Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD: How Are They Different?

Hemp CBD vs. Marijuana CBD

There are two sources of the cannabinoid, cannabidiol. The hemp plant was agriculturally engineered over years of tweaking cannabis sativa.

The result is a sturdy plant with a wide array of industrial uses, it’s also an excellent source of CBD as it contains very little THC.

Every other cannabis plant that is not hemp can be referred to as marijuana with a further break down to medical and recreational.

Marijuana is also a great source of CBD but brings with it the burden of stigma and legality issues. Today I am going to help you understand the core differences between hemp CBD and marijuana CBD.

Hemp vs Marijuana

1) Genetic Differences

Genetic Differences of Hemp and Marijuana

Professors at the University of Minnesota conducted a research study to prove the genome’s wide differences between hemp and marijuana.


The endeavor was meant to identify the genes responsible for the difference in drug content of the two plants despite their common parentage.

Published in the New Phytologist, the research provided proof that distinction between hemp and marijuana is not limited to genes underlying specific cannabinoid production.

The analysis showed that in female flowers the cannabinoid pathways are significantly up regulated. These genetic differences led to the need for different cultivation requirements of each.

2) Cultivation

CBD is derived from a female flowering marijuana plant, while hemp is predominantly male, making it a non-flowering plant.

For this reason, marijuana grown for the purpose of extracting CBD should be grown indoors. This way, you can regulate the conditions like lighting for instance.

Flowering plants will require up to 13 hours of darkness for optimum flowering. Hemp can be grown outdoors and allowed to enjoy the natural conditions while growing to maximum height.

All cannabis plants, including hemp, are pretty self-reliant and fast growing.

However, you have to adhere to a few conditions so that the maximum yield is achieved. Such as the soil should be well drained with an acidity of pH 6. However, in this respect alkalinity or neutrality is preferred.

The clay content of soil should also be at the lowest possible level, clay soil is compact.

The cannabis plant is sensitive to compaction, it does not thrive. As a farmer, you should keep a look out for water damage. All cannabis plants growth will be stunted in the event of water logging or overwatering.

3) THC Content

Comparing THC Content in Hemp vs Marijuana

THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid, the one that is most present in the marijuana plant. But it’s also present in hemp in very low quantities at less than 0.5%.

It is said that if a cannabis plant exceed that mark, it is no longer considered hemp but marijuana. In this case, it is subject to marijuana regulations.

THC is much more pronounced in marijuana while CBD is more pronounced in hemp. However, marijuana can be engineered to produce a higher ratio of CBD than THC. Hence the differences in strains.

4) Legality

The Legality of Cannabidiol

Hemp is allowed some leeway that marijuana does not get, despite both plants being extremely viable for medicinal use.

In some states, it is illegal to have marijuana CBD oil but hemp oil is allowed. While in others, it is illegal to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes but one is allowed to buy from other states.

The legal prohibitions against marijuana are only now being challenged.

It will be interesting to see how marijuana CBD will perform in a market where hemp CBD is available to all legally.

It has been hypothesized that the choice between either is inspired by the legal issues.

Is Hemp CBD or Marijuana CBD Superior?

No. None is superior. Each has its own unique way of working through your body but the point is they both work!

CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana only have the same molecular structures. The body does not react differently to either.

However, for pets it is best to use hemp CBD. This is due to the risk THC poses to animals, even the faintest traces can cause complications.

Since hemp has the least amount of THC of the two, it is the safer bet to use CBD for animal use.

Entourage Effect


The entourage effect is the synergistic effect of phyto-elements. It is the process by which chemicals in the cannabis plant work together to produce enhanced benefits.

In 1981, a study showed that the entourage effect was responsible for more 300% more activity. This was compared to activity from use of a single element like THC or CBD.

It is proof that whole plant medicine works, and this goes against the idea of pure CBD products. It is stringent to the abilities of the cannabinoid.

Marijuana has about 400 compounds. Of those, more that 20% of those compounds are cannabinoids, while others are terpenes, and enzymes.

All these elements are critical to the function intended.

Previously it was thought that only marijuana provided the entourage effect. But studies have unearthed a cornucopia of elements in hemp that also work like those in marijuana.

Hemp has six cannabinoids among the almost 600 compounds.

Forget the Source, Look for Quality

Since it has been determined that the quality of CBD is not determined by the source, the only thing that remains now is to learn how to determine said quality.

Using bad quality CBD is like drinking dirty water, it might quench your thirst but you will suffer through diarrhea later.

The same applies to bad quality CBD, it might work but the effects might be far direr than you can tolerate.

1) Organic Farming

Organic Farming of Hemp and Marijuana

Cannabis used to thrive outside, it used to produce great yields and very good quality products.

Then the war on drugs commenced and growers had to move the party inside, but that’s not to say all cannabis plants are grown inside as growing outside can produce incredible yields as well.

The problem with indoor growing is the need to take short cuts despite the reduced advantage.

Thus the use of pesticides, and these pesticides are washed into the drains and go on to hurt the environment.

Some of the chemical is retained and consumed by the user thus damaging your health. Use of these chemicals is also detrimental to the potency and value of the plants grown.

For the plants to thrive indoors and provide good quality flowers for the extraction of CBD, you should try to mimic the natural condition as much as possible.

Provide all the necessary microbes and mineral rich waters. Ensure not a chemical is used in the growing process and that the plants are allowed to proceed through the growth cycle natural.

Organically grown plant is the first step to good quality CBD.

2) Extraction

The extraction method of the CBD matters a lot, as use of some petroleum products poses a danger to you.

There have been reports of explosions when people try to use butane to extract CBD at home, so please just leave this to the professionals unless you have the proper tools and knowhow.

The element also leaves some residue that is harmful and irritant to your lungs. In some cases, these petroleum extraction methods produce a much lower concentrated CBD product than an alternative method like CO2 extraction.

One of the more widely known non-petroleum extraction methods is Carbon Dioxide.

The machinery required is expensive which makes the process a bit more expensive than the method mentioned above.

Once the benefits are considered, the cost becomes negligible. CO2 extraction is eco-friendly and non-toxic, while the final product is highly potent and free from unknown residual substances.

3) Third Party Results

Test Results for Hemp CBD and Marijuana CBD

Most genuine CBD vendors post their third party laboratory test results online.

The results give an analysis of the constituents in these products. You are then able to tell through these results posted online or on the packaging whether or not a product is clean and safe for your personal use.

Usually the above information is highlighted thus easing the burden of due diligence.

All the reputable companies make these results readily available, or should provide upon request. If they don’t, then it’s definitely not a company you want to be dealing with.

The results can be very difficult and confusing, so the first thing you should check is the cannabinoid profile & potency testing part.

This part will let you know about the levels of each cannabinoid as found in the tested product.

That should lead your decision to buy or not to since you already have a purpose for the product in mind.

The other important part is the Heavy Metal & Pesticide Testing part, which is usually given either a pass or a fail. So of course you want to choose a product that passes this every time.

The next is the residual solvents part, answering the question how much propane or butane was left in the product after extraction?

The number should be very close to zero or just zero, as you do not want any of these present in CBD products.

Finally, the terpene profile. Terpenes are elements responsible for flavor in both hemp CBD and marijuana CBD and are also instrumental in the interaction of the product with the system.

Pay special attention to this part, as terpenes are good!

4) Misleading Claims of CBD

Beware of this! There are companies that do not provide the test results and will instead make many many promises on the packaging that are plain lies.

Some will promise a very high concentration of CBD thus the need for only a small dosage, while others promise completely pure CBD, which again is not exactly something you should go for.

Unless you somehow know for sure that, the promises are certain, stay away from these products. Do not gamble with your health, trust but verify!

Superiority is a Matter of Opinion

Different people have had different experiences with hemp CBD and marijuana CBD, hence the variation in which is superior.

Some like hemp better while other would like a little THC kick in there so they will generally go for marijuana.

The source should not be insisted upon so much that other important considerations are forgotten. But if you live in a state that does not have legalized marijuana, hemp derived CBD is still an incredibly effective option that you should pursue!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here