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  • Olivia Castro

Is Hemp CBD Different from Cannabis CBD?

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

CBD has gained popularity tremendously in the past couple of years. Now even Beyoncé is sharing her love for CBD!

CBD has become so well known because it actually can be derived from hemp or cannabis. Understanding the difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD will help you make the best decisions for your health and wellness goals.

At Ohio Marijuana Card, we want to give you all the tools in order to make the decisions that are right for you! In today’s blog we are going to be talking about what hemp and cannabis is, what the law says about the two and a word of caution on hemp CBD.

Is Hemp CBD Different from Cannabis CBD?

The answer is yes! There actually is a difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD.

Cannabis is a genus which is a group of plants that are all similar to one another. Cannabis has three different species I am sure you have heard of before: indica, sativa and ruderalis. These three categories are used to differentiate between species that have psychoactive effects and ones that do not.

Hemp is not a different species of cannabis! It actually belongs to the sativa species. Both cannabis and hemp have a similar look but at the root of it all are very different plants.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a plant that has been beloved by people for centuries! It has been used in a variety of products like paper, textiles, food and even body care items.

Hemp typically is grown outdoors so that it can produce as many leaves as it came and does not take a very technically rigorous growing process as cannabis does. It is much easier to grow casually outdoors in different climates.

As for look, hemp is much taller and skinnier with lighter foliage than cannabis plants. Many have compared its look to bamboo!

The hemp plant was legalized federally in 2018 because it contains less than 0.3% THC. THC is the compound in marijuana that has psychoactive effects, in other words the part that makes you feel high. Since hemp has less than 0.3% THC, you aren’t able to feel any psychoactive effect which is why it was made legal on the federal level.

What is cannabis?

What makes cannabis different from hemp is that cannabis can have over 0.3% THC. There are even cannabis strains that have more than 30% THC!

Unlike hemp, cannabis is mostly used for medical or adult-use purposes which is why you don’t see it used in textiles or other products as you see with hemp.

Growing cannabis takes a lot more skill and responsibility than growing hemp does. Cultivating cannabis is carefully managed in a controlled environment. These precise conditions are what allows the cannabis flower to bud which is the most valuable part of the cannabis plant.

Although different cannabis species look differently, generally cannabis has a bushy look with fuller and larger foliage than hemp.

What Does the Law Say?

Before 2018, all cannabis plants were considered a Schedule I Drug by the DEA. Schedule I is a category reserved for drugs that have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. This false scheduling that was done in the 1970’s has been a point of contention in the United States ever since. Since cannabis is technically a Schedule I drug, any CBD sourced from cannabis, regardless of the THC level, was federally illegal.

This remained true until the farm bill came along in 2018! This bill reclassified help as an agricultural product so it is no longer in the same Schedule I category as the rest of the cannabis plants. Now that hemp is legal federally, hemp CBD has grown immensely popular!

Even though cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, there are many states that have passed recreational and medical programs still. Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in 2016 so you can buy CBD derived from cannabis at any dispensary in the state!

A Word of Caution About Hemp CBD

The farm bill of 2018 made CBD more accessible to the public but remember that just because you can access something easily, doesn’t mean you should.

There have been many safety issues that have come along with hemp CBD. One issue is that hemp is a bioaccumulating plant. This means that it soaks up everything around it like a sponge; this includes toxins, pesticides and heavy metals that are in the soil. Because many hemp CBD products are not grown in organic environments, there is a possibility that your hemp CBD could be tainted. Not only is this unsafe but it causes the CBD to be less effective.

These issues come about with hemp CBD and not cannabis CBD because cannabis CBD is highly regulated since it is federally illegal. Since hemp CBD is not, there are less rules around how you can grow it and sell it.

There are a couple ways you can get ahead of these problems. First, look for products that are tested by a third party company. This will help you ensure that an entity beyond the company is making sure this product is safe. Second, purchase hemp CBD products that are USDA certified organic. Lastly, you can get your medical marijuana card just to be safe and purchase cannabis CBD instead!

If you are looking to treat a medical condition using CBD, cannabis CBD is the way to go. Cannabis is more potent and has a variety of rich cannabinoids and terpenes that will help your condition!

We can help you with all of this. Your first step in relief starts here!


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.


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