Cannabis Sativa L.
CBD is short for cannabidiol and can be found in plants of the family Cannabis Sativa L. This includes, for example, industrial hemp plants, but also the cannabis plants which are grown for weed. The flowers of the hemp plant contain a relatively high amount of CBD. An oil or paste containing CBD can be extracted from these flowers. The percentage of CBD that this oil or paste contains is dependent on the hemp plant that is used as raw material. Cannabis (which is often used as a recreational drug) also contains CBD. The percentage of CBD in most weed strains is very low (usually between 0 and 2%), while the THC content is often relatively high (usually between 10 and 20%). However, there can be big differences between strains.
Different strains of cannabis
There may be more than 2000 different strains of cannabis, but almost all of these are crossings between three basic types: Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis. Indicas generally have a medium to high percentage of THC, but also a relatively high CBD content. Sativa’s often have a medium to high percentage of THC, but also a low percentage of CBD. Wild Ruderalis strains almost always have a low THC content, but a relatively high CBD content. Ruderalis strains are currently being used to develop strains with high CBD levels (> 7%). Finally, there is the previously mentioned industrial hemp. This name is given to plants that contain less than 0.3% THC.
The plant you use to extract CBD from depends on what your goal is. If you want to produce a product containing mainly CBD and little or no THC, you will most likely opt for hemp. If you want to create a product that contains both THC and CBD, you’ll probably want to use one of the aforementioned weed strains.
Finally, CBD can also be made synthetically in a laboratory. There currently is a debate about whether synthetic CBD is as good as natural CBD. Some people suggest that synthetic CBD has much less effect. That may be because of the following reasons: hemp oil with CBD (the most common way to consume CBD) usually contains numerous other cannabinoids in addition to CBD. There are indications that these cannabinoids have a synergistic effect by which the effect of a given component, strengthens the effect of the other. Synthetic CBD is by definition an isolated substance and may therefore be less effective.