While cannabis has been cultivated since the beginning of recorded history, it is still fairly new to the world. That’s because a long-standing prohibition has created fear and misinformation surrounding the crop. For almost a century, the globe has placed restrictions on the cultivation, use, and distribution of hemp products. Even though hemp has different genetic makeup than its sister, marijuana, it suffered many of the same stigmas surrounding the latter.
As medical cannabis has become legal in almost half of the United States, more people are understanding there is a stark difference between the two types of cannabis plants. One of the most significant differences is the main chemical compounds present in each. Let’s take a look at the differences between hemp and marijuana and get to the bottom of the question--does full spectrum hemp oil contain THC?
What Led to the Ban on Cannabis
The primary reason that cannabis was leveled with such a deep-rooted ban is that some strains of the genus come with psychoactive side effects. We can trace the origins of cannabis use for medicinal purposes all the way back to 2000 B.C. in a locale that is now identified as Egypt. Scribes made of stone are etched with a magical flower that possessed medicinal qualities. Today, we know that flower was cannabis.
As our ancestors discovered cooking with fire, all bets were off. They tried cooking anything and everything. One of those things was the long-heralded medicinal herb we know today as cannabis.
Anyone who has ever sparked up marijuana can attest, the plant will combust upon interaction with a flame. Anytime a living being (including plants) is put under pressure, it changes the genetic composition of the item. In the case of marijuana, it activates the plant’s psychoactive abilities.
At the time, our ancestors didn’t classify species to an exact science like we do today. They didn’t know that there were two different species of plant that come from the same genus.
Our ancestors were unaware that the male plant didn’t have the same hallucinogenic after-effects that the female one did. That’s why when the Marihuana Act of 1937 was first drafted, the genus Cannabis sativa was prohibited. This led to a decades-long victimization of the hemp plant.
What is THC?
After years of research and numerous studies, the Cannabis sativa family has been broken down into two main types of plants--marijuana and hemp.
As we mentioned before, marijuana is the female variety of Cannabis sativa. It contains a litany of chemical compounds that have therapeutic properties. These compounds are called cannabinoids. The most prevalent of cannabinoids in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Our body is littered with a highway full of neural axons, synapses, and receptors. When we consume cannabis products, the cannabinoids bind onto these receptors. As this happens, the receptors become stimulated. The bond between the two is so strong that you get an almost instantaneous reaction.
These receptors convey the messages of the cannabinoids to a superhighway within the body known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is sort of the toll booth to the brain. It takes the messages conveyed by receptors throughout the body. From there, the endocannabinoid system interprets what the receptors tell them and then transport that message to the brain. With this information, your brain then promotes that message to the rest of the body.
When your cannabinoid receptors come into contact with THC molecules, it bypasses all other feelings inside the body. Your endocannabinoid system picks up on the triggers, and you get that high sensation.
Can Hemp Get You High?
THC is the primary cannabinoid present in marijuana. However, it’s not the most plentiful in hemp. In fact, it’s barely there. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the primary cannabinoid in hemp.
While THC has some medicinal properties, it’s not on the level of CBD. On the contrary, CBD doesn’t give you the high that THC does. So while they come from the same family tree, these apples fell from entirely different branches!
The purpose of CBD is to bring an imbalanced system a bit of harmony. Remember those receptors responsible for getting you high when they come into contact with THC? Those same receptors send out “May Day” signals when your body is under attack by inflammation.
As CBD enters the system, it gets tipped off by the excited receptors. Like THC, CBD binds onto them. This creates a direct line to the endocannabinoid system that so many other phytochemicals don’t have the luxury of enjoying. Therefore, CBD brings homeostasis to your system in one of the most efficient manners possible.
How You Know Hemp Has No THC
Seeing as Cannabis sativa is so highly regulated and CBD products aren’t, the government found a happy medium. In 2014, the Farm Bill was drafted. This document legalized the cultivation of hemp.
With this privilege comes a watchful eye. Under the Farm Bill, hemp can only be grown by cultivators approved by members of the state pilot program. Otherwise, potential growers must prove that they are cultivating the crop for educational purposes.
Under such a strict eye, the final products are tested to ensure that they can’t get people high. As outlined in the Farm Bill, true hemp contains less than 0.03% THC.
What is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil?
Although THC levels are negligible in hemp, these cannabinoids still offer therapeutic benefits. That’s because studies show cannabinoids have an entourage effect on one another. This means in the presence of each other, these compounds heighten their beneficial side effects and increase bioavailability of nutrients.
While THC is not present in full spectrum hemp oil, other phytocannabinoids are. Inside of the leaves, flowers, and stems of the hemp plant live a bevy of unique phytochemicals, antioxidants, and amino acids that are not readily available in many other plant-based medicines. When these phytocannabinoids interact with CBD, they all lift each other up. This strengthens the formula’s effect on your body.
So if you’re looking to hop on the medical cannabis bandwagon and are scared to give CBD a shot, try full spectrum hemp oil. Our formula removes all traces of THC but leaves all the other precious phytocannabinoids intact. You get all the unique benefits of cannabis without the high (or concerns about breaking any laws)!
Have you ever tried full spectrum hemp oil? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!