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Hemp 102: Hemp vs. Marijuana vs. CBD What’s the Difference?

Hemp and CBD products are increasingly popular and are popping up everywhere you look. You may have become accustomed to seeing little bottles of Hemp oil or CBD-infused chocolates at the checkout counter of your local natural foods store or grocery store. But if you’re not sure how Hemp is different from Marijuana, and what exactly CBD is, you’re not alone. Here’s a primer on some of the key differences.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Have you ever noticed how members of the same family can be very different? It’s as true with plants as it is with people. Both Hemp and Marijuana are members of the cannabis family, yet they are very different. Hemp contains a very low concentration (0.3 percent or less) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical found in Marijuana. Marijuana, by contrast, has between 15 and 40 percent THC. (That’s why Marijuana cause psychoactive effects, but Hemp will not.)

Hemp vs. CBD

What about CBD? Those initials stand for cannabidiol. Like THC, CBD is a cannabinoid, one of the many naturally occurring, biologically active constituents found in cannabis. However, unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. Many companies in the industry produce Hemp products that only contain CBD, which is most frequently sold as an isolate. Gaia Herbs does not offer it that way. Why? Gaia Herbs uses a Full Spectrum Hemp oil extract made from Hemp flowers, which are known to be the main source of cannabinoids, as compared to other parts of the Hemp plant. Unlike products with isolated CBD, our Full Spectrum Hemp oil contains a wide array of cannabinoids that work in synergy for optimal effect.*

Hemp flower buds macro

The Entourage Effect

Plants contain hundreds of different compounds for a reason. These complex compounds work together to achieve a result that no single compound can on its own. Synergy arises from the interactions between a plant’s multiple compounds and components. It is this synergy that enhances the plant’s overall benefits to humans. You will often hear this phenomenon referred to as the “Entourage Effect,” and that is the effect at work in Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract.* At Gaia, we believe the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. That is why our Full Spectrum Hemp Extracts provide all the beneficial compounds found in Hemp, rather than just CBD in isolation, for the greatest possible benefit.*

There are three more very important reasons that Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extracts are special.

  • American Grown: Because of previous federal law prohibiting the cultivation of plants in the cannabis family, there are currently not many American Hemp growers. That, in conjunction with the increasing demand for Hemp products, means much of the Hemp sold in the U.S. is grown abroad. Gaia Herbs is one of the few companies today using American-grown Hemp flowers. This allows us to maintain rigorous quality control, while also benefitting American farmers.
  • Fully Traceable: Gaia Herbs believes that everyone deserves to know the life story of their herbs. That’s why we created Meet Your Herbs®, the world’s first herbal traceability program. Just enter the ID number on the back of your Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, and you can find out where and how your Hemp was grown, harvested, and extracted, plus all the tests it underwent to validate its purity, integrity, and potency. We are one of the few Hemp-producing companies in the world that allows customers to trace our plants. That’s because we have nothing to hide and everything to share.
  • Hemp Products that Give Back to U.S Farmers: Through Gaia Roots, the social impact program of Gaia Herbs, a portion of the proceeds from our Hemp product sales will be donated to organizations working to empower Hemp farmers in the United States. Specifically, Gaia Herbs plans to donate funds to organizations and individual farmers who are actively working on initiatives for building the Hemp farming movement, support diverse and minority farming communities, and enable the expansion of regenerative farming practices. We are currently working with a handful of values-aligned farms in the U.S. who are leading the way in growing Hemp, free of harmful chemicals or pesticides. As we begin to grow Hemp on our own Certified Organic Farm, our partnerships with these farmers will be essential to growing this movement, enabling Hemp farming to thrive in the U.S., and helping to ensure that people have access to the highest quality Hemp products.

Check out Gaia Herbs' new Full Spectrum Hemp Extracts for yourself and Discover the Gaia Difference!