What is the difference between CBD and THC?
CBD (cannabidiol), is a major component of the hemp plant. Hemp is a species of cannabis called Cannabis Sativa L. It is a 'cousin' to marijuana and different in the fact that it contains significantly lower levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) than marijuana. Hemp plants are generally categorised (in the US and EU) as having levels of THC lower than 0.3% (in Switzerland the legal limit of THC in cultivating hemp is up to 1%). Hemp tends to contain higher levels of CBD than marijuana.
Where is CBD and THC found in the plant? Cannabinoids (CBD, THC, and hundreds of others) are mostly found in the flowers (also called buds) of matured cannabis plants, and this is generally what is used to get cannabinoid extracts. There is, however, low levels of CBD in the stalks and stems, but no more than a few percent. In certain jurisdictions CBD products can only be made using extracts from the stalk and stem of the cannabis plant.
So what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
It can be confusing at first, but hemp and marijuana are both cannabis! In fact there are a few variations of cannabis: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. The first two (Indica and Sativa) are by far the most renowned. Indica strains of cannabis are higher in THC, and sativa strains are lower in THC and higher in CBD. Sativa strains can also grow much taller than other cannabis plants, reaching up to 20 feet high (that's 3 times taller than our favourite basketball player Kobe Bryant).
Here is a diagram to summarise the cannabis family tree:
The key difference is the THC content. THC has been the focus of scientific research and the only widely-known cannabinoid for decades. This all changed in the early 2000s when GW pharmaceuticals started investing heavily into research and development of (now FDA approved) pharmaceutical drugs containing CBD. Around 2016 CBD hit the US and European markets, and since then the market for CBD products and the hype around CBD has continued to grow.
There are now so many CBD products to buy online and in stores it is confusing for people to know what's what.
When buying CBD products it is important to look for the following:
1. Lab tests and certificates of analysis. These will show you whats in the products and will also show you that you are dealing with a genuine CBD company.
2. Pricing. CBD is expensive because the raw materials are expensive, so watch out for products that make claims of super high strengths (20%+) but at super low prices. There are some brands out there advertising hemp seed oil as CBD oil. FYI, hemp seed oil contains no CBD.
3. Companies that have scientists behind their products and working in their company is always a good sign. We are lucky to work closely with Dr Richard Watson out of the US who sets the standard to our production methods and quality controls here at Dr Watson CBD.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
It comprises of two types of receptors; CB1 and CB2. These pathways are made up of cells and receptors where messages are processed. Endocannabinoids are considered to be instrumental to the signals being sent to the right place and the right action being taken. Whether this action is inhibited or stimulated depends on the body’s needs.
Whilst we believe in our products 100%, and promise they are as the label states, we DO NOT make any recommendations or promises that they treat, cure or prevent anything.