Have you ever heard of a material that costs $2,000 per gram? If not, you probably haven’t heard of graphene. Graphene is a revolutionary new material that is poised to upend a variety of industries. Some people feel graphene is the most important scientific discovery of the 21st-Century.

Not only is graphene extremely strong, but it is also an incredible conductor of heat and electricity. Even more, it is highly applicable in the new field of nanotechnology. Whether it be reinforcing composites for building materials, or developing flexible electronics, graphene is nothing short of amazing.

While we are still in the early phases of understanding the many uses of graphene, industrial hemp is already showing promise in providing a similar material. Graphene from hemp fiber offers great potential for similar nanotechnology applications, while doing so at just a fraction of the cost of regular graphene.

While both graphene and hemp nanosheets are still largely in the beta phase, we thought it would be interesting to review these exciting new topics.

What is Graphene?

While it is extremely light and thin, Graphene is widely regarded as the strongest material on earth. On a nano-level, graphene “is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern.”

While the strength of graphene is nothing short of amazing, it has many more potential applications. Graphene is also believed to be the most conductive material ever discovered both for electricity and heat. As such, it shows astounding promise in the computer and electronics industries.

Researchers Adre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov first discovered graphene in 2004. They made the discovery by slowly peeling apart layers of graphite with tape. Eventually, they analyzed thin layers of graphite which they dubbed “graphene.” Geim and Konstantin were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.”

What is Graphene Made Of?

According to an article published in the Guardian, “graphene is extracted from graphite, the material used in pencils. Like graphite, graphene is entirely composed of carbon atoms and 1mm of graphite contains some 3 million layers of graphene. Whereas graphite is a three-dimensional crystalline arrangement, graphene is a two-dimensional crystal only an atom thick.”

While graphene is made from one of the most commonly occurring compounds on earth, carbon, scientists had not yet seen this material presented with such a unique formation.

What is Graphene Used For?

It is important to note that graphene was just discovered in 2004. To this end, while the scientific community is extremely excited about this new compound, we are still learning about its potential applications. As such, most products that utilize graphene are still in the development phase.

Electricity & Conductivity: Graphene is widely regarded as the most conductive material on earth for both heat and electricity. As such, it can be used for nearly any application requiring an electric current. One of the most exciting uses for graphene is to increase the speed of circuitry in cell phones, tablets, and computers.

Nanotechnology: Because graphene is only the width of a single layer of atoms, it shows great promise in nanotechnology. Whether it be with medical applications or computer hardware, the ability to work at such a small scale makes graphene very attractive to nanotech companies.

Composite Materials: Due to the fact that graphene is extremely strong and lightweight, it can be used as a composite to strengthen other materials. Potential uses for graphene composites include airplanes, spacecraft, automobiles, building materials, sports equipment, and much more.

Graphene Production from Hemp

Hemp bast fibers can be processed into a material that resembles graphene on a molecular level. Since this material is sourced from industrial hemp, rather than graphite, it would be incorrect to refer to it as graphene. Rather graphene from hemp is more correctly named “hemp nanosheets.”

Hemp nanosheets are “made up of layers of lignin, hemicellulose, and crystalline cellulose.” When manufactured correctly, hemp bast can be reduced to extremely thin sheets that resemble graphene. This newfound application in hemp graphene could be a huge boon for hemp farmers.

To make hemp-based graphene, manufacturers heat hemp bast to a steady 350 deg Fahrenheit for an entire day. This extended heating period breaks plant material down and carbonizes cellulose. After that, the hemp feedstock is heated to 1400 deg Fahrenheit and mixed with potassium hydroxide. This process results in hemp nanosheets that resemble graphene.

Hemp Nanosheet Uses

Graphene from hemp fiber can be made for a fraction of the cost that it takes to manufacture standard graphene from graphite. In fact, hemp nanosheets can be made from “anywhere between $500 and $1,000 a ton.” Needless to say, this figure stands in stark contradiction to graphene, which costs around $100 per gram to produce.

Because hemp nanosheets are so much cheaper to manufacture than traditional graphene, there is a good deal of excitement surrounding them. Ideally, hemp nanosheets will be able to be used anywhere that graphene is applicable.

A particularly exciting use for hemp graphene is nanotechnology purposes. Different products that can be made via nanotechnology include:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Computer screens
  • Fabrics
  • Transistors
  • Flexible electronics
  • Flash memory chips

Researchers are also hoping to use hemp nanosheets as the primary ingredient in supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are batteries that can “charge and discharge” their energy storage in almost an instant. As such, they have the potential to revolutionize the way we store and transmit power with batteries.

Thus far, graphene from hemp has gotten a good deal of attention as the ideal compound for supercapacitors. Nonetheless, as seen with other applications like nanotechnology, hemp nanosheets could become the primary ingredient in supercapacitors.


Graphene is one of the most celebrated discoveries of the 21st-century. Whether it be for medical technology or computer equipment, graphene shows extremely exciting promise. Yet, while the excitement surrounding graphene is well-founded, it is extremely expensive to produce.

Hemp nanosheets offer an intriguing alternative to graphene. If the science behind hemp-based graphene is correct, it can be used in place of traditional graphene for only a fraction of the cost.

As we learn more about both graphene and hemp nanosheets, it will be interesting to see how the research behind each informs our understanding of both materials. Ideally, as each technology advances, we can utilize hemp nanosheets where graphene is simply too expensive to implement.
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Please contact High Grade Hemp Seed with questions about graphene from hemp fiber.

In the few short years since hemp was legalized, farmers and manufacturers alike have worked to establish new processing protocols for the industry. As new hemp farms sprung up across the nation after legalization, farmers quickly realized they didn’t have all the tools they needed to pull off successful harvests. Manufacturers also didn’t have the hemp processing machines required for manufacturing seed and fiber products.

With the new national hemp industry, it’s been up to inventors, manufacturers, and farmers to develop the equipment needed to process hemp on a commercial scale. Some of this equipment has been borrowed from other industries like agriculture and food manufacturing, while other technologies have been created specifically for processing industrial hemp.

How is Hemp Processed?

While the United States hemp industry was born with no blueprints for success, the market has shown serious resilience and innovation for solving logistical issues.

The processing of industrial hemp fibers takes a number of important steps. Each of these phases is bound to pieces of technology that make specific types of manufacturing possible. While later stages in the industrial hemp supply chain can look quite different, all early stages of industrial hemp processing begin with cultivation and harvest.


Today, industrial hemp cultivation takes place on large commercial farms hundreds of acres in size. In order to successfully run such massive operations, hemp farmers depend on key pieces of industrial farming technology.

Primary types of hemp farming equipment include:

  • Seed drill
  • Transplanter
  • Tractor
  • Plow
  • Greenhouse
  • Irrigation system

Please note, every hemp farmer probably has a different list of equipment that they deem “essential.” Nonetheless, certain items like tractors and irrigation systems are almost universally used.


After industrial hemp plants are cultivated, they must be harvested before they can be processed into fibers and seeds. As seen with cultivation, industrial hemp harvests are heavily reliant on key pieces of technology.

Important types of industrial hemp harvest equipment include:

  • Combine
  • Drying racks
  • Drying machine
  • Dehumidifier
  • Bailer

Perhaps more so than cultivation, each hemp farmer has their preferred equipment choices for harvest. To illustrate, some industrial hemp farmers use drying machines, while others opt to line dry their hemp.

Equipment to Process Hemp Flowers and Seeds

Certain farmers grow industrial hemp for its seeds. In turn, these seeds are either sold to other hemp farmers for the next planting season, or they are further processed into hemp seed oil and foods. Whatever the purpose of growing industrial hemp for seeds, a hemp thresher is required to separate seeds from other plant materials.

The first step when threshing hemp is to smash up dried stems, leaves, and flowers. The idea here is to loosen the seeds from the other organic matter. Next, the hemp thresher utilizes screens and air blowers to clean excess plant materials from the seeds, while also sorting them by size.

With clean and sorted seeds in hand, manufacturers then sell the best seeds to farmers while further processing others into oils and foods.

Hemp Seed Oil Processing Equipment

Hemp seed oil is widely recognized for its high nutrition. To this end, people enjoy cooking with hemp seed oil because it provides principal nutrients like fatty acids, fiber, amino acids, as well as many important vitamins.

Hemp seed oil is processed by way of a hemp seed oil press machine. These oil press machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most traditional hemp seed oil press is an expeller screw press. A more modern approach to hemp seed oil processing can be found with a hydraulic extraction press machine. Whatever your chosen press, the end goal is the same in extracting oil from hemp seeds.

With expeller screw presses, hemp seeds are added to the hopper. Next, depending on your chosen screw press, the machine presses down on the seeds by way of hand power or engine power. After that, the oil is separated from the rest of the seed material through filtration canals.

The most modern approach to hemp seed oil manufacturing is a hydraulic oil press machine. These complex pieces of equipment are designed to extract oils from seeds and nuts without degrading their nutritional value. They also come with sophisticated controls, sensors, and components for monitoring the extraction process.

Hemp Fiber Processing Equipment

For those farmers growing industrial hemp for its fibers, decortication is a critical step in hemp stalk processing. Importantly, decortication is the phase in which bast fibers are separated from hurd fibers. In turn, bast fibers are further processed into materials like lumber, paper, and fabrics. For their part, hurd fibers are used for such products as animal bedding and hempcrete.

Equipment manufacturers have developed hemp decorticators that can process up to 1,000 pounds of hemp stalks per hour. Once stalks have been processed through a hemp decorticator, the machine separates the bast and hurd into several different sizes. These different hemp fiber types and sizes can then be sold or further processed.

Hemp farmers have several choices when it comes to hemp fiber processing with decorticators. Some farmers opt to purchase their own decorticators, while others work with third-party decortication providers. In the end, financial constraints and business goals are the deciding factors in decortication practices.

Once separated, hemp bast and hurd are sometimes further processed for easier shipping. For example, hemp bast is sometimes made into bales which can be shipped without taking up too much square footage in a container.

Talk to High Grade About Industrial Hemp Processing

It is amazing to see how quickly industrial hemp processing equipment has advanced in the few short years since legalization. If you are wondering what types of equipment is best suited for your hemp farm, please contact us for expert advice.

Industrial hemp has gotten a lot of attention recently due to its environmental benefits and diverse applications. The more research that manufacturers and scientists put into learning about hemp, the more uses they uncover for this incredible plant.

A major drive in the industry is to develop uses for the different types of fibers found in the stalks of industrial hemp. With the impetus of creating environmentally-friendly building materials and agricultural supplies, hemp hurd has gained a good deal of traction recently.

With hurd fiber, manufacturers are taking parts from the hemp plant previously considered waste and making them into usable products. To help our readers get more clarity on the topic of hemp hurd, we put together this brief exploration.

Industrial Hemp Fibers

People have been cultivating hemp for its fibers for thousands of years. Whether it be ancient China or medieval Europe, hemp has played a critical role in human history as a source of both textiles and paper. Today, advancements in science have led to the development of new uses for hemp in building materials.

According to the study Properties Characterization of Chemically Modified Hemp Hurds, “Composites derived from natural and fast renewable resources, especially cellulosic materials, are increasing in importance due to their numerous advantageous properties for application in sustainable building constructions.” Importantly, hemp falls nicely into this newfound focus on renewable resources.

Industrial hemp stalks contain two key types of fibers: bast and hurd. Bast fibers are long and string-like and found on the outer portions of hemp stalks. Conversely, hurd fibers resemble wood chips in their structure and are found in the interior of hemp stalks.

What is Hemp Hurd?

While bast fibers have been the primary focus for traditional hemp farming, hurd fibers have long been considered a waste byproduct. As manufacturers are coming to discover new uses for hurd, they are literally building an industry out of nothing.

Due to their woodchip-like consistency, hemp hurd is sometimes referred to as “hemp shives.”. While many hurd products resemble woodchip products, others are further processed into building materials.

One of the most amazing things about hurds is the fact they make up around 70% of the usable fibers found in industrial hemp. As such, hemp hurd product manufacturing not only allows producers to commoditize byproducts, but also lessens the amount of agricultural waste coming from hemp farms. As such, the environmental benefits of hurd production are multi-faceted.

How to Make Hemp Hurd

Concerning cultivation, harvest, and initial processing, hemp hurd is made the same way as hemp bast. These early steps of hurd processing are dedicated to separating usable fibers from excess plant materials in hemp stalks.

Harvest: Harvest is the first step in making hemp hurd. Industrial hemp plants are best harvested right after the flowering period, as this is when fibers are at their strongest.

Retting: Retting is a critical process in hurd manufacturing. With retting, hemp farmers allow the stalks to break down and rot so they are easier to process. Hemp farmers utilize two primary types of retting: field retting and wet retting. However, field retting is by far the most affordable and popular choice for hemp farmers.

Breaking: After stems have softened through retting, they are then further broken down. During the breaking phase, bast and hurd are loosened in preparation for separation from other plant materials.

Decortication: Decortication is the step where hurd fibers are separated from bast fibers. Once separated, each type of fiber travels a different path in the industrial hemp product supply chain. While bast will be made into clothing and textiles, hurd will be made into building materials and agricultural supplies.

Final Processing: After the hurd is separated from the bast, it undergoes more processing as it is manufactured into different products. As such, all hemp hurd production is identical up to a point, where it then differs when it comes to making different products. To illustrate, hemp hurd panels will undergo several more manufacturing steps than mulch made from hemp hurd.

Hemp Hurd Uses

One of the primary motivations behind hemp cultivation today is the environmental movement. Not only is hemp easy to grow, but it is far more renewable than other resources such as timber, petroleum, and minerals.

Because hemp hurd has very unique properties, it can be manufactured into a number of products. Importantly, the “thermal, mechanical, acoustic and aseptic” properties of hemp hurd make it an incredible “organic filler in composite[s].” Due to these diverse properties, hemp hurd uses are far-reaching.

Hemp Hurd Bedding: Animal bedding is one of the most traditional uses for hemp hurd. Not only is hemp hurd bedding highly absorptive, but it does not cause allergic reactions in people and animals as often seen with straw and wood shavings.

Hempcrete: As the name implies, hempcrete is used as a substitute for concrete. Hempcrete is lightweight, fire-resistant, and has amazing insulation properties. Hemp hurd for hempcrete is most commonly formed into bricks, blocks, and panels. These products are then used for a variety of non-load bearing applications in construction.

Insulation: Insulation made from hemp hurd offers an eco-friendly alternative to fiberglass insulation. Hemp insulation is 100% biodegradable and doesn’t irritate the eyes and skin. Even more, hemp insulation performs just as well as traditional insulation.

Wood Pellets: Wood pellet stoves are a popular method for heating people’s homes. These stoves are fueled by wood pellets made from sawdust and woodchips. Manufacturers have recently begun making pellets for wood stoves out of hemp hurd.

Mulch: Mulch is also a popular use for hemp hurd. Because hemp plants grow far quicker than trees, mulch made from hemp-hurd is considered more eco-friendly than that made from wood sources.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed

We are thrilled to see the new advancements in hemp hurd product manufacturing. As the industry progresses, there is no doubt we will only see more advancements with hemp hurd. Please contact us with questions you may have about hemp hurd.


With so many hemp products on the market today, it’s easy for consumers to confuse terminology. Not only must you know the difference between CBD hemp and industrial hemp, but you must have an awareness of unique products within these subcategories.

As the hemp market continues to grow exponentially, we regularly get questions about the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil. This isn’t a surprise, as both of these terms are somewhat vague.

Hemp oil is a nutritious food source, while CBD oil is a term used to describe several cannabinoid-based wellness products. While they are both sourced from hemp plants, CBD oil, and hemp oil are quite different in the way they are manufactured and consumed.

What is Hemp Oil?

The correct name for hemp oil is actually “hemp seed oil.” Namely because hemp oil is pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant to make a nutritious food source. People use hemp oil in a fashion similar to olive oil – they cook with it and mix it with dressings.

Another important thing to note is that hemp seed oil comes from the industrial hemp plant. Unlike CBD hemp plants that are grown for their cannabinoid-rich flowers, industrial hemp plants are grown for their fibrous stalks and nutritious seeds.

Hemp oil is made with an oil press machine. In today’s food manufacturing space, hemp companies utilize expeller screw presses and hydraulic presses to process oil from seeds. With both technologies, seeds are put under immense pressure until oil is leached from other materials. The hemp oil is then filtered for greater purity.

Hemp Seed Benefits and Uses

People have long enjoyed hemp oil for its health benefits. Whether you make a stir fry with hemp oil in a wok, or use hemp oil as the base for a vinaigrette dressing, it will greatly increase the nutritional value of any meal.

Scientific studies published in the article Hempseed as a Nutritional Resource tell us that hempseed is “technically a nut.” The article continues, hemp seeds contain, “over 30% oil and about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.” Due to this intense concentration of nutrients, hemp oil is often referred to as a “superfood.”

Key benefits of hemp oil include:

  • Fatty Acids: Hemp oil is an extremely potent source of “polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)” and “the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (18:2 omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-3).” Fatty acids are known to be extremely good for the cardiovascular system and even help reduce heart disease in certain circumstances.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: Oil from hemp seed is also a rich source of protein, vitamin E, micronutrients, and macronutrients. A single tablespoon of hemp oil provides minerals and supplements such as zinc, iron, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and sodium.
  • Protein: Hemp seeds contain almost as much protein as soybeans. As such, they are a great option for vegetarians looking to supplement their diet with protein from a plant-based source.
  • Amino Acids: Hemp oil contains every “essential amino acid.” As seen with fatty acids, amino acids also play a critical role in regulating the cardiovascular system and reducing blood pressure.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is an umbrella term used to describe cannabinoid extracts made from the hemp flower. As such, “CBD oil” is often used to describe hydrocarbon extracts, CO2 extracts, as well as tinctures made from CBD. In essence, CBD oil is a concentrated form of all the beneficial compounds found in hemp flowers.

While hemp oil is made from the seeds of industrial hemp, CBD oil is made from the flowers of CBD hemp. These hemp plants are cultivated for their prized flowers that contain beneficial compounds like CBD, CBG, and terpenes.

CBD Oil Effects and Benefits

Until recent years, CBD was a little-known, rather obscure cannabinoid. However, the legalization of hemp in the United States has led to massive global interest in CBD. Today, people from around the globe use CBD hemp oil to treat physical and psychological ailments like chronic pain, sleep disorders, and anxiety.

While millions of people can attest to the benefits of CBD, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the cannabinoid as a medicine or dietary supplement. That being said, our knowledge of CBD hemp oil today comes from patient testimonies as well as novel scientific research.

  • Seizure Medicine: While the FDA has not approved any plant-based CBD medicines, they have approved a synthetic CBD drug known as “Epidiolex.” Doctors regularly prescribe Epidiolex “to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients 1 year of age and older.”
  • Pain Relief: Relief from chronic pain is one of the most widely reported benefits of CBD. In fact, professional athletes such as football legend Brett Favre regularly endorse CBD oil as a healthy alternative to addictive prescription painkillers. With an opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, the potential value of CBD cannot be overstated.
  • Sleep Aid: People also report that CBD hemp oil is a great sleep aid. Whether people are suffering from post-traumatic stress or simply restless, millions of people declare that CBD offers them relief.
  • Anxiety Relief: CBD has also gained worldwide renown for anxiety relief. Just as seen with pain killers, CBD oil could be a healthy alternative to harmful prescription drugs like Xanax and Klonopin.

What is the Difference Between CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil?

While the terms “hemp oil” and “CBD oil” can be easily confused at first, a bit of careful research shows that these two products are indeed quite different. Hemp oil is pressed from hemp seeds and used as a highly nutritional food source. Conversely, CBD oil is extracted from the flowers of hemp plants and used for wellness purposes.

The nuances of the hemp oil vs CBD oil discussion aside, the fact that such different products come from a single plant really speaks to the amazing nature of hemp. Whether it be with nutritional oil from seeds, or cannabinoid-rich extracts from flowers, hemp is a literal cornucopia of health and wellness.

Talk to High Grade Hemp Seed

High Grade is constantly in touch with farmers and processors in both the CBD hemp and industrial hemp verticals. To this end, our team is well versed in nutritional and wellness products within each market segment.

Contact us today with questions!

In the modern CBD industry, manufacturers constantly come up with innovative ways to extract cannabinoids from hemp flowers. In turn, as new extraction methods are devised, they lead to the further development of new and exciting CBD products.

Certain hemp CBD products – like full-spectrum extracts – are created with the end goal of retaining a plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes. Conversely, isolate products are made with the objective of isolating CBD from all other plant materials – including other cannabinoids.

In today’s market, different CBD products have garnered their own dedicated following of customers. Around the globe, people enjoy CBD isolate because it affords unrivaled purity and extremely precise dosing.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolates are hemp extracts that are refined into pure CBD.

Importantly, hemp contains over 100 active cannabinoids aside from CBD. When CBD is pulled from hemp flowers through processes like hydrocarbon and CO2 extraction, most of these other active cannabinoids are pulled with the CBD. Even more, most hemp extraction methods also extract terpenes, chlorophyll, and other plant materials. As a result, while most CBD extracts primarily contain CBD, some also house a number of other chemicals.

CBD isolates differ from other hemp extracts in that they don’t contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or other plant materials.

How is CBD Isolate Made?

To make CBD isolate, manufacturers must undergo a series of steps to transform hemp biomass into pure CBD.

The first step in the CBD isolate manufacturing process is extraction. For the most part, the initial extraction process is the same for all CBD concentrates, including full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.

Using hydrocarbon, ethanol, or CO2 extraction methods, manufacturers isolate CBD and other valuable compounds with a solvent. By running the solvent through hemp flowers, it pulls cannabinoids and terpenes from other organic materials. The solvent/cannabinoid mixture is then purged of excess solvents – leaving CBD oil.

After it is made, CBD oil can take a number of avenues in the CBD product supply chain. Sometimes, the crude CBD oil is sold in bulk to other manufactures, while some companies use CBD oil as the main ingredient in vape products and edibles. Other businesses refine CBD oil to further isolate certain compounds.

Distillation is the next step in the isolate manufacturing process. With distillation, manufacturers isolate CBD from other compounds through a process of boiling, condensation, and separation. If done correctly, distillation can result in an extract that is 70% pure CBD.

The final step in the CBD isolate manufacturing process is crystallization. In this phase, the extract is again heated and cooled, where it finally forms into CBD crystals of 99.9% purity.

CBD Isolate Effects

Because CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest state, it focuses the effect on the benefits of CBD, as opposed to those of other cannabinoids. In fact, people enjoy isolates because they provide the relief of CBD without any of the added side effects that come with other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Common CBD isolate effects include:

  • Calming
  • Pain relief
  • Sleep aid
  • Anti-inflammatory

CBD has also been proven to be an effective treatment for seizures. In fact, the only FDA-approved CBD medicine to date, epidiolex, is prescribed specifically to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

CBD Isolate Uses

In researching cannabinoids, doctors uncovered a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” With the entourage effect, CBD, THC, and other chemicals work in conjunction with one another to create unique effects in subjects. While some people enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect, others prefer to only consume pure CBD.

CBD isolate is a great option for individuals who are skeptical about the unpredictable nature of the entourage effect. CBD isolate is also widely popular because it offers precision dosing and strong product purity.

Some people choose CBD isolate over full-spectrum extracts because they are concerned about drug testing. While the federal government considers levels of 0.3% THC legal in hemp, it can be difficult to explain this trace of THC in your body if you fail a drug test. As such, professional athletes and people who get drug tested for work often prefer CBD isolate to full-spectrum products.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Isolates

As seen with other CBD products, CBD isolates have both their benefits and drawbacks. Yet, these factors are not necessarily universal rules that apply to everyone. Namely, because people often have quite different experiences with cannabinoid products. As such, a factor that might be considered a “pro” for one person can simultaneously be considered a “con” for another.

Potential Benefits of CBD Isolate

In the end, the benefits of CBD isolate are almost entirely tied to the fact that the compound is composed of pure CBD.

With CBD isolate, you can consume extremely controlled doses of CBD, without worrying about potential complications with the entourage effect. With this approach, you eliminate the chance of unwanted side effects from your CBD products.

Isolates are also extremely useful when it comes to making CBD-infused foods and beverages. Due to the fact that CBD isolate is a pure cannabinoid, it doesn’t taint food with the flavor of other plant materials. Conversely, less refined extracts often taste strongly like chlorophyll or other organic compounds.

Disadvantages of CBD Isolate

The disadvantages of CBD isolate are tied to peoples’ preferred methods of CBD consumption, as well as the many manufacturing steps required to make the compound.

While certain people only wish to consume pure CBD with isolate, others enjoy the added effects that come with full-spectrum extracts and the entourage effect. In fact, full-spectrum extracts are also referred to as “whole-plant” extracts because they include so many additional chemical compounds. For people who enjoy all-natural products, CBD isolate seems to lack some of the most beneficial compounds found in hemp.

Because CBD isolate requires so many steps in manufacturing, certain consumers are concerned it might house residual chemical solvents. As some parts of the extraction, distillation, and crystallization processes require the use of chemicals, certain health-conscious demographics might consider isolate to be unnatural and unhealthy.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed with Questions

As an industry-leading CBD seed company, High Grade Hemp Seed, a division of Santa Fe Farms, has spent years researching the many nuances of hemp flowers and cannabinoids. Please contact us to learn more.

Every day we hear of new and exciting ways that hemp can be used to help humankind. Whether it be sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, or providing relief from chronic pain, hemp is likely our greatest ally in the plant kingdom.

For those unfamiliar with the industry, there can be some misunderstanding on what exactly constitutes a hemp plant. Even more, it’s easy to confuse one type of hemp plant for another as different types of hemp are grown for drastically different purposes.

Since hemp was legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill, any Cannabis Sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC is considered to be “hemp.” Therefore, hemp is set apart from other Cannabis Sativa plants by a ruling related to the illegality of THC. While this designation is helpful on a legal level, it doesn’t do much in understanding industrial hemp vs medicinal hemp.

The hemp industry of today is split up into two distinct categories: industrial hemp and CBD hemp. Not only is the industry divided by the types of products hemp can be made into, but also by the distinct ways that different hemp plants grow.

What is Industrial Hemp?

Industrial hemp is grown specifically for its fibrous stalks. Before the rise of the CBD industry, industrial hemp was largely the only type of hemp known.

Industrial hemp has been utilized by human beings for thousands of years. It is believed that the Mesopotamians farmed hemp up to 8,000 years ago, while Europeans adopted industrial hemp cultivation about 3,000 years ago.

Textiles made from the fibers of industrial hemp stalks have played important roles throughout human history. In fact, it is commonly believed that the first paper was made from hemp. Historians also credit hemp sails and ropes for aiding explorers as they sailed to the New World.

In the modern era, industrial hemp is coming to play a pivotal role in the environmental movement. Not only do hemp crops help with important jobs like carbon sequestration, but hemp products can replace less eco-friendly textiles like cotton.

What is CBD Hemp?

CBD hemp is grown for rich, aromatic flowers that are made into extracts, topicals, and edibles. While extremely popular today, CBD was little known just 10 short years ago.

CBD remained an obscure cannabinoid until medical marijuana legalization efforts began in states like California, Colorado, and Washington. Once the business world realized how much money was to be made with THC products, people began searching for an alternative, legal cannabinoid.

Research quickly uncovered that CBD offers relief from such ailments as anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep disorders — without the unwanted psychoactive effects of THC. After that, a legal loophole in the 2014 Farm Bill gave people the opportunity to legally grow and process CBD hemp. Finally, the 2018 Farm Bill legitimized hemp cultivation in the United States. This chain of events led to the global CBD market as we know it today.

Industrial Hemp vs Hemp: Key Differences

Some of the primary differences between industrial hemp and CBD hemp are related to the ways the plants actually grow. Because industrial hemp is grown for fibers and CBD hemp is grown for flowers, the plants diverge in their cultivation methods and overall growth patterns.

As hemp stalks are extremely hearty, industrial hemp is grown with methods and equipment taken from commercial farming. Conversely, because CBD flowers are quite delicate, CBD hemp plants must be grown in more specific environments.

Industrial hemp plants generally grow tall with singular stalks, while CBD hemp plants grow bushy with many stalks.

Industrial Hemp for Fiber

Industrial hemp is generally grown outdoors on massive farms. Industrial hemp stalks are harvested with large pieces of farming machinery like combines. After they are harvested, hemp stalks go through a series of processes where they are slowly broken down into usable materials.

Hemp bast is the long fibrous material found on the outside of the stalk. Bast is the primary material for which hemp has been grown for thousands of years. Because hemp bast is one of the strongest materials found in the plant world, it can be made into a number of products, including textiles, paper, and wood.

Hemp hurd resembles wood chips and can be found on the inside of industrial hemp stalks. Once considered a waste product, hurd is now made into such things as animal bedding and hemp concrete (hempcrete).

Hemp for CBD Yield

Hemp flowers can easily mold in wet and humid climates. As such, CBD crops are often grown in dry climates like California or Nevada, or within controlled environments like greenhouses.

Hemp flowers produce cannabinoids like CBD and CBG, as well as other beneficial compounds such as terpenes. Different strains of hemp produce unique flower characteristics and terpene profiles, with an array of attractive colors and aromas.

CBD hemp is grown exclusively in the interest of making consumable products. Whether it be edibles, topicals, beverages, or vapes, appropriate good manufacturing practices (GMPs) must be employed when cultivating and processing CBD. Because CBD flowers are delicate and grown for consumable products, farmers must put more care into growing this type of crop as compared to industrial hemp.

Industrial Hemp Uses

Most of the business interest in industrial hemp today is motivated by the environmental movement. To this end, certain hemp cultivation practices like bioremediation are extremely beneficial for the environment. Even more, hemp offers a sustainable alternative to popular textiles, as well as building materials like lumber, wood, and concrete.

Industrial hemp can actually help with global warming by reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Hemp plants pull carbon from the air through photosynthesis and then retain the carbon in their fibers – lessening the overall impact of the greenhouse effect.

Hemp fabric is a great alternative to cotton. Not only does hemp yield more per acre than cotton, but it can also be grown using far less water and fertilizers. Hemp actually makes the soil stronger through bioremediation, while cotton removes important nutrients from the soil.

High Grade: Your Hemp Industry Experts

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we have worked with hemp farmers to understand the best uses for this amazing crop. Whether it be industrial hemp or CBD hemp, we are happy to answer any questions you might have — contact us to learn more.

The hemp plant is nothing short of miraculous. Not only can the stalks of certain hemp plants be made into biofuels and textiles, but hemp flowers also produce a number of medicinally beneficial compounds. Just as CBD has done in recent years, terpenes are now grabbing the attention of the industry.

Terpenes are the chemical compounds in hemp flowers responsible for giving them their unique aromas and flavors. Terpenes are found throughout the plant kingdom and have long been used as ingredients in essential oils.

Today, researchers have developed exciting new extraction technologies and methods specifically for terpene isolation. In doing so, they have opened the door for the production of terpenes to be used in products both inside and outside the hemp industry.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give tree and plant species their unique smells. Whether it be the taste of basil or the smell of a pine tree, terpenes are literally the visceral connection between people and the plant world. Looking to hemp, unique terpene profiles are some of the most defining characteristics of different strains.

Hemp flowers produce terpenes in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like CBD. In studying hemp flowers, researchers have uncovered more than 100 of these molecules that can be characterized in three primary groups — monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and triterpenes. Beyond hemp, scientists speculate there could be upwards of 20,000 different terpenes found in the natural world.

The health and wellness industry has long since utilized terpenes for their therapeutic benefits. Of these, aromatherapy is a popular use of plant-based terpenes. Due to abundance in nature, scientists have found other uses for terpenes, including flavoring, biofuels, and medications.

Medicinal Uses of Terpenes

Terpenes have medicinal value on their own or when used in conjunction with cannabinoids like CBD and CBG.
Because so many different types of terpenes exist in nature, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of their potential medical applications. However, studies have shown terpenes to have positive effects in the following applications:

  • Antibiotic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antitumor

While terpenes have amazing medical benefits on their own, they also work in unison with CBD to provide additional relief.

When researching the effects of THC on subjects, scientists uncovered the fact that “[t]ogether with the cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate synergic and/or entourage effect.” According to this line of thought, as terpenes and cannabinoids work together in the human body, they alter one another’s effects. As such, many people believe terpenes enhance the medicinal effects of CBD when consumed.

What is Terpene Isolation?

Terpene isolation is the process of removing terpenes from hemp flowers. After the terpenes are extracted, they can then be used in other products. While the industry already has a number of established extraction methods for CBD and CBG, we are just learning how to isolate terpenes from hemp.

Terpenes are quite chemically unstable when compared to other compounds found in the hemp flower – especially compared to cannabinoids. As such, popular CBD isolation methods like hydrocarbon extraction damage sensitive terpenes during processing.

While hemp terpene isolation methods and technologies are still far behind CBD manufacturing, there have been some interesting advancements in the last few years. Common types of hemp terpene isolation methods include hydrodistillation, steam distillation, and supercritical CO2 extraction.

Terpene Isolation Technology

Hemp terpene isolation technology borrows heavily from the essential oils industry. While terpenes have gained major notoriety in recent years in the hemp industry, health and wellness companies have extracted terpenes for products like essential oils for decades.

Today’s terpene isolation technology is a blend between modern cannabinoid extraction equipment and traditional essential oil manufacturing.

Hydrodistillation & Steam Distillation

Hydrodistillation and steam distillation are similar processes that each work well for isolating terpenes. Please note, hydrodistillation is a precursor to steam distillation – which is now the more common method for making terpene isolate.

In their book Essential Oil Safety, Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young explain, “During steam distillation, volatile plant constituents are vaporized and then condensed on cooling to produce an immiscible mixture of an oil phase and an aqueous phase. The oil product is a complex mixture of mainly odoriferous, sometimes colored and frequently biologically active compounds.” By running steam through hemp flowers, then distilling the vapor, manufacturers are able to capture delicate terpenes without damaging them.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

Supercritical CO2 extraction is one of the few cannabinoid extraction methods that is also a good terpene isolator. Because the CO2 extraction process doesn’t use harsh solvents like butane and propane, many consider it to be a cleaner, superior production method for terpene isolate.

CO2 extraction preserves delicate terpenes because it can operate at extremely cold temperatures. Importantly, supercritical CO2 extractors are complex machines that allow hemp manufacturers to “run” biomass in several phases. Therefore, it is possible to run an extremely cold batch first to extract terpenes, followed by a slightly warmer batch to isolate cannabinoids.

Terpene Isolation and the Future of the Hemp Industry

With the advent of legal hemp in the United States, scientists have put serious time into developing new ways to process cannabinoids. In learning about CBD extraction, researchers have also uncovered exciting new methods for isolating terpenes.

Hemp flowers are renowned for their incredible terpene profiles. Many people cannot believe a single plant can produce such rich and diverse aromas – including citrus, fruit, pine, and many more. While hemp connoisseurs have long appreciated terpene profiles, there is potential to share these amazing compounds outside the hemp industry.

As manufacturers continue to refine terpene isolation methods, other people are considering what we can use these compounds for. Excitingly, there is talk of hemp companies partnering with businesses outside the industry for the purpose of manufacturing and using terpenes. To illustrate, hemp terpenes could be used as a flavoring in the food industry, or as a natural additive to health and wellness products.

Even within the hemp industry, terpenes are offering some incredible promise. As CBD concentrates often lose much of their aesthetic appeal during extraction, there is potential to remix them with terpenes after processing. Not only will this approach help CBD oils smell and taste better, but they will also retain the added medical benefits of terpenes.

Just as CBD farms have sprung up around the nation, we could very well see a future shift where farmers start growing hemp specifically for terpene production. If this process takes place, terpenes will become a valuable new commodity for hemp farmers — ideally providing more stability in a sometimes volatile market.

Talk Terpenes with High Grade Hemp Seed

By breeding some of the best CBD strains in the hemp industry, the team at High Grade Hemp Seed has grown extremely familiar with terpenes. We are thrilled to see this new shift in the hemp industry. Feel free to contact us at any time with questions.

If you have ever been to the supermarket and purchased “store brand” groceries, you are familiar with the white label model. With white label products, a single manufacturer sells the same goods to several different businesses. In turn, these businesses then rebrand the goods as their own before going to market with them.

Private labeling is another practice where businesses outsource manufacturing to a third party. However, in a private label arrangement, manufacturers develop a specific product strictly for a single party — as opposed to one product for many companies.

As the national CBD industry continues to normalize, it is taking notes from more mainstream industries regarding white labeling and private labeling. Importantly, both white labeling and private labeling break up the hemp CBD supply chain, allowing different businesses to handle only specific links along the way.

What are CBD White Label Products?

From seed to sale, the hemp CBD supply chain contains many complex steps. Whether it be growing hundreds of acres of hemp plants, or doing supercritical CO2 extractions, implementing each step in the supply chain can be extremely expensive. As such, while vertically integrated hemp CBD companies have the most potential profit, they also take the greatest financial risks.

According to Investopedia, “White labeling occurs when the manufacturer of an item uses the branding requested by the purchaser, or marketer, instead of its own. The end product appears as though it has been produced by the purchaser.” In the hemp space, white label manufacturers play an important role for companies that cannot afford every step in building a new CBD brand — such as growing their own hemp or doing their own extractions.

The white label model breaks up many of the steps in CBD product manufacturing and disseminates them among several businesses. To illustrate, a common model for white labeling in CBD is for a single business to cultivate hemp, extract CBD, and finally formulate gummies. Next, a different business entity purchases the premade CBD gummies and sells them as their own brand.
With the white label model, purchasers can get CBD products to market without having to invest money in a vast majority of the steps in the supply chain.

Private Label CBD Products

As seen with white labeling, private label CBD products are also manufactured by another business. However, private label CBD products are based on a singular formulation that is wholly unique to a specific brand. As a result, private label CBD companies have a trademark not only on their branding, but also on specific product formulations.

Today, private labeling is a common practice in the essential oils industry. With the private label model, wellness brands work with manufacturers to develop specific essential oil blends. Once the two parties have created a sellable product, the wellness brand gets a trademark on the essential oil and goes to market with it. The relationship continues as the manufacturer continues to produce the essential oil.

The private label model allows new companies to enter the CBD space with a totally unique product – while also circumventing the need to grow and process their own CBD. Because these arrangements are often done under a contract between a manufacturer and buyer, the buyer also has more input into the development of a satisfactory CBD formulation.

With private label CBD products, purchasers can get unique CBD formulations to market without having to invest large sums of money in cultivation, extraction, etc.

CBD White Label vs. CBD Private Label

The pros and cons of white label and private label CBD products can be viewed from the perspective of either a business or a consumer. When it comes to end-users, product quality is almost always the most important factor for CBD products. Yet, businesses must consider both profitability and logistics in assessing CBD white label and private label business models.

The differentiating factor between white label and private label CBD products is product formulation. According to the white label model, several different CBD companies could sell products with identical formulas at the same time. Conversely, in the private label model, the CBD product formulation is unique to a specific brand.

CBD White Label Pros

White label hemp products have several advantages for CBD businesses. These include:

  • Easy market entry
  • Low overhead
  • Less employees
  • Manufacturing expertise
  • Compliance guidance

In the end, all of the factors that help reduce production costs for CBD companies are reflected in the final price point at which CBD white label products are sold. As such, this practice also helps end consumers get white label CBD products at a more affordable price point.

CBD Private Label Pros

Private labeling offers many of the perks of outsourcing manufacturing seen with white labeling, while still allowing companies to provide unique CBD products for their customers.

Private labeling has several advantages for CBD businesses. These include:

  • Product and brand are identical
  • Control over manufacturing
  • Flexibility with product formulation
  • Cater to customers
  • Brand loyalty

Private labeling is much more likely to drive customer loyalty than white labeling. Simply because, consumers can easily purchase white label products from other companies if they see fit.

Benefits of Working with White Label CBD Companies

Hemp farmers can benefit greatly by partnering with the right CBD white label services.

As mentioned throughout this article, white labeling allows businesses to split up the hemp CBD supply chain into digestible and affordable parts. While this division of overhead cost and labor is greatly beneficial for CBD brands, it is also extremely helpful for hemp farmers. Just as CBD brands can circumvent cultivation and extraction with white label partnerships, hemp farmers can avoid many of the business headaches that come with the CBD industry.

Commercial hemp farming is a massive undertaking in itself. To consistently grow high-quality CBD crops, farmers must account for irrigation, fertigation, IPM, labor, genetics, weather, compliance, and much, much more. Therefore, it is not surprising that many hemp farmers today don’t want to worry about business-centric tasks like branding, marketing, and retail sales.

Unfortunately, many new hemp farms have gone out of business simply because people have attempted to “wear too many hats” on the job. Conversely, white labeling allows hemp farmers to focus on what they do best – grow hemp.

The final thing to consider is that established white label manufacturers can make great partners for hemp farmers. Because white label manufacturers make CBD products for an array of customers, they have more market versatility than most hemp companies.

Contact Us

High Grade Hemp Seed has helped countless farmers understand their options for doing business in the CBD white label market. We are happy to share our expertise with you.

Please contact us to schedule a call.

Since hemp was legalized, our methods and technologies for processing cannabinoids have grown increasingly sophisticated. Today, hemp extraction operations borrow equipment and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) from the pharmaceutical and food processing industries. In turn, hemp companies produce pure extracts that provide accurate and consistent CBD dosing.

Hemp farmers and manufacturers have a number of options to choose from when it comes to hemp extraction equipment. Generally speaking, your decisions on purchasing hemp extraction equipment will be dictated by your business goals and budgetary constraints.

To get a clearer picture of the technology that goes into making quality CBD products, let’s explore the topic of hemp extraction equipment in more detail.

CBD Extraction Machines

Hemp extraction equipment plays a critical role in getting CBD products to market. In essence, extraction technology utilizes solvents to isolate CBD and terpenes from excess plant materials. Solvents are defined as, “liquid substance[s] capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances.”

CBD extraction equipment generally uses one, or a combination of, the following solvents: carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol (alcohol), and hydrocarbons (butane and propane).

CBD Product Supply Chain

Today, CBD oil extraction machines play a critical role in the CBD product supply chain. Without such pieces of technology as supercritical CO2 extractors, you would not be able to make many of the CBD products seen on the market today.

CBD extraction machines are responsible for taking raw plant material and removing valuable terpenes and cannabinoids. After these “extracts” are isolated from excess plant material, they are then infused in CBD products like gummies, salves, and drinks.

Hemp extraction technology is generally owned and operated by vertically integrated producers or manufacturers who purchase raw hemp biomass. In either case, this technology links a critical step between hemp farmers and CBD consumers.

Choosing Hemp Extraction Equipment: Factors to Consider

There are several factors that drive good decision-making when purchasing a hemp extraction system. Not only must you consider the budget, but you must also keep your target audience in mind. In the end, different extraction technologies will deliver different hemp CBD products.

Extraction equipment that can handle the rigors of commercial CBD product manufacturing is not cheap. While different extraction technologies are available for both small producers and large operations, commercial equipment is needed to process large crops. Commercial-grade hydrocarbon extractors can cost up to $200,000, while similarly sized supercritical CO2 extractors run upwards of $500,000.

Understanding exactly what your end CBD product will be can also serve as a great guide for choosing the right extraction equipment. For example, if product purity is a part of your brand identity, CO2 extraction is likely a better option than hydrocarbon extraction. Namely because you can mention the fact you don’t use any noxious solvents in making your CBD products.

Hydrocarbon CBD Extraction Equipment

Hydrocarbon hemp extraction equipment utilizes hydrocarbon solvents such as butane and propane to isolate CBD from other hemp plant materials. Due to the fact that both butane and propane are highly volatile, hydrocarbon extractors are engineered with very specific safety protocols in mind.

Closed-loop extraction technology is the industry standard for hydrocarbon extracts in the modern hemp industry. This hydrocarbon hemp extraction equipment is referred to as “closed-loop” because it never allows the solvents to make contact with the open air. As such, it greatly reduces the risk of working with highly volatile hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbon extractor manufacturers have developed extremely sophisticated ways to purge these extracts of all residual solvents. Many popular cannabinoid extracts are made via hydrocarbon extraction, including wax, shatter, and crumble.

Ethanol Hemp Extraction Equipment

Ethanol hemp extraction equipment uses alcohol as a solvent to extract CBD and other valuable cannabinoids and terpenes. While hydrocarbon extracts can be safely purged of residual solvents, certain people remain skeptical about consuming them. As such, ethanol offers a “cleaner” alternative to hydrocarbon extracts for particular consumer demographics.

Like other extraction methods, ethanol extractors bring hemp plant materials down to extremely cold temperatures while soaking them in the solvent. The extract is then filtered and purged of excess ethanol. Occasionally, manufacturers will take the process one step further and isolate a specific cannabinoid like CBD or THC from the extract.

CBD companies enjoy ethanol extraction because it is easily scalable and can be used to make a wide variety of products. Because ethanol extraction works at different temperatures, it gives extraction teams more options over what they are extracting. Colder extractions are better for isolating more specific cannabinoids and terpenes, while warmer ethanol extractions pull a “wider spectrum of terpenes as well as other water-soluble compounds.”

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) CBD Extraction Equipment

With the advent of legalization, hemp companies have been able to look to other industries in developing new extraction methods. To this end, carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction technology has largely been adopted from food manufacturers. For example, CO2 extraction is a popular practice for isolating flavors from organic compounds and then infusing them in other products.

While ethanol extraction is often believed to be cleaner than hydrocarbon extraction, CO2 extraction is the cleanest of them all. Many CBD producers have turned to CO2 extraction because it does not utilize volatile compounds that could harm the human body or the environment.

As extraction experts suggest, CO2 “has been widely used [for CBD extraction] since it is abundant, inexpensive, non-toxic, non-flammable, relatively chemically inert, and forms at almost room temperature.” While CO2 extraction is immensely popular in the hemp industry, some manufacturers have turned away from this technology due to its high overhead cost.


Hemp product manufacturing continues to grow more sophisticated with increasingly sophisticated consumer demand. In the hemp industry of today, very few products even resemble the CBD flowers from which they are originally sourced. The process of taking raw plant material and turning it into edibles, topicals, and vapes is dependent on very specific technologies.

The CBD industry as we know it today would not be possible without hemp extraction equipment. All things considered, this technology is a critical link in the CBD supply chain. While your specific extractor needs will vary with the size and scope of your operation, you need the right equipment to build a successful CBD brand.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed

High Grade Hemp Seed works with commercial hemp farmers and CBD product manufacturers on a daily basis. Please contact us with additional questions about CBD hemp or hemp extraction technology.


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.