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CBD, THC, Marijuana, Hemp, Cannabis...What's the difference?

Good question! There is a lot of misunderstanding with these terms, and we at Stirling will try to sort it out for you.

The first definition is easy - Cannabis. Cannabis is the Master Plant that everything else comes from. simply put:

CBD, THC, Hemp, and Marijuana are all products or derivatives of the Cannabis plant.

That's right...Hemp and marijuana are, taxonomically speaking, the same plant. They are different breeds for the same genus (Cannabis) and species (cannabis). You can breed a marijuana plant with a hemp plan, and visa-versa. This is easy to understand, but with all the misinformation out there it is often confused.

Think of Dogs - they provide a great example of what humans can do. Doberman Pinscher and Chihuahuas are actually the same species (canines), but of course very different. People have bred Dobermans to be large, protective and loyal. People have bred chihuahuas to be small and attached to their owners. As they are both canines, they can mate and produce offspring but of course, they are very different. This example works with Marijuana and Hemp.

Like Canines, Humans are very good at breeding plants to get the attributes we need from them. A good example is that Kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage which are all varieties of a single species Brassica oleracea. I found this to be amazing...but true. Just as farmers bred the Brassica oleracea plant to get very different traits, they have also bred Cannabis plants to get Hemp and Cannabis. Cauliflowers were bred to get maximum flowers, Kale to get maximum leaves, and sprouts to get maximum seeds. With all this said, they are, taxidermically, all Brassica oleracea.

Webster gives the technical answer - a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by Latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name.

Amazing to think how long this took and how many generations of people and plants were responsible for these transformations.

Picture of a cannabis plant with a setting sun. Cannabis Family includes both Marijuana and Hemp strains.

Hemp & Marijuana are both Cannabis plants, with very different purposes. 

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. The Marijuana plant contains the mind-altering chemical THC and other similar compounds. THC Extracts can also be made from the cannabis plant and the sole purpose of Marijuana is to get people "high".

Hemp, on the other hand, is not used for Psychoactive purposes. THC is non-existent (or very low %) in hemp. Hemp is capable of producing hundreds of products such as paper, clothing, building materials, biofuel, food products, oils and more. With the fast-growing popularity of CBD across the globe, hemp is also used to produce a wide variety of THC-free CBD products. Hemp is much more useful, marijuana is much more famous.

  • Kim Kardashian = Marijuana (fun, but not useful)
  • Hemp = St. Theresa (not as fun, but did some really good things)

 CBD vs. THC

The family name “Cannabis” is known for it's two most popular compounds, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the well-known substance found in marijuana which is psychoactive and causes the “high” feeling in people who partake in marijuana. CBD a non-psychoactive compound used by millions to treat illness and physically feel better. 

Scientifically, the molecular compounds look almost identical.  Organically, they are very different to the user. CBD hemp oil contains little to no THC, which does not cause a “high” in the user. Legally any CBD needs to contain 0.3% or less THC, but Stirling Oils CBD is even better and we have 0% THC.

In Conclusion

In short, Hemp and Marijuana are different types of Cannabis Plants. Marijuana growth is focused THC, while Hemp growth is focused on CBD and a host of other materials. 

The CBD/Hemp oil movement is consistently growing and becoming more popular. As the growth of this plant becomes more prevalent in the lives of wellness-minded individuals, more knowledge is needed to ensure you are consuming the best quality derived hemp oil on the market.

We’ve talked about the scientific differences between these two plants. We’ve shared our knowledge on the physical differences, chemical makeup, etc. However, CBD oil is an experience you need to try for yourself to fully understand why so many people love it. We know you will too!

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