The Difference Between CBD Hemp Oil vs CBD Marijuana Oil

The Cannabis Genus Conundrum 

While hemp and marijuana may look similar and come from the same genus, they are different varieties of the same species. While all marijuana is cannabis, not all cannabis is marijuana and there are distinct differences between hemp and marijuana, especially in legal terms. 

Cannabis is very special in the plant kingdom in that it belongs to a family (Cannabaceae) with a single genus (Cannabis) with only one species (sativa) that has many varieties. Science Direct

Hemp is grown for its fiber and seeds and is used in products like fabric, food, health supplements (like CBD), construction materials, and a variety of other goods, plus it’s legal in all 50 states. It’s a skinny plant with sparse foliage compared to the marijuana plant. 

Marijuana plants are lush and full, and are grown mainly for their psychotropic properties. Marijuana is not yet legal in all 50 states, although medicinal marijuana is legal in some states. 

Two main types of Cannabis Sativa L. must be distinguished, the drug and non-drug types. The first is also known as marijuana, hashish or Cannabis tincture and contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in concentrations between 1-20%, high enough to exhibit psychoactivity. The second type of Cannabis Sativa L. is industrial hemp with THC concentrations < 0.3% so it has no psychoactive properties. National Center for Biotechnology Information

The main sticking point federally is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short. THC is the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for causing a euphoric high. Cannabis has higher THC levels than hemp and therein lies the legal difference between the two.

Hemp and marijuana are distinct in several key ways: 
  • Statutory definitions and regulatory oversight 
  • Chemical and genetic compositions
  • Production practices and use.              Defining Hemp; A Fact Sheet
  • what's the difference between cbd and hemp oil

    Hemp CBD vs. Marijuana CBD

    CBD can be made from hemp or from marijuana. Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana plants have a higher concentration of THC, sometimes up to 30% or more. So right away you can see how CBD made from hemp with only 0.3% THC would be a very different product from CBD made with marijuana having much higher THC levels. There is more CBD found in cannabis than in hemp, so it requires more hemp by dry weight to produce the same amount of CBD isolate as in marijuana.

    Is All CBD Oil Created Equal?

    Hemp Derived CBD Oil: 

    Marijuana Derived CBD Oil:

    High levels of CBD

    High Levels of THC

    Federally legal

    Legal in certain states

    Non-psychotropic

    Psychotropic

    Hemp CBD contains some cannabinoids and terpenes, but not the range or concentration of compounds present in marijuana. 

    The compounds in marijuana work in concert with each other to provide additional benefits. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.

    Hemp-derived CBD can be made into a full-spectrum extract that offers natural terpenes alongside minor cannabinoids for health benefits.

    Marijuana CBD provides relief via the benefits of CBD plus THC. Marijuana-derived CBD whole plant extract contains a range of beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.

    Purchase online or in stores

    Available in states where it’s legal, in dispensaries


    Of late plant biologists are concentrating on breeding high-resin cannabis (marijuana) plants that have the legal amount of THC and won’t overstep the legal boundaries set by government regulations.

    What’s Right for You?

    Research indicates that full-spectrum CBD products, that are extracted either from hemp or marijuana plants, may offer significant therapeutic benefits. If you can’t decide if your CBD should come from a hemp-derived product or one derived from marijuana then stay away from marijuana-derived CBD. There’s always the potential that the THC levels might produce a psychotropic effect. Another reason to forgo CBD derived from marijuana is THC may show up on a drug test and if you’re an employee or an athlete that undergoes drug testing this could be life-changing. Hemp-based CBD lessens this concern, since hemp oil has low enough THC levels you won’t get high, yet still contains beneficial amounts of terpenes and cannabinoids. CBD derived from hemp is the legal alternative to those who live in states where CBD oil made from marijuana isn’t legal.

    Not all CBD oil is created equal so make sure you’re getting what is promised on the label is what is delivered by buying from established companies offering lab-tested CBD.

    Here are CBD products you might like to investigate:

    • CBD Liquids and Tinctures
    • CBD Topicals for Skin & Hair
    • CBD Isolate
    • CBD Vape Oil
    • CBD for Pets