Over the past decade, medical marijuana has grown from a small industry into one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States. As of April 2017, marijuana has been approved for use in 29 out of 50 states, with a large audience of regular consumers across the country.
Hemp oil, a similar but fundamentally different product, has also grown massively in popularity in the past decade. In fact, analysts predict that sales of hemp oil and similar products could reach as much as $1.15 billion by the end of 2020.
Because of these similarities, many people assume that medical marijuana and hemp oil are the same things. However, while medical marijuana and hemp oil share some common elements, the two products are fundamentally different in a number of ways.
Below, we’ve listed several key ways in which medical marijuana and hemp oil are different, from their psychoactive effects (or lack thereof) to their availability and legal status.
Medical marijuana contains THC
The biggest difference between medical marijuana and hemp oil is that medical marijuana has large amounts of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, while hemp oil contains either no THC or tiny, trace amounts of the substance.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the key active psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, responsible for the “high” that users feel after smoking, vaporizing or eating marijuana. As well as its psychoactive effects, THC has a number of physical effects, including several health benefits.
THC also causes several side effects, ranging from bloodshot, red eyes to tiredness, hunger, dry mouth, and others.
While most cannabis is rich in THC, the hemp used to create hemp oil generally contains either no THC or very small amounts of the substance. Hemp oil is instead rich in other phytocannabinoids that have their own range of health benefits.
Oil produced from hemp is legal
Although medical marijuana is legal in 29 states (as of 2017), it’s still illegal in many parts of the country. This means that you risk breaking the law if you use medical marijuana in a state that’s yet to legalize it as a treatment.
Hemp oil, on the other hand, is manufactured from hemp instead of conventional marijuana cannabis and it is legal in all 50 states if the following 2 criteria are met: (1) the hemp plant is grown in a state where hemp is legal, and (2) the processing of hemp oil was conducted in a state where it is legal to process.
It’s important to qualify this statement. The oil that’s manufactured using hemp and has a zero or low THC content is legal across the country. However, oil made using marijuana cannabis may not be legal in all states.
This means that users of hemp oil can travel without worrying about breaking the law by using hemp oil for sale from Synchronicity. Since hemp oil contains either no THC or small traces of THC that don’t violate any laws, it’s safe to travel throughout the country while carrying hemp products.
Hemp oil has different health benefits than THC
Finally, phytocannabinoids, the active ingredients in hemp oil, have a different range of health benefits to tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient found in most medical marijuana.
Phytocannabinoids are linked to improvements in the symptoms of stress and tension, as well as a range of other emotional conditions. They’re also considered a potential health and wellness aid for a vast range of challenges – physical, mental & emotional – that people navigate every day.
In short, while other phytocannabinoids and THC come from similar plants, they have different health effects and a distinct set of unique benefits.