hemp marijuana CBD

The Differences Between Hemp, Marijuana, and CBD

swarupmajumder Cannabis, CBD Oil, Hemp

Most people are aware of the reported benefits of taking CBD. It can extend to easing a range of health conditions, from epilepsy to chronic pain.

There are many misconceptions surrounding the link between CBD, hemp, cannabis, and marijuana. They put off some people. However, this article will help you gain a clearer idea of several things:

  • What each term means,
  • Why they are associated, and
  • Why CBD is not something to be afraid of.


To start off, let’s clear up some common misconceptions.

  • Cannabis: a tall herb native to Asia. It has many varieties, some of which are high in THC whilst others have high levels of CBD.
  • CBD: shorthand for cannabidiol. A non-intoxicating compound found in both cannabis and hemp plants.
  • Hemp: an Asian herb cultivated for its tough fibers and edible seeds. It’s often turned into oil, cultivated because of its high levels of CBD and very low levels of THC.
  • Marijuana: psychoactive dried flower buds from the female cannabis plant.
  • THC: abbreviation of tetrahydrocannabinol. One of two active compounds from cannabis resin. One of which (delta-9-THC) is the chief intoxicant in marijuana, used medicinally.

Are hemp and marijuana one and the same?

Hemp and marijuana are both plants from the cannabis family.

But, no. They are not one and the same.

Hemp and marijuana have very different compositions and uses.

Marijuana has a reputation for use as a recreational psychoactive substance. Meanwhile, its cousin, hemp, has fallen into its shadow.

We use hemp for a wide range of applications that marijuana would not be suitable for. Notably, the production of high quality CBD.

Hemp is also used to make health supplements, skincare, clothing and other textiles. It’s known for having over 25,000 possible uses.

Hemp is not a psychoactive, and contains under 0.3% THC compared to 5%-35% for marijuana. It is also an easy and eco-friendly crop to grow, unlike marijuana.

Marijuana needs cultivation in very specific conditions that burn large amounts of energy.

What are the differences between hemp and marijuana?

Their chemical makeup is different when it comes to the amounts of THC contained in each of them.

Marijuana generally contains between 5% and 20% THC. So, it can be relatively potent depending on the strain.

In contrast, hemp contains a maximum of 0.3% THC. It has no noticeable psychoactive effects on those who consume it.

The amount of THC that can be present in hemp products is closely regulated. This is so that consumers can rest assured they will not experience a ‘high’ when taking it.

In practical terms, marijuana and hemp also look very different:

  • Marijuana has broad leaves and tight buds,
  • Hemp is typically a tall bush with skinny leaves that grow around the top of the plant.

Why are hemp and marijuana associated?

The links between hemp and marijuana date back to President Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’. It was the time in which the Substances Act of 1970 was introduced.

It outlawed hemp as well as marijuana. Even though the effects of the former are nothing like the effects of the latter.

The move led to a massive drop in the production of hemp. But, it also led to a lot of misconception about the plant.

In March 2018, Sen. McConnell introduced a bill to legalize industrial hemp production. His bill removed the plant from the controlled substances list.

This made it available to grow on an agricultural scale again.

Whilst both marijuana and hemp are varieties of cannabis sativa, hemp is a safe plant to consume. Its byproducts cannot make those who take them high.

What are the benefits of hemp?

Hemp contains high concentrations of CBD, proven to have a wide range of health benefits. Its fibers can also be used to make fabric and other products in an eco-friendly way.

The plant is growing in popularity on a rapid basis. This is because more people are understanding how CBD can improve their wellbeing.

From improved sleep, to a better mood and less anxiety, the benefits of CBD are many. CBD interacts with receptors in the body that regulate many systems.

These include pain and inflammation.

Many with chronic pain conditions report that taking CBD supplements reduces their suffering. As a result, this leads to a better quality of life.

There are reports of Hemp oil improving the mood of those who take CBD. This occurs by working with the body’s endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are essential for maintaining good mental health. They also have properties that could combat the spread of cancer cells.

There are studies that show they’ve killed cervical cancer cells completely.

Are there any risks associated with hemp oil and CBD?

Hemp oil and CBD are generally considered safe for consumption.

Though, patients should always check with their physician before taking any supplement.

The most common side effect of taking CBD is some tiredness when starting the treatment. These effects can be beneficial in aiding with sleep.

Though, patients may want to take the supplement at night so that it doesn’t interfere with their daily life. It can also cause some gastrointestinal symptoms for some people. But again, these should pass after a few weeks.

One of the main concerns with CBD is its interaction with certain medications. These include epilepsy medication, which is why it’s important to check with your doctor.

Still, CBD is a safe supplement for most people. Its effects have the ability to improve patients’ lives for the better in a wide variety of ways.

In summary

Many have mistaken hemp and marijuana for the same since the 1970s. However, they are, in fact, two very different plants.

The main differentiating factor is the very low levels of psychoactive THC in hemp compared to marijuana. These make it a safe source of CBD oil.

Hemp is an eco-friendly crop and can be used for a wide variety of products.