Whether it be THC or CBD, the cannabis and hemp industries continue to create amazing new products with cannabinoids. While innovations are doubtlessly exciting, consumer education sometimes falls behind product development in cannabis and hemp. In particular, many people are still not aware of the difference between THC and CBD.

Importantly, being able to differentiate between THC vs. CBD is critical in distinguishing between marijuana and hemp. In the end, knowing these cannabinoids is also important in understanding the difference between illegal and legal products.

Cannabinoids have gained outstanding traction in the global market, and to continue this trajectory, consumer education is the next logical step in further legitimizing the hemp industry. As such, we thought it beneficial to discuss the nuances of THC vs. CBD in more detail.

What is THC?

THC is an abbreviation for the term “tetrahydrocannabinol.” THC is the most commonly known cannabinoid and it is the chemical responsible for getting people “high” when they consume marijuana. As such, much of the controversy in the modern cannabis and hemp industries has to do with THC.

All medical and adult-use marijuana markets in the United States today are built around THC products. Each U.S. state with legal cannabis has devised careful rules to regulate the production and sale of THC. Even more, THC levels in cannabis plants dictate their legal standing with the federal government.

When hemp was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA stipulated that any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC is legally considered “hemp.” Today, the entire national hemp industry is built upon this ruling. Hemp breeders and farmers work tirelessly to produce quality hemp with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD is an abbreviation for the term “cannabidiol.” CBD was a little-known cannabinoid until the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill pushed it into the global spotlight. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce any sort of “high” feeling – although people report that it offers a calming effect when consumed.

Aside from products made from the stalks of industrial hemp plants, CBD is the primary driving force behind the hemp industry we know today. While hemp is legal in the United States, the FDA has not officially sanctioned CBD as a legitimate medicine. As such, companies who label CBD products as medicines or supplements can still face serious legal consequences from the federal government.

CBD vs. THC: Key Differences

Cannabinoids are differentiated from other chemicals in the cannabis plant because they bind with cannabinoid receptors in the human body. While THC and CBD are both cannabinoids, they behave quite differently when consumed by people. The unique effects caused by these cannabinoids are the primary differentiating factors in their legal status.

Chemical Makeup

From terpenes to chlorophyll, the cannabis plant contains an incredible amount of compounds. The U.S. National Library of Medicine website reports that cannabis produces over 400 different chemicals. Of these, the average cannabis plant contains around 60 unique cannabinoids.

While THC and CBD have a similar chemical makeup, the way that atoms are organized in each molecule gives them unique properties when consumed by people.


The most defining characteristic of THC is the fact the cannabinoid is considered psychoactive. According to the National Cancer Institute website, a psychoactive compound is “A drug or other substance that affects how the brain works and causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior.”

One of the primary reasons that CBD has grown so popular is that it is non-psychoactive. Therefore, people can enjoy the benefits of CBD without concern for feeling inebriated.

Potential Medical Benefits

As neither THC or CBD has been officially approved by the FDA as medicine, our knowledge of their medical benefits comes from patient testimonies and early studies. Yet, as our understanding of cannabinoid-based medicines grows, we continuously learn about new potential applications.

  • THC medical benefits: Cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
  • CBD medical benefits: Seizures, sleep disorders, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and more.

Side Effects

Depending on the subject in question, both THC and CBD can have side effects. These side effects vary with intensity from person to person and can be rather unpredictable.

Due to its psychoactive component, THC has far more reported side effects than CBD. Side effects of THC include drowsiness, edginess, red eyes, impaired memory, and lack of focus. CBD users report far fewer side effects than THC users. However, some people experience drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, or gastrointestinal issues when using CBD.

Drug Testing

When it comes to drug testing, both THC and CBD present unique challenges. Because THC is federally illegal, many businesses and organizations drug test for the cannabinoid. Even if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you still have to be concerned with THC showing up on a drug test.

CBD is not tested for in drug tests, nor is it scrutinized in most regions of the world today. However, as full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC (less than the legal 0.3%), in rare cases they can cause you to fail a drug test.

Final Word: THC vs. CBD

Today, the hemp-derived CBD business is a global juggernaut. In the year 2020, the worldwide CBD market was valued at $2.8 billion. Yet, while CBD products are now readily available at retail and online stores worldwide, most consumers still don’t know much about cannabinoids. In order for hemp to progress, it’s critical we make an effort to educate people on the nuances of the THC vs. CBD discussion.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are honored to take part in building the new national hemp industry. Within this spectrum, we feel that teaching people about the benefits and drawbacks of THC vs. CBD is essential. As we learn more about cannabinoids, we can work to further refine dosage levels and match the appropriate compounds with the right ailments.

Please contact us to learn more about cannabinoid research and hemp CBD.

The growth of the CBD industry is nothing short of spectacular. Just a few short years ago, “cannabidiol” (CBD), was an obscure cannabinoid only known to select groups of cultivators and scientists. In like fashion, hemp was federally illegal and only valued for its fibers and seeds.

Today, things look much different for hemp and CBD. The worldwide CBD market was valued at an astounding $2.8 billion in the year 2020. Even more, global hunger for “everything CBD” has stimulated the growth of a massive hemp industry, including growers, processors, and retail stores. While such amazing growth is exciting, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that CBD helps people.

People from around the world use CBD to treat both physical and mental ailments. Yet, the FDA has only approved a single CBD medicine – that being epidiolex. This drug is made from synthetic CBD and is prescribed exclusively for seizure patients. Beyond epidiolex, our understanding of the cannabinoid from new CBD research and patient testimonials.

While we continue to wait on formal FDA recognition of CBD, there are a myriad of intriguing findings that show great promise for the cannabinoid. High Grade Hemp Seed is excited to see where CBD research studies will lead us in the future.

A Growing Understanding of CBD and the Human Body

The cannabis plant contains over 100 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. Because hemp has been illegal to grow in the United States for so long, there is precious little research on many of hemp’s medical properties. That is quickly changing.

CBD research studies are revealing a growing list of potential health benefits. The width and breadth of these benefits likely has to do with how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Introducing the Endocannabinoid System

One of the most exciting advances that has come directly from cannabinoid research has been the discovery of a biochemical communication system within the human body known as the endocannabinoid system.

Scientists are just beginning to understand this intricate and complex system, which helps to regulate:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Fertility

Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and have been shown to respond to cannabinoids, like CBD. This can help explain why CBD research has shown so many varied effects throughout the body.

What are the health benefits of CBD? Researchers are just starting to answer that question. Here is what we know about the potential medical benefits of CBD.


1. CBD and Pain Research

Many CBD advocates swear that CBD makes their aches and pains disappear, but what does the science actually say on this matter? The available research does seem to support the fact that CBD can offer pain-relieving properties. A double-blind study of 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that patients who took Sativex, a nasal spray that includes both THC and CBD, reported significantly less pain than the placebo group. Additionally, a study on rats found that rodents who received injections of CBD seemed to feel less pain in response to surgical incisions.

What is behind the pain-relieving properties of CBD? It all comes back to the endocannabinoid system. Researchers hypothesize that CBD (and possibly other cannabinoids) may impact endocannabinoid receptor activity and interact with neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for feeling pain. Writing for the Harvard Health blog, Dr. Grinspoon explains that CBD has been shown to impact both inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are the two most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.

Importantly, CBD could offer relief for pain sufferers who have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, “In 2019 … 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers.” Unfortunately, many of these people got introduced to painkillers through a legitimate medical need, which eventually led to addiction. If CBD could help a fraction of these people find relief from their pain, it would be a wild success.

2. CBD and Anxiety Research

With a third of Americans now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, it’s more important than ever to understand what treatment options are available, especially for people who prefer natural remedies. In some cases, CBD may be the answer.

A double-blind study of 57 Brazilian men found that those who took 300 mg. of CBD felt significantly less anxiety during a simulated public speaking test than those who took a placebo. What’s interesting is that the same effects were not seen in subjects who took 150 mg. of CBD or 600 mg. of CBD, so dosing is an important consideration.

In a fascinating CBD case study in The Permanente Journal, researchers explain how CBD oil helped a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder lower her anxiety and improve her sleep. Similarly, in the United States, many military veterans report relief from PTSD symptoms through the use of CBD.

3. CBD and Epilepsy

CBD has long since been proven to be an effective treatment for epilepsy. The only FDA-approved CBD drug in existence, epidiolex, is regularly prescribed to treat cases of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both severe childhood epilepsy conditions greatly hinder the overall quality of life for sufferers. Due to the fact many of these patients are resistant to anti-seizure medications, CBD has given them a new lease on life through epidiolex.

One of the most well-researched medical benefits of CBD is its ability to effectively treat symptoms of epilepsy. CBD has been used in cases of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, severe childhood epilepsy conditions that are often resistant to anti-seizure medications. In a landmark double-blind study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that an oral solution of CBD was able to lower seizures in children with Dravet syndrome. The median frequency of seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 in the study group, while the decrease in seizures in the control group was minimal. It is studies like these that have made CBD increasingly accepted in the eyes of mainstream medicine.

4. CBD and Multiple Sclerosis

Nearly one million people in the United States over the age of 18 live with multiple sclerosis, a disease where the immune system eats away at nerve coverings, causing disabling nerve damage throughout the body.

A tragic hallmark of the disease is a muscle spasticity, which happens when the muscles stiffen and can’t be relaxed or stretched. Muscle spasticity can impede movement and speech and even make it difficult or impossible for a person to walk. A study that used Sativex on a group of 276 people with MS found that nearly 75% of the research subjects reported less muscle spasticity, offering needed relief and increased quality of life.

5. CBD and Heart Health

Can CBD health benefits include an improvement in overall health and wellness? One promising study points to the fact that CBD may help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is an indicator of heart disease and can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

This small CBD case study recruited nine healthy men to take a single 600 mg. dose of CBD oil. Even after just one dose, the men showed a lower resting blood pressure when compared to the placebo group. The men who took the CBD oil also showed a lower increase in blood pressure when put under a stress test.

6. CBD and Cancer Treatment Symptoms

For years, doctors and scientists have been searching for ways to help cancer feel better during treatment. Chemotherapy often leaves patients feeling weak, nauseated, and in pain. THC has long been used to help counteract these unpleasant cancer treatment side effects, but can a non-intoxicating cannabinoid like CBD also help?

A small, double-blind study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology recruited patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and gave them a combination of THC and CBD. Patients who received the THC and CBD reported fewer side effects from the chemotherapy than the placebo group.

7. Other Exciting Potential CBD Health Benefits

Many of the most exciting CBD research is still in the early stages. These studies have been conducted on test tube samples or in animals. While these avenues of research have a ways to go until they reach human trials, the results are still worth mentioning. These studies go to show that there is still so much we have to learn about CBD and how it affects the human body.

  • CBD and Cancer

Don’t believe anyone who says that CBD can cure cancer; however, test tube studies and animal studies have found that CBD can inhibit the spread of breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer. Much more research must be done in this area, so keep your eyes peeled for more advanced studies in the future.

  • CBD and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction are a dark reality for an estimated 22 million Americans. So many struggle and fail to break free of their addictions. CBD may be able to help. A review of 14 studies, including animal studies and pre-clinical human studies, found that CBD may offer therapeutic properties related to addictions to opioids, cocaine, and psychostimulants. Some data even suggests CBD could help with tobacco addiction.

  • CBD and Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects 34.2 million people in the U.S. and can dramatically lower quality of life and lifespan. A promising study of diabetic rats found that CBD treatment lowered the incidence of diabetes by 56% and also reduced inflammation related to diabetes.

  • CBD and Acne

Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the skin. When the skin produces too much sebum, it can block pores and lead to acne. Those with blemished skin can take heart in a test tube study that found CBD oil stopped sebaceous gland cells from creating too much sebum. The CBD also had an anti-inflammatory effect.

What Is the Future of CBD Research?

The CBD industry is here to stay. Yet, while thousands of patients report profound positive impacts from CBD, we are still waiting on formal approval from the FDA. As the CBD continues to gain mainstream acceptance, many hope it will eventually replace harmful pharmaceutical drugs such as painkillers and sleeping pills. However, we must be patient as the medical field works towards eventual approval through its CBD research studies.

Whether you are a medical patient curious about CBD, or a hemp grower interested in CBD seeds, it worthwhile studying the potential applications of the cannabinoid. In doing so, you can make educated decisions on whether to consume CBD or grow CBD hemp.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, you can bet we’ll keep an eye on all the emerging CBD research studies for you. In the meantime, contact us today to learn about our many high CBD strains of hemp.

As the cannabis and hemp industries continue to gain acceptance in the mainstream, there has been an increased interest in cannabinoids. With a surge in popularity for both CBD and THC, cannabis and hemp have become big business. Looking specifically at the hemp-derived CBD space, national legalization has attracted the attention of major players in the retail business, as well as health and wellness. Today, you can find CBD products on the shelves of major retail stores such as Kroeger, CVS, and Neiman Marcus.

With such a massive interest in CBD products, horticulturists, scientists, and business people alike have been on the hunt for the “next big cannabinoid.” All eyes are now turning to another non-psychoactive cannabinoid known as “cannabigerol” or CBG.

As a leader in seed production, High Grade Hemp Seed always keeps a close eye on new developments in the industry. As such, we wanted to give you an overview of the new cannabinoid CBG and help you understand how it is different from CBD.

Here’s what you need to know.

The CBG Cannabinoid Explained

Hemp contains hundreds of cannabinoids. The two most well-known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As research on cannabinoids has expanded, many researchers and health industry experts have begun looking into CBG.

CBG has been referred to as “the mother cannabinoid.” When a hemp plant is young, it produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). This compound then breaks down into cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) as the plant matures. Without digging too deep into the science, the CBDA and THCA are then converted into CBD and THC, which can be extracted from the buds and resin of the hemp plant after harvest. The leftover amount of CBGA is also converted into CBG.

Understanding the basics of this process is important for farmers because it helps to explain why CBG cannabinoid is more difficult (but also potentially more lucrative) to cultivate. As leaders in CBG hemp breeding, High Grade Hemp Seed is in a unique position to offer this advice.


CBG vs. CBD Hemp

How do CBD and CBG compare to each other? First, let’s look at some of the similarities between CBD and CBG. For starters, both CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating, unlike THC. This makes both CBD and CBG popular compounds for those who want the health benefits cannabinoids can offer without the psychoactive side effects of THC.

Early research also seems to indicate that CBG and CBD may possess some overlapping health benefits as well as unique benefits. Both cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating:

  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Reproduction
  • Appetite

In a nutshell, the endocannabinoid system works to stabilize the body’s internal environment, which could be the reason research shows that CBD affects so many different parts of the body and impacts a variety of conditions. While we know that both CBD and CBG influence the endocannabinoid system, there has been far more research into CBD. As such, a big reason why CBG remains so obscure is an overall lack of research. This notion is particularly true for human subjects.

Recently, scientists have turned their attention to CBG. While these studies are still in their infancy, they have yielded some interesting results. For example, research has shown CBG to have “analgesic and anti-inflammatory” properties. As such, CBG could prove to be an effective pain medicine and alternative to addictive prescription drugs. We still have a long way to go, but these positive results surely mean that advanced studies on CBG effects are in the works.

Growing and Producing CBG Hemp

Why is CBD so much more popular than CBG? Why is there so much more research on CBD and so many more CBD products? The answer is simple: CBG has historically been very difficult and expensive to farm.

Remember how we told you that CBG is “the mother cannabinoid” and that CBGA breaks down into THCA and CBDA as a hemp plant matures? The more that CBGA turns into other cannabinoids, the less CBG remains. Hemp farmers who want to cultivate CBG traditionally had to harvest their hemp crop early before the plants could mature very much. This meant that farmers gave up on the chance to cultivate CBD in order to grow CBG.

Until recent advancements in hemp breeding, plants have traditionally produced low amounts of CBG. To illustrate, early hemp strains only produced <1% of CBG within a plant. This statistic stands in stark contradiction to high-CBD strains, which contain as much as 10-16% of CBD.

If that weren’t bad enough, levels of CBG were so low in hemp plants that many farmers were forced to invest in specialized production equipment to isolate and purify CBG extract. Otherwise, they paid higher prices for third-party extraction.

As CBG is such a novel cannabinoid, most hemp farmers are not yet focusing on CBG production. Therefore, CBG fetches a far higher price tag in the open market. A 2020 study suggests that while CBD earns $2,000 per kilogram, the same amount of CBG can bring around $30,000. That’s over five times the value of CBD.

Even with the promise of such a big potential payday, farmers may still be hesitant to take the risk of trying to cultivate CBG. Fortunately, hemp genetics is advancing at a breakneck pace, and several strains of CBG hemp have recently hit the market.

All About CBG Hemp Strains

Hemp breeders like High Grade Hemp Seed, are working hard to develop hemp plants that produce more CBG. To illustrate, our customers love our Matterhorn CBG strain. Remember how traditional hemp plants could only produce 1% CBG concentrate? With Matterhorn, we have upped CBG concentrations to an astounding 15% potential. This amazing new strain gives hemp farmers the ability to generate serious profit by growing specifically for CBG.

Farmers who are considering cultivating CBG strains need to do their homework. Many of the CBG hemp seeds coming to market are brand new strains, and there are always disreputable companies that make big promises their seeds can’t keep. Do your research on a seed company before making a sizable investment. Work with a hemp seed company that has been around for several years and that has a good reputation for their other hemp seed strains.

It’s also a good idea to invest in feminized CBG seeds. You’ll pay a little more upfront, but you will save time and heartache by planting 100% female hemp plants. Even more, you can avoid the extra labor expenses of removing male plants from your crop.

If you haven’t planted hemp before, or if you don’t have a greenhouse infrastructure on your property, you should consider choosing CBG seed starts. By starting with seedling plants, eliminate the extra work and materials needed to sprout seeds. At High Grade Hemp Seed, our seed starts also come with a strong taproot that will help your plants stay healthy throughout your growing season.

Should I Grow CBG Hemp?

Is cultivating CBG worth the extra investment, work, and risk? A different way to think about these questions is by considering the value of diversifying your crop. CBD is a hot commodity now, but an increasing number of farmers are cultivating CBD flowers.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we believe CBD hemp will always be worth planting and will still give farmers a great ROI. However, we also know it never hurts to diversify your income. CBG hemp can both complement and hedge against CBD prices and can also position you at the very forefront of the CBG market. Some of the latest cannabinoid studies have found that CBD and CBG create a stronger, positive health effect when taken together.

If CBG becomes as hot as CBD, farmers who are experienced in growing high-yield CBG strains, like Matterhorn CBG, will be in a great position to feed a growing demand, especially for a previously hard-to-produce product.

Contact us today to learn more about our Matterhorn CBG or any of our CBD hemp strains. Our knowledgeable representatives can tell you all about how to grow Matterhorn CBG and how CBG hemp differs from CBD hemp. We are happy to discuss your crop plans and answer any questions you might have.