What’s the Difference Between CBD Derived from Hemp and CBD from Cannabis Plant?

Remember that Hempz lotion everyone had in the mid 2000s before cannabis was legal in any U.S. state? You know, the bottle with the pot leaf on it? Maybe you didn’t spend much time thinking about the difference between hemp and cannabis.

In fact, with the legalization of cannabis in Washington there are probably a lot of terms that cause confusion for new users but for now, let’s start with the difference between CBD that’s hemp derived vs. CBD that is derived from the cannabis plant. 

Hemp and marijuana originate from the same Cannabis Sativa family of plants, the difference lies in how it’s grown, which is based on what it will be used for. When growing CBD derived from plant, the focus is on flower development, and when growing for hemp the focus is on the stalks, leaves, or seeds.

Difference in Levels of THC

Hemp-derived CBD legally must contain 0.3 percent or less THC, while marijuana-derived CBD can contain more than 20 percent. Because marijuana-derived CBD products can contain very high levels of THC there are the same effects as using the flower vs. less effects when using hemp derived CBD.

Hemp-derived CBD vs. Marijuana derived CBD: Legal Stuff

The difference between THC levels in a hemp Cannabis Sativa plant and a marijuana Cannabis Sativa plant which determines whether it’s legal or not.

Hemp-derived CBD falls in a weird grey area in most states. Often it can contain very low levels of THC. There is still some discrepancy between federal departments on the final legal status of hemp-derived CBD oil.

Karen Locke

Karen Locke

Karen is a writer, author, and content strategist with nearly ten years of writing experience. With a concentration on food, drink, and travel, she's written for GQ, Bon Appétit, Sip Northwest, Thrillist, and more. You can find her in dimly lit bars and restaurants, or exploring the Pacific NW when she's not writing full time.

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