Cannabis, and what is sometimes referred to as "marijuana" is way bigger and much more important to all of humankind that simply "smoking pot". Cannabis is a plant that has many uses - food, fiber, fuel, and health. Knowing the difference is essential for you to be able to navigate the products you may want to buy, the medicines you may want to take, and the policies that you may want to support in your government.
1. Cannabis: This is a flowering plant that is indigenous to Central and South Asia. Three different defined species can be bred by farmers to have different qualities - like different amounts of compounds within the plant, including cannabinoids. Cannabis includes both what is referred to as "hemp" as well as "marijuana" - all of these products and their components come from Cannabis plant.
2. Marijuana: This is a term most often used to refer specifically to Cannabis that is bred to be high in THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that is understood to give people a "high". Sometimes marijuana is used as a term in the press to include all Cannabis species and all different types of cannabis that are bred with higher or lower cannabinoid content. So sometimes people will use the word marijuana to talk about products that will get you "high", that have large amounts of THC, but oftentimes the word "marijuana" is also used to talk about the cannabis plant and non-psychoactive parts of the plant (like Cannabidiol, or CBD). Since some people use the word "marijuana" to mean Cannabis in general, it is important to understand if they are referring to plants that are high in THC or higher in other cannabinoids like CBD.
3. Hemp: This is a term used for the Cannabis plant that has been bred with minute amounts of THC and instead, higher amounts of other cannabinoids, like CBD. Hemp products, like fibers and oils that are made from the seeds, have been legal to purchase and sell in all 50 States since the creation of hemp products. Hemp products do not have THC in any discernible amount, and therefore, do not give people a "high" and are not psychoactive. You can go to the grocery store and find products made with consumable hemp (like granola and protein drinks).
4. Industrial Hemp: Sometimes hemp is referred to as "industrial hemp". This could mean many different things. Hemp grown on an industrial scale could be used for its fiber (to make paper, string, rope, etc.), for its fuel, or even for compounds in the plant - like Cannabidiol (CBD), which can be used as either a supplement or, in larger quantities, as a treatment for some diseases.
Cannabis, as a plant, has many different parts - including the stalk, leaves, flowers, and buds. All of these components have different applications. Here we discuss the "oils" that can be distilled and extracted.
5. Cannabis Oil: In the broadest sense of the word, this could theoretically mean any oil coming from any cannabis plant. Now, some strains of cannabis are bred for high levels of the psychoactive component THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and some strains of cannabis have virtually no THC and instead are high in other cannabinoid content - like that of CBD (Cannabidiol). You should exercise caution when investigating or purchasing products that do not specify what the company is using or what the company means. Also, be wary of media using this term, as it may be used incorrectly when reporting on the legal or illegal nature of cannabis products.
6. Hemp Oil: Hemp oil is generally referred to as oil that is made from the actual seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp oil in this regard has mainly topical applications - especially used in soaps, lotions, and shampoos/conditioners. Hemp seeds that are not refined into oil are available to consume just by themselves (they are quite delicious, with a nutty flavor), and hemp seeds can also be ground into powder - to use in protein drinks, baking, etc. There is virtually no THC, and hemp oil products are legal to purchase and sell in all 50 States (and have been for decades). Remember, there is a difference between hemp oil and CBD oil made from hemp!
7. Marijuana Oil: This is oil refined from cannabis specifically for its high levels of THC. It is psychoactive, and has higher levels of the cannabinoid THC - the compound of the cannabis plant that is not yet "legal" in all 50 States for people to use medically or recreationally. Marijuana oil would only be "legal" for use in the States that have approved using marijuana recreationally (Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon), or the 23 and counting States that have passed "Medical Marijuana" laws that do allow access for patients to use marijuana as a form of treatment for sickness and disease. Remember, exercise caution, as sometimes "marijuana" is also used to describe cannabis products that have no THC, and therefore, it is up to you, as a consumer to understand the difference and understand what the company is selling.
8. CBD Oil: CBD stand for Cannabidiol - a cannabinoid found in high levels in hemp. CBD is not psychoactive, and there is preliminary research showing many potential benefits to human health. Each human being is "pre-wired" with an Endocannabinoid System, and we have "receptors" in our body that recognize the various cannabinoids. Most pharmaceutical drugs are artificially synthesized to "fool" our receptors - however, cannabinoids are already understood and accepted by a human's Endocannabinoid System. CBD oil is refined from the hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks (versus the seeds like in regular hemp oil made from the seeds). CBD Oil can be used both internally and topically. CBD Oil can be taken as a supplement and is legal to purchase and sell in all 50 States - that is the only reason that Google and Amazon allow such products on their large national marketplaces. These products are legal to purchase and sell because of their absence of the psychoactive component THC.
9. CBD Oil that also has THC: There are some CBD oils that are not legal to buy and sell in all 50 States. These CBD products have the addition of THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid), but are sometimes referred to as simply 'CBD oil" (especially by the media, which fails to explain why that particular type of CBD oil is "illegal" - because it also has marijuana and THC in it). If CBD oil is referred to as "illegal" or a "banned substance", then this is CBD oil that has THC in it.
Cannabis, as a plant, and policies that affect the 'legalization' of growing, manufacturing, and selling Cannabis are important for all of us to understand. Cannabis and its non-psychoactive components, the parts that do not get people "high" are much more important to human health than people's ability to "smoke weed". Although, at That's Natural, we believe it is every person't natural right to do that - we specifically want to bring light to the medical applications that can help all of mankind. Cannabis, especially the growing and manufacturing of industrial hemp, is so important for all of us. We hope this helps you, as a consumer, and that you may also become an advocate for Food and Medicine Freedom.