Hemp and cannabis are often confused. The latter is a substance which is still illegal on the federal level, although many states have legalized it for medical and even recreational use. The former, hemp, is a closely related plant that is allowed to be cultivated in the U.S. Since the distinction can still get confusing when shopping for hemp products, here is a closer look at the difference between hemp and cannabis, and how hemp is used.
Does Hemp Produce THC?
The active component in cannabis that makes users feel "high" is called THC. Hemp plants do not produce THC. They do produce flowers that look much like those seen on cannabis plants, but if you were to smoke those flowers, you would not get high. That's not to say that smoking hemp flowers does not have an effect, however. The flowers do contain other active substances. The best-known of these is cannabidol, or CBD. Although CBD does not make you feel high, it does have a number of therapeutic benefits. It can help you feel relaxed and less anxious. It can even be helpful in moderating the symptoms of neurological disorders like epilepsy.
Are CBD Products Made From Hemp?
If you are shopping for CBD products like vape oils, edibles, and tinctures, there's a good chance the products you're buying are made from hemp-derived CBD, since this is legal on the federal level. If you are in a state where marijuana is legal, however, the CBD products might be derived from cannabis, but if this is the case, the manufacturer won't be able to ship them outside of that state. Technically, there should be no real difference between hemp-derived CBD products and cannabis-derived CBD products as the CBD from both is the same substance. However, some cannabis-derived CBD products may have very trace amounts of THC—so you may wish to stay away from them if you are drug tested at work or are very sensitive to THC.
How Should You Use Hemp Flower?
If you would rather benefit from CBD in its most natural form, you can buy hemp flower and either vaporize or smoke it. Many people prefer vaporizing since it is easier on your lungs. There are vaporizing devices into which you can insert the entire hemp flower. They will heat the hemp flower to the temperature at which CBD vaporizes. The vapor generated will have a skunk-like scent that reminds you of marijuana, but rest assured, it won't make you feel high.
Now that you know a bit more about hemp flower, its legality, and its benefits, go out there and give it a try!