A tray of seedlings just beginning to form leaves

Hemp vs Marijuana: What's the Difference?

With all the CBD oil options out there, it’s easy to become confused about the different types of oils and what they’re made from. It’s also easy to lose yourself in all of the myths that are out there about CBD oil made from hemp vs CBD oil made from marijuana. Today, we’re here to set the record straight.
close up of a hemp plant in the sun
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, all CBD oils that are sold throughout the United States must be derived from hemp and must contain 0.3% or less THC. While hemp-derived CBD oils are legal throughout the United States, each state may have different laws on their books regarding this. Therefore, you should double check your state laws regarding hemp-based CBD oil before making any purchases. Additionally, some states allow marijuana-derived CBD products through their medical marijuana laws. In some cases, you may need to hold a medical marijuana card to purchase these types of products in designated dispensaries.

What is Hemp?

Typically, hemp-derived CBD oils are created from industrial hemp plants. These plants look different from marijuana plants in that they have a skinny appearance and contain sparse leaves that are more focused towards the top of the plant. While THC levels are low in the hemp plant, it still produces a broad range of terpenes, phytonutrients, and other beneficial cannabinoids.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana contains higher levels of THC. When the term "marijuana" is used, it is in reference to a cannabis plant that can cause psychoactive effects, or that can illicit a "high" sensation. While marijuana plants contain well over 0.3% THC, the exact amount of THC can vary depending on how the plant was bred. In fact, some strains are bred to contain higher levels of THC than others. Marijuana-derived products are not legal throughout all of the United States. However, some states have legalized marijuana and others do have medical marijuana laws on the books that allow people with medical marijuana cards to legally purchase these types of products from specified dispensaries. Marijuana plants look very different from hemp plants. These types of plants have wider leaves and denser buds.

Hemp vs Marijuana: Major Differences

To begin with, hemp and marijuana are both considered to be cannabis. While hemp is cannabis sativa, marijuana can be either cannabis sativa or cannabis indica. An easier way to think about this is that hemp is just a common legal name for cannabis that contains 0.3% or less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Marijuana, on the other hand, is another legal name for cannabis that contains well over 0.3% THC. In case you’re not familiar with the two main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, THC is the cannabinoid responsible for those euphoric “high” feelings when taken in large quantities, while CBD does not have any psychoactive effects at all.

Can You Get High From Hemp?

The hemp plant is bred to naturally contain low levels of THC. These levels are so low, in fact, that it is not possible to get “high” from hemp-derived CBD products. Conversely, hemp-based CBD products do contain elevated levels of CBD, or cannabidiol.
someone reads a book with a bottle of CBD oil resting in the middle crease
There are many people who want to begin supplementing with CBD without ingesting THC or feeling any of its unwanted side effects. Hemp-derived CBD oil, like FAB CBD's full-spectrum CBD oil, allows these individuals to enjoy the use of CBD without consuming marijuana or high levels of THC. In fact, all of FAB CBD's full-spectrum products contain less than 0.3% THC.

Uses of Hemp and Marijuana

Cannabinoids are found in cannabis flowers, stalks, and leaves. While cannabis strains containing high levels of THC (marijuana) are often used for medicinal purposes and may require a medical marijuana card in states where this is legal, cannabis strains with low levels of THC (hemp) are also widely available for a range of wellness purposes. Interestingly, the hemp plant can also be used in the creation of other products including:
  • Clothing
  • Paper
  • Animal Feed
  • Plastic
  • Textiles
For a long time hemp has been considered to be a sustainable plant because it grows faster than trees and other crops. Therefore, a lot of companies also use it in the creation of the products listed above.

Are Hemp and Marijuana Legal?

As stated earlier, the 2018 Farm Bill made both hemp growing and hemp-derived CBD products legal throughout the United States providing they contain less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis (marijuana) that contains over 0.3% THC is not federally legal. Since laws vary from state to state, it is possible that it some places marijuana-derived products are be legal both recreationally and medically. However, in other states, marijuana-based products are still considered illegal.

Hemp vs Marijuana-derived CBD Products

Whether your cannabinoid product comes from hemp or marijuana is really more of a legal issue than anything else. However, because hemp-derived products are federally legal, they have really taken off and the market has grown in a way that has encouraged transparency and the offering of third party lab reports for customers to view. There is a certain feeling of safety that people get from buying hemp-derived products because of the naturally low levels of THC in the plant. The goal for most CBD users is not a "high" feeling, but rather a supportive internal environment that brings the body back into balance. Therefore there is less perceived risk when buying products made from hemp.

Hemp vs Marijuana: The Takeaway

Now that you have more of an understanding about the cannabis family and the hemp vs marijuana debate, you'll be better able to grasp the uses and differences of each plant. Moreover, with this knowledge you can more confidently choose which FAB CBD product is best for your overall health and wellness needs. If you've decided to begin your wellness regimen by taking a CBD oil, then our full-spectrum CBD oil is a great place to start. FAB CBD products are made from high quality Colorado hemp, so all of our products are federally legal across the United States. Please note that some states have different laws when it comes to CBD products, so it’s never a bad idea to double check your local legislation before making any purchases.
Someone holds up a bottle of citrus CBD oil in front of a colorful tile mural
FAB CBD's full-spectrum oils come in a variety of strengths including 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and 2400mg, and in an array of natural flavors like citrus, mint, vanilla, berry, and original. We also offer a topical CBD cream and full-spectrum CBD body salve that are an ideal way to address cranky joints and muscles. And our "Anytime" CBD Gummies and "Nighttime" CBD PM Chews make it easy to grab your CBD while you're out and about or headed to bed. Lastly, if you're looking for something a little bit different, why not try our 2400mg CBD+CBG oil in refreshing citrus or mint flavors? If you’ve been unsure about where to shop for top-shelf, reputable CBD products, then FAB CBD is a great place to start. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about incorporating CBD into your daily supplement regimen, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor or medical specialist (just as you would with any other supplement or major lifestyle/diet change) beforehand. While CBD is generally considered safe, you still should be sure that you're making the best choices for yourself and your health needs.