Typically, hemp-derived CBD oils are created from industrial hemp plants. These plants look different from marijuana plants in that they have a skinny appearance and contain sparse leaves that are more focused towards the top of the plant. While THC levels are low in the hemp plant, it still produces a broad range of terpenes, phytonutrients, and other beneficial cannabinoids.
What is Hemp?
Marijuana contains higher levels of THC. When the term "marijuana" is used, it is in reference to a cannabis plant that can cause psychoactive effects, or that can illicit a "high" sensation. While marijuana plants contain well over 0.3% THC, the exact amount of THC can vary depending on how the plant was bred. In fact, some strains are bred to contain higher levels of THC than others. Marijuana-derived products are not legal throughout all of the United States. However, some states have legalized marijuana and others do have medical marijuana laws on the books that allow people with medical marijuana cards to legally purchase these types of products from specified dispensaries. Marijuana plants look very different from hemp plants. These types of plants have wider leaves and denser buds.
What is Marijuana?
Hemp vs Marijuana: Major Differences
To begin with, hemp and marijuana are both considered to be cannabis. While hemp is cannabis sativa, marijuana can be either cannabis sativa or cannabis indica. An easier way to think about this is that hemp is just a common legal name for cannabis that contains 0.3% or less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Marijuana, on the other hand, is another legal name for cannabis that contains well over 0.3% THC. In case you’re not familiar with the two main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, THC is the cannabinoid responsible for those euphoric “high” feelings when taken in large quantities, while CBD does not have any psychoactive effects at all.
Can You Get High From Hemp?The hemp plant is bred to naturally contain low levels of THC. These levels are so low, in fact, that it is not possible to get “high” from hemp-derived CBD products. Conversely, hemp-based CBD products do contain elevated levels of CBD, or cannabidiol.
Cannabinoids are found in cannabis flowers, stalks, and leaves. While cannabis strains containing high levels of THC (marijuana) are often used for medicinal purposes and may require a medical marijuana card in states where this is legal, cannabis strains with low levels of THC (hemp) are also widely available for a range of wellness purposes. Interestingly, the hemp plant can also be used in the creation of other products including:
Uses of Hemp and Marijuana
- Animal Feed
As stated earlier, the 2018 Farm Bill made both hemp growing and hemp-derived CBD products legal throughout the United States providing they contain less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis (marijuana) that contains over 0.3% THC is not federally legal. Since laws vary from state to state, it is possible that it some places marijuana-derived products are be legal both recreationally and medically. However, in other states, marijuana-based products are still considered illegal.
Are Hemp and Marijuana Legal?
Hemp vs Marijuana-derived CBD Products
Whether your cannabinoid product comes from hemp or marijuana is really more of a legal issue than anything else. However, because hemp-derived products are federally legal, they have really taken off and the market has grown in a way that has encouraged transparency and the offering of third party lab reports for customers to view. There is a certain feeling of safety that people get from buying hemp-derived products because of the naturally low levels of THC in the plant. The goal for most CBD users is not a "high" feeling, but rather a supportive internal environment that brings the body back into balance. Therefore there is less perceived risk when buying products made from hemp.