabis products. Sometimes the labels are used interchangeably when they refer to a different type of product.
While the popularity of CBD has skyrocketed, the hemp industry has also seen tremendous growth. The introduction of CBD to our daily wellness routines may seem like a new concept. However, hemp has been cultivated and used for centuries for its many therapeutic benefits. Our ancestors were very familiar with the hemp plant. Today, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation that surrounds this topic.
In this article, we will clear up some of the confusion around the origins of CBD and get you all the information you need about the hemp plant. This way you can make more informed product choices.
What is CBD?
CBD is a natural, organic compound that has been found to have therapeutic and medicinal properties.
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of the best-known compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD does not give you psychotropic effects, meaning it does not make you feel high like other forms of cannabis.
CBD has been shown to have potential benefits in the treatment of several conditions including chronic pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, and more. Moreover, CBD interacts with receptors in your body that regulate many functions like mood and sleep. That’s why it has found itself as a widely used health and wellness product.
What is hemp?
Hemp, sometimes referred to as industrial hemp, is one of the oldest crops used by man. According to archeological evidence, its usage dates back to 8,000 BC. The hemp plant is used for making fiber, paper, food, building materials, medicine, and much more. Its versatility has made it one of the most significant crops for mankind.
Hemp is also an environmentally friendly crop. It requires very little water to grow and it can grow without the need for pesticides or herbicides, which reduces its carbon footprint drastically.
Moreover, hemp plants are tall, thin, and fibrous. It can grow up to a height of 15 feet. They have long slender leaves that are about 3 to 5 inches in length. The flowers on hemp plants are long with five petals and are usually greenish-yellow in color.
Marijuana leaves have the distinctive 5-leaf shape, as pictured below.
The difference between hemp, cannabis, and marijuana
Hemp is one of the many different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. The terms hemp, cannabis, and marijuana are often used interchangeably, but they do not refer to the same plant.
Both hemp and marijuana are subspecies of cannabis, but they are genetically different. The one key difference is that hemp typically contains very low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD. This means that hemp can’t get you high, but can provide many great benefits through its high CBD concentration. Marijuana, on the other hand, contains higher THC levels.
The legality of hemp
The industrial hemp market was estimated at USD 5 billion in 2019 and is forecasted to grow to USD 36 billion by 2026. In this environment, it is easy to forget that we are just coming from a period of prohibition. In the United States, hemp was outlawed along with cannabis in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act.
However, as of September 2018, hemp is legal in all 50 states—and even more so, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production on U.S soil. The bill legalized hemp production for commercial purposes, allowing states to regulate the production of hemp as long as it does not exceed more than 0.3% THC.
Is all hemp created equal?
You might have noticed that all our products use premium U.S. organic hemp. But what makes hemp organic and why does this matter?
A 2018 study found that 70% of the 300 top-selling CBD products were highly contaminated with high levels of pesticides and heavy metals such as lead. These products were also mislabeled. This may cause adverse effects for consumers. Therefore, the quality of CBD products is highly dependent on where it comes from and how it is grown.
First of all, when CBD products claim that they use U.S. grown hemp, it means that the hemp fulfills the requirements set by the 2018 Farm Bill. Namely, it does not contain more than the allowed level of 0.3% THC. So, you won’t feel any intoxicating effects using it.
Organic hemp is grown using the old-fashioned crop rotation technique. This means that farmers don’t use any man-made pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides, genetically modified seeds, or other products.
Moreover, organic hemp should also meet other criteria specified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to receive the organic certification. This growth method leads to lower crop yields; however, it is essential to producing pure CBD products.
So, when you purchase a CBD product, make sure it is accompanied by a third-party lab-tested certificate of quality that shows exactly what the product contains. For the best quality and safety, always opt for U.S.-grown organic hemp.
How is CBD extracted from hemp?
There are many methods for extracting CBD from hemp plants, however, some methods are more efficient and safer than others. The extraction method affects the purity and efficacy of the final product. That’s why it’s important you know the difference.
The two main CBD extraction techniques for large-scale manufacturing purposes are:
Supercritical Carbon-Dioxide (CO2) CBD extraction
This method uses carbon dioxide as a solvent to extract CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids from the plant.
CO2 supercritical extraction starts with using carbon dioxide to dissolve the raw hemp. The high pressure and high heat of the system allow cannabinoids and other compounds to be extracted from the plant. Then, the CO2 is captured and reclaimed before the end of the process, creating the full-spectrum CBD oil. This oil is then put through a process named winterization when it is mixed with ethanol. Once the solution is cooled down, the unwanted compounds and lipids left behind are removed for the oil. Then the ethanol is removed from the mixture, leaving behind pure CBD oil or CBD isolate.
CO2 extraction is a very popular method for extracting CBD because it can be used to produce high-quality CBD oil with high levels of purity. It also avoids harmful solvents which can be unsafe to use around people and pets because they may cause health problems if inhaled or ingested in large doses.
That’s why all our products use premium CBD which is CO2 extracted from U.S. grown hemp.
Alcohol solvent CBD extraction
Solvent extraction, also called alcohol extraction, is similar to the CO2 extraction method, however, it uses a chemical solvent such as ethanol or butane to extract CBD from the cannabis plant material. The process begins by soaking raw hemp into the alcohol, which absorbs the hemp compounds. Then, the compounds are collected from the solvent by either purifying or evaporating the liquid.
One downside of solvent extraction is that solvents may extract impurities from cannabis plants, giving an unpleasant taste to the end-product.
The difference between Cannabis CBD and Hemp CBD
People often confuse Hemp CBD with Cannabis CBD; however, they are not the same. Both plants contain CBD and THC along with other plant compounds. The difference lies in the amount of each compound they contain.
Cannabis CBD is extracted from the Cannabis plant, more commonly known as marijuana. Cannabis may contain more THC and less CBD.
Hemp CBD on the other hand is extracted from hemp plants with high CBD levels and low THC content.
Nevertheless, the chemical make-up and benefits of CBD itself are the same, regardless of which plant it comes from. However, according to the Farm Bill, only hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal and regulated for sale in the U.S.
The difference between CBD oil and Hemp oil
There is also a lot of confusion around the names of these two products. Hemp oil and CBD oil are very different products.
Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. This type of oil, while it has many potential health benefits, does not contain CBD. On the other hand, CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant and has a high concentration of CBD.
It’s best to find products that use CBD oil instead of hemp oil because of all the benefits CBD oil has. You’ll experience better results by using a product with high-quality organic CBD oil.
All of our products at Wellness Garden Medicinals include organic and pure cannabidiol (CBD) isolate. Browse through our full collection of CBD products here.