We are, no doubt, living in a time of great learning and growth where it comes to medicine and ways with which to treat the body’s various aches and illnesses. The use of cannabis along these same lines has also grown greatly, backed by science and modern medical science. From less serious uses, to its utilization in treating extremely serious medical situations, we’ve certainly learned a lot about cannabis as of late.
There is one point of contention, or confusion, however, that still stubbornly persists. What is the difference between the cannabis-derived CBD oil and its relative, hemp extract? Are these not from the same plant? It’s understandable why this confusion exists, but it is easily dispelled with a little information on the matter. Here’s what you need to know about hemp extracts and CBD oil as well as what the differences are between these two, separate type of products.
Cannabis Sativa – A Brief, Human History
First, in order to understand the differences in these different derivatives, it is important to note a little history. Cannabis Sativa is the scientific name of the plant referred to by many names – marijuana, hemp, cannabis, and others. As decades and centuries have passed, this plant has been grown and utilized all over the world, and for all types of purposes.
While our ancestors didn’t have microscopes and test labs to understand the biological materials and mechanisms of the plant, they did know and appreciate it for its wide range of uses. It could be used to make some of the strongest ropes and textiles. It could be used to create paper. Sailmaking and seafaring was often dependent upon it. And finally, at some point long ago, someone also realized its medical and recreational uses when ingested. From that point, it was also used as medicine.
Selective breeding, for many years, is then what adapted this plant to be especially useful in its varying, intended functions. For papermaking, it was grown to elicit the properties best for this particular purpose. For rope and textile making, it was bred to be as thick and as full of strong strands as possible. In medicinal and recreational use, it was then bred to elicit the best effects by way of CBD and THC. This was all mankind’s utilization of an awesomely useful, single plant – cannabis sativa.
Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp – What’s the Difference?
Now, with an understanding of history as well as the fact that all of these names refer to a single plant species, what then is the difference? How do we get different extracts and oils from them? The answer lies in that selective breeding we touched on above.
Cannabis that was grown and evolved to provide the best benefit in personal ingestion then took on those best properties. This resulted in the typical medical marijuana plant we might see today. This plant will be high in THC and CBD as well, depending on breeding specifications. It will also be less hardy and meaty, with less strand materials for things such as ropemaking.
On the other hand, selective breeding that sent the plant the way of textile, clothing, and paper utilitarian made the plant take on some different features. This same cannabis sativa plant will likely be called “hemp” and will grow a much hardier structure with lots of stalk and strand fiber. This plant naturally retained high levels of CBD in most cases, but THC, the ingredient that gets you “high” all but vanished.
An easy way to look at it is by likening the plant to today’s dog species. All dogs, no matter the breed and the reasons for being bred as such, are dogs. The cannabis plant is the same, except that the breeds of this plant are referred to most often as “strains”.
With all of the history and strain concept understood, one can then make the correct assumption that, in the end, CBD oil and hemp extract are the same, both being extractions or derivatives of the cannabis sativa plant. While this is true, there are some subtle differences in the two wares.
The hemp plant naturally creates plenty of quality CBD, or canabidiol. This is while it creates virtually no THC. Therefore, a hemp extract would be extracted from a hemp plant specifically and would retain these particular types of attributes.
CBD oil is also an extract from the cannabis sativa plant. This extraction however, most often will come from the type of cannabis plant that was bred for medical ingestion. This plant will likely produce yields of THC, CBD, and other compounds not readily found in a “hemp” cannabis sativa plant. This resulting CBD oil may or may not then contain THC, depending on its manufacture.
To summarize, the cannabis plant has been selectively bred to serve many purposes over time. This has resulted in the same species of plant growing in different ways and creating different compounds along the span of its life. As a result of this, we can derive many useful and different media from these plants.
One of these is referred to as CBD oil, while another of these is referred to as hemp extract. These two products alike come from cannabis sativa plants but will have different properties depending on the plant used as well as the manufacturing process applied. These are the distinctions between CBD oil and hemp extract.