If you’re like most people, you may be under the impression that cannabis, marijuana, and hemp are all names for the same plant. However, there is a distinct difference between the three and the CBD oils extracted from marijuana plants versus CBD oils extracted from hemp plants. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two.

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What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is an umbrella term for weed plants. Marijuana and hemp are both members of the cannabis genus. The cannabis genus has two main subsections - Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cannabis indica plants are in a league of their own, while hemp and marijuana plants both fall under the cannabis sativa species. Since they both fall into the same category, they both share similar traits and effects, though they aren’t the same thing. Think of them as a different species altogether. Below, we’ll dive into hemp and marijuana individually before we cover the differences between CBD extracted from either species.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a species of Cannabis Sativa plants that are grown for industrial purposes. They are harvested by commercial farmers for their seeds and stalks which can be made into paper and other industrial products. Hemp grows tall and sturdy, up to 6-12 feet in length, so it’s typically grown outdoors. Hemp plants also produce flowers, though they rarely contain a high concentration of cannabinoids.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a species of Cannabis Sativa plants that are grown and harvested for their cannabinoid content more than anything else. The stalks and seeds aren’t used commercially, but the cannabinoid-rich flowers are. Marijuana contains up to 30% THC, which is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law. That being said, marijuana isn’t easy to come by while hemp, which contains less than 3% THC, is.

Hold up, isn’t CBD the same compound regardless of where it comes from?

While both hemp and marijuana plants contain cannabinoids in varying concentrations, the fact remains that CBD is the same chemical compound regardless of which plant it was extracted from. Hemp-derived CBD and Marijuana-derived CBD are the exact same CBD since it’s been extracted, isolated, and refined from the plants and other cannabinoids. CBD is CBD no matter where it comes from.

However, not all CBD oils are created equal. CBD isolate will always be the same, but full-spectrum oils pose several differences depending on if it was extracted from hemp plants or marijuana plants.

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Hemp-derived CBD vs. Marijuana-derived CBD

The main difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD is the spectrum of cannabinoids present in the oil. Hemp-derived CBD oils usually contain a good concentration of CBD and little to no THC or other cannabinoids like CBN and CBG. Hemp-derived CBD never exceeds 0.3% THC and has no intoxicating effect when taken internally.

On the other hand, marijuana-derived CBD oil is made from selectively bred strains that contain higher levels of CBD. Regardless, full-spectrum marijuana oils also come with significant amounts of THC between 5% and 30%. CBD oil from marijuana plants may get you high and make you fail a drug test, though the cerebral effect will be minified since CBD counteracts the cerebral effect caused by THC.