Hemp vs Cannabis CBD - What is the Difference?

Hemp vs Cannabis CBD - What is the Difference?

Different types of hemp and cannabis

Hemp vs Cannabis CBD - What is the Difference?

When it comes to the question of hemp vs cannabis, unless you have looked into the insanely complex science behind both plants, there is often a lack of real clarity in the difference between the two. So, what exactly is it that separates hemp and cannabis? In all honesty, it’s probably not as much of a difference as you think!

Both plants are varieties of the sativa plant - although cannabis plants also come in indica and hybrid varieties (more on that here). Coming from the same branch of flora, you would do well to pick a difference between the two when it comes to how the plant looks. Where the real difference is the chemicals that are actually contained in the plants.

Essentially it comes down to the fact that hemp is higher in CBD (the chemical that helps soothe your aches and pains), while cannabis is higher in THC (the chemical that will help get you high). But let’s look at the differences in a little more detail…

What is Hemp?

As we mentioned earlier, hemp is a specific variety of sativa. Not only does it have medicinal benefits, but hemp stalks have also been used to create different materials for years. We’re talking ropes, clothes and even sails for ships. The stuff was even grown by Thomas Jefferson back in the 18th century. That’s right, one of our country’s founding fathers was an amateur hemp farmer!

Hemp farmer holding a leaf

When it comes to the medicinal uses of a hemp plant, that’s where the leaves and flowers come into play. While hemp plants do contain both CBD and THC, there is much more of the former present than the latter. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, sativa plants with less than 0.3% THC is generally considered hemp under US law. While hemp definitely isn’t as potent as cannabis, it can still cause a “high” in the user under the right circumstances/quantities.

“But why 0.3%?” I hear you ask. Well, the figure originates from a book called The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics, by Ernest Small. Small later announced that the figure was just an arbitrary suggestion. Little did he know that it would end up influencing law in the United States further down the line

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis has much broader, all-encompassing characteristics. To put it simply, hemp is a subcategory of cannabis. Therefore, cannabis naturally comes with a lot more variety. These days, it can usually be split into three strains: indica, sativa or hybrid, with each strain possessing a different set of attributes.

When concerning the hemp vs cannabis argument, there are a couple of things that set cannabis apart. Firstly, cannabis is higher in THC. This is the chemical compound that will cause the user to get “high”. This is usually in the form of delta-9 or delta-8 - the compound included in our CBD products. Learn about delta-8 in more detail here.

The Difference Between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD

Firstly, let’s be clear: CBD exists in both hemp and cannabis products. The primary differentiator is the fact that there are differing levels in each separate strain. You would expect that the higher the levels of CBD, the more dramatic the effects. While this is kinda true, there is more to it than that.

Cannabis buds in jars

CBD is hailed as having properties that are beneficial to both physical and mental health. The reality is that there are over 500 different chemical compounds in each hemp and cannabis plant. To go through the intricacies of each chemical reaction and its effects would take much more space than one online feature can provide!

Hemp tends to be used more frequently on a global scale due to the wide ranging illegality of cannabis. And this is basically the main difference that you need to keep in mind. The other thing you can take note of is that while the CBD levels are lower in cannabis, they still harness the same physical and mental benefits associated with hemp products. In fact, the effects are typically more potent, given that they cover the full-spectrum of beneficial cannabis compounds. 

This is where CBD and THC team up to kick physical and mental symptoms in the a$$, while also giving you that ultimate chill or creative buzz that only weed can provide.

Here at the Woodstock Hemp Company, we only ever breathe the good s**t. So, when it comes to differentiating hemp and cannabis, we are sure that we have the answers to any questions you may have. Contact our team by emailing our founder himself jason@woodstockhempcompany.com or calling us on (503) 407-4500.

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