The availability of CBD products for health and wellness has skyrocketed in recent years. CBD products are now commercially available in many forms, including oils, extracts, lotions, and edible products. There are even CBD products that are marketed for cats and dogs. But what makes CBD different from THC? Here, GreenWrap Insurance Solutions explains the differences between THC and CBD, two types of active compounds found in the cannabis plant.
The Chemical Differences
Cannabis contains more than 100 chemical compounds, but cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most commonly known types. THC has a psychoactive effect – this is what makes a person feel high. In contrast, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effect. While more research is needed on both types of compounds, CBD is generally used for several different purposes:
- To reduce inflammation
- To treat feelings of anxiety
- To improve quality of sleep
- To treat chronic pain
In contrast, marijuana may be medically prescribed above and beyond CBD in certain states to treat conditions, including epilepsy, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. The highest concentration of both chemical compounds is found in the cannabis plant’s flowers and leaves. These leaves and flowers are typically harvested, dried, and processed to extract oil. Certificates of Analysis determine final classification of the flower: 0.3 and above is THC.
How THC Levels Determine Cannabis Classification
You may have heard cannabis referred to as marijuana or hemp. But what’s the difference between these three terms? Plant breeders can breed cannabis plants so that they produce hemp flowers that are higher in either THC or CBD. If a cannabis plant contains a THC concentration of 0.3% or more, it is classified as marijuana. If the THC concentration is less than 0.3%, the plant is classified as hemp. This distinction is important because hemp is legal at the federal level, but marijuana is not.
Differing Regulatory Guidelines
If you’re interested in growing, processing, or selling cannabis, it’s important to know how cannabis is regulated in your state or country. In the United States, for example, marijuana is legal in some states and illegal in others. Some states permit medical marijuana but not recreational usage while others allow both. Cannabis business owners looking to distribute across state lines must be familiar with these varying laws. Only certain forms of hemp can travel out of state legally. And as the cannabis industry grows, new legislation may lead to changes in these laws.
In contrast, because hemp is legal throughout the U.S., CBD products can be purchased for recreational or medical usage. However, currently only one product is approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Manufacturers of CBD products cannot prescribe these products as a treatment for a disease or a condition without FDA approval. The FDA has not approved cross-stateline food or beverage CBD consumption.
Rely on a Trusted Partner for Insurance Solutions
The legal cannabis industry is still relatively new, which provides both opportunity and uncertainty. With a constantly shifting regulatory landscape, cannabis industry professionals need an experienced, reliable insurance provider who understands the difference between THC and CBD and their corresponding regulations. GreenWrap Insurance Solutions works with clients across North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America, providing guidance, comprehensive coverage, and tailored solutions for all kinds of cannabis cultivators and master growers, processors, and dispensaries. With more than 20 years of experience, GreenWrap Insurance Solutions excels at working with customers across the industry from seed to sale. To learn more about our insurance services, contact us today.