Hemp vs. Marijuana: The Difference Explained

Hemp vs. Marijuana

The differences between Hemp and marijuana are mostly inadequately explained. The demand for CBD is skyrocketing. Therefore, it is crucial to learn the difference between marijuana and hemp and how they relate to Cannabis.

What’s the Difference Between Hemp vs. Marijuana?

Cannabis primarily consists of three primary species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Hemp and marijuana are broad classifications of Cannabis.

What is Hemp?

“Hemp” is a term used to distinguish varieties of Cannabis that include 0.3% or less THC content (by dry weight). Since centuries hemp has been used to produce vital resources such as food, clothing, paper, rope, housing material, and more.

What is Marijuana?

“Marijuana” is a term used to distinguish varieties of Cannabis that include more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight) and can induce euphoric or psychotropic effects on the user.

The Confusion Presented by Hemp vs. Marijuana

While the intoxicating characteristics of each plant is an essential factor to consider, there are other key differences also.

4 Key Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

As variations of the same plant species, marijuana and hemp share many similarities and can even resemble precisely alike. With varying legal regulations and very different usages and effects, it is essential to understand how distinct these two are. Let’s consider these four critical differences between marijuana and hemp.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: Composition

The defining distinction between hemp and marijuana is their chemical composition. Both hemp and marijuana can yield high amounts of CBD; however, THC is produced at very different levels. While hemp can carry no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, marijuana can hold up to 30% THC content.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: Legality

Due to different levels of THC, hemp and marijuana are classified uniquely under the law. Hemp was an illegal substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived goods that include no more than 0.3% THC.

Marijuana, however, is still considered a controlled substance and is federally illegal under the Controlled Substance Act.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: Cultivation

Hemp and marijuana are harvested for varied purposes so, they require different planting conditions.

Marijuana varieties grow in controlled environments which are intended to maximize the breed’s properties and create female plants that produce budding flowers. To properly cultivate a marijuana plant, one needs to keep an eye on the temperature, humidity, and lighting.

Hemp, however, is grown outdoors and requires less control and attention if compared to marijuana.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: Usage

Marijuana is mostly known for its recreational uses. Studies have revealed that it has many therapeutic applications also. In comparison, hemp is grown to produce a wide variety of products including, but not limited to:

  • Industrial products such as clothing, building materials, plastic and paper
  • Food products such as hemp flour, cooking oil, and hemp seed-based products
  • Medicinal products such as CBD-infused topicals and CBD oil

Hemp Derived CBD vs Marijuana Derived CBD

CBD can be derived from either marijuana or hemp. You might assume that the CBD derived from each plant is distinct in some way. Surprisingly, they aren’t. CBD is CBD, unmindful of where it came from.

As per “2018 Farm Bill”, hemp-derived products, including hemp-derived CBD, were legalized. A common misunderstanding about the 2018 Farm Bill is that it legalized CBD regardless of whether it came from hemp or marijuana. This is not true.

Marijuana-derived CBD remains under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a controlled substance.


Hemp-derived CBD is legal if it contains 0.3% THC or less under the Agricultural Act of 2018. Marijuana-derived CBD is illegal and is still classified as a controlled substance regardless of its percentage of THC.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: Final Thoughts

If you are planning to use CBD products, it is essential to understand the difference between hemp vs. marijuana. Now that you have clarity, you can choose the right product and include it in your wellness routine.

Where should I buy CBD oil from?

CBD industry is unregulated. This has given rise to many companies who provide fake products. We want you to be healthy and safe while using CBD oils. We use CO2 extraction to guarantee purity. Our products are not just natural but also 100% safe.

Not sure where to find CBD? Try CBDOILS.com for high-quality CBD oils!

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