What's the Difference Between Hemp CBD and Marijuana CBD?

While many people believe that there are no differences between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from "marijuana", this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, there are many differences. Before we dive into those differences though let’s look at a few other aspects such as what CBD is exactly and the plants it can be obtained from.

What is CBD?

CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is one of many phytocannabinoids found within Cannabis Sativa L plants. This includes both the hemp and “marijuana” form of the plant which you will learn more about below. This phytocannabinoid (a cannabinoid that only occurs in plants) has started to gain much exposure in recent years. This is primarily because it was not discovered until the mid-1940s and its significance was not realized until the mid-1990s when the endocannabinoid system was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam.

This cannabinoid has since, however, become a prevalent subject of conversations globally. It made its first mainstream news story in 2003 when CNN published an article recapping one young lady’s incredible journey. This story was covering Charlotte Figi who was diagnosed with Dravet’s Syndrome, a rare and devastating form of epilepsy. After a seemingly endless battle with pharmaceuticals and traditional treatments that brought her no relief, her family discovered CBD, and it has forever changed their lives as well as Charlotte’s.

CBD has been scientifically proven as a useful treatment option for a wide range of different ailments, conditions, and diseases. Here are a few conditions and associated studies that prove CBD’s efficiency as a potential treatment option.

These are just a few of the conditions that CBD could potentially provide relief from. CBD can be found in a plethora of products on the market today. From CBD infused oils, lotions, and bath bombs, to CBD infused juices, waters, wines, and foods; it seems that CBD is taking over and for a great reason. This fantastic cannabinoid, unlike the more well known phytocannabinoid THC, does not provide intoxicating or psychoactive effects for the end consumer. In fact, CBD has actually shown to help mitigate the intoxicating effects of THC rather than increasing or producing them.

What Plants Can CBD be Obtained From?

Now that you know a little more about what CBD is exactly let’s take a look at two plants within the Cannabis Sativa L genome that CBD can be extracted from. These two plants are commonly known as hemp and marijuana.

Marijuana which is actually a slang term should be referred to as simply cannabis despite that both this form and hemp are from the Cannabis Sativa plant variety. Marijuana or cannabis as we will refer to it is often grown to produce high levels of THC and lower levels of CBD. This, however, has changed in recent years as cultivators and have become more aware of the potential that CBD offers. This form of the plant is often grown for its buds which are traditionally dried and smoked for their medicinal and recreational benefits. The buds or flowers from cannabis are often utilized to make extractions and also for infusing foods and beverages.

Hemp, on the other hand, is typically utilized for industrial purposes such as building, for livestock feed, for producing clothing and even for fueling motors. Hemp seed is also a very common nutritional supplement that offers omegas and amino acids in higher concentrations than what is found in other sources. Hemp, unlike cannabis, is typically higher in CBD content with a very low concentration of THC. In fact, the U.S. government considers hemp to be a form of Cannabis Sativa L that contains less than .3% THC.

The Difference Between Hemp Derived CBD and CBD Derived from "Marijuana"

Now that you have learned more about the plant species in the cannabis genome that CBD can be derived from let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two primary types of CBD.

CBD from hemp vs. CBD from cannabis has been a heated debate for many years. Some individuals will tell you that CBD is CBD no matter where it is sourced from. Others, however, know that there are some critical differences between the two. The two main differences being the following;

  • Concentration of CBD Content or PPM (Parts per Million)

  • Legality

Parts Per Million – The Concentration of CBD

While naturally CBD is found in higher concentrations within the hemp plant in comparison to the cannabis plant, the active PPM or Parts per Million in hemp derived CBD is much lower than a cannabis-derived CBD. CBD derived from hemp has an estimated 25 PPM while CBD derived from cannabis or what some refer to as medical marijuana has an estimated 150,000 PPM.

The Legality of CBD

While CBD has been proven to be very beneficial medically and possesses no psychoactive, mind-altering, or intoxicating effects, when it is extracted from cannabis plants that have a THC concentration over .3% it is only legal in a handful of states. At this time, CBD derived from medical marijuana is only permitted in states that have adopted medical cannabis programs or legalized cannabis for adult retail purposes. Even in those states, it is only legal for qualifying patients or adults over the age of 21.

CBD derived from hemp, however, is legal in almost all 50 states, as is hemp. Unfortunately, there are a few states that have chosen to criminalize CBD at the state level including Idaho, South Dakota, West Virginia, Nebraska, Kansas, and Indiana.

CBD products that are made utilizing CBD derived from cannabis or medical marijuana also typically includes a plethora of beneficial terpenes, vitamins, and minerals. These aspects are not typically found in CBD products made with CBD derived from hemp. While there is no definitive answer as to which is better, CBD from hemp or CBD from marijuana, it is certain that there are differences in the two though both have significant benefits to offer.