Where Exactly Are CBD and THC Found in the Cannabis Plant?

MarijuanaBreak Staff MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on June 10, 2019

Where Exactly Do CBD and THC Come From in the Cannabis Plant?

Finally, all your curiosities about cannabinoids answered…

Sure, we know what CBD and THC can do. We know that they are insanely medicinally beneficial and they can heal, help and prevent numerous medical conditions, ailments and disorders. We even know that the two of them act differently than one another. Yet, one aspect is hardly ever discussed- where exactly do CBD and THC come from in the cannabis plant? Maybe you think about this question often. Maybe you’ve never thought about it at all. Regardless, this article is going to answer your curiosities regarding these miracle cannabinoids.

Keep reading to discover where exactly CBD and THC come from in the cannabis plant…

What Is the Famous Cannabinoid; CBD?:

CBD, known scientifically as cannabidiol, is one of around 100 different cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. It has no psychoactive properties, unlike its relative THC, meaning that it is efficient at healing and helping, all without giving the typical high associated with marijuana consumption. For this reason, it is especially suitable for those who have medical challenges and need assistance, but also those who want to function normally on a day to day basis.

Additionally, it is wonderful for populations who maybe should not experience psychoactive effects, for example children or those with mental/mood disorders who are prone to THC induced paranoia and increased anxiety. CBD acts upon the cannabinoid receptors already present within the brain. They are named CB1 and CB2, and they help to maintain homeostasis within the body, regulating functions related to sleep, mood, immune system, reproductive system, inflammation, pain management and a multitude of other occurrences.

Cannabidiol primarily acts upon the CB2 receptor, and it is known to be medically beneficial for those who have seizures/epilepsy, depression, chronic pain, cancer, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, MS, arthritis and numerous other ailments and challenges.

What Is it’s CounterPart; THC?:

THC, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive sister of CBD, and it is responsible for making cannabis consumers appear and feel high. Just like cannabidiol, it acts upon the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, primarily affecting the CB1 receptor. It has numerous medical benefits, just like CBD, including assisting with aches, pain, arthritis, inflammation, insomnia, nausea, chronic fatigue, lack of appetite, depression, chronic stress and other conditions.

Not as suitable for some because of the psychoactive components, THC still has a massive following, for some truly enjoy the way it feels to be high and in an altered state of mind. For this reason, THC is often also consumed recreationally and not simply for medical purposes. CBD, on the other hand, seems to be mostly connected with medical marijuana patients and those desiring alternative, all-natural medical assistance.

A Bit About the Anatomy of the Marijuana Plant:

Most people know that THC is only present in the female cannabis plant, because this is the one that produces those resinous flowers that are able to provide the high that so many marijuana consumers desire. On the other hand, the male cannabis plant, which is also known by some as hemp, might not have any THC present, but it does contain some CBD. Both the female and male cannabis plants have a source of CBD, so they both make suitable options for cannabidiol oil extraction and processing.

In addition to being female and male, cannabis plants can also be hermaphroditic (a.k.a. both!). Pretty neat right? Hermaphrodite plants are capable of pollinating themselves, because they contain both female and male sex organs. This is a nuisance though for marijuana growers, because it means their final product will be filled with seeds and the hermaphrodite genetics can be passed down onto other generations, which defeats the purpose of having feminized seeds. To ensure a female plant, either specifically bred feminized seeds can be purchased, or clones of a female cannabis plant.

The structure of a female cannabis plant, also known as the marijuana plant, is typically built up of a stem with roots that dig deep into the earth, with fan leaves and sometimes colas that stick out in between some of the fan/water leaves. These colas are a mass collection of the buds, which are the flowers and the part of the plant that can get you high.

These buds contain sugar leaves, which are coated with those crystal-appearing trichomes (the component that directly contains the THC). Additionally, pistils and stigmas are those tiny, usually orange hairs mixed amongst the sugar leaves. Lastly, there are calyxes and bracts, which also contain potent quantities of cannabinoids.

Where CBD Comes From:

CBD can be derived from both the industrial hemp plant (male cannabis crop) and the female marijuana plant. It is present where there are terpenes, which there is a small concentration of amongst other parts of the cannabis plant aside from simply the resin/trichome-rich buds. For this reason, some concentrations of CBD can also be found in the hemp plant. The hemp plant does not have resinous, cannabinoid-packed flowers, but the rest of this crop does contain some cannabidiol amongst the stalk, leaves and more.

Industrial hemp derived CBD products are typically lower in cannabidiol concentration for this reason, while extracts from the marijuana plant can be much more potent and rich, being that they are made from the resinous parts of the buds, which are full of cannabinoids. However, a special extraction process must be utilized in order to separate the CBD from the other cannabinoids present in the marijuana plant. This process is typically quite complicated and requires a wealth of knowledge, experience and the proper equipment to do it well.

For this reason, it is really important to consume a certified non-psychoactive cannabidiol product if you want to ensure you will not also be receiving some of the high effects from THC.

Where THC Comes From:

THC only comes from very specific portions of the female cannabis plant, or marijuana crop. It is present primarily on the resinous flowers of the plant, mostly the sugar leaves, colas, buds, calyxes/bracts and trichomes. Very high potency THC marijuana strains typically take on a frosty appearance, meaning that they contain a higher concentration of trichomes, which is what gives this crystalline look.

This is why smoking a water leaf or stalk of the cannabis plant probably won’t get you high, because there simply is not a high enough concentration of resin or trichomes in these regions, meaning little to no THC either. Additionally, THC needs to be heated, or “decarboxylated,” in order to be activated. This is why eating buds raw won’t cause much of an effect, while smoking, cooking, baking or lighting up is how the high is able to hit you.

Final Thoughts:

If you are an individual that has wondered about the origins of CBD and THC within the cannabis plant, or if this article headline simply had you interested, then we hope that this clarified your questions and curiosities efficiently. We hope you not only found this article to be entertaining, but also educational and informative.

It is important to remember that the consumption of marijuana is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be taken.

  1. James
    THC in shade leaves.

    There is THC in the shade/fan leaves, and they will get you stoned and should not be disregarded. Not half as potent as the buds, but are effective none the less. A lot better than nothing, that’s for sure.

  2. Jason
    There is no 90%

    By the way Norman states false information and needs spell checker. 🙂

  3. Jason
    Well Said Richard - This Article is Not Factual

    Thank you Richard. I was surprised (and not) to see such false information pop high in a google search.

  4. Patricia Gutierrez
    CBD Oils

    So in the leaves only is that CBD
    Or also contains THC

    1. Eldon Knutson
      Know what you're talking about before you write an article

      Anybody who knows anything about the cannabis plant knows the male plants I have THC and CBD whoever the idiot is it wrote that article doesn’t know shit!!!

  5. Janis Miller
    who cares

    Guys, why to go for all this science? I just dabbed 3 grams of ACDC an hour back, and am totally on top of the world now. Do not care where it comes from, as long as it comes. Pardon any typo errors as I am not in control as of now. Would recommend you also go smoke instead of reading such articles.

  6. Nick Foster
    Both have it!

    I think both the male and female plants have both the constituents, but the timings when these will be present are different for the two. Like, in males the early stages of growth are better from CBD point of view and for females fully mature plants have more THC

  7. Pavlov
    Marijuana for cbd!?

    It sounds strange that one would need to separate cbd from other canabinoids! Whatever is present in the oil after pressing should be there! Thats why the best cbd weed is a female hemp plant! Then you get high cbd, low thc and other stuff that is supposed to be there!

  8. Norman Sutton
    Health risks of THC need to be taken seriously

    T HC is a very dangerous component of marijuana that is being expoited by big marijuana interests who are producing marijuana for ‘recreational ‘ use which can be as high as 90 percent THC. Thdy have no interest in the health and safety effects of these products to their customers. They are soley profit druven and their aim is to develop a multi billion dollar global industry at the expense of peoples’ lives

  9. Johnny G
    Good thing Richard corrected him

    Nina, I hope you are referring to Richard’s comment, because the article is absolutely incorrect. THANK YOU,RICHARD!

  10. Richard Thompson
    Hemp is not just male cannabis, but another variety of cannabis, with male and female plants.

    Hemp is not male cannabis plants. Hemp includes varietals of cannabis that are very low in THC but high in CBD and all the other cannabinoids. Hemp does in fact produce dense resinous female flowers. Hemp is just another dioceous variety of cannabis.

  11. Nina

    This was very informative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *