Diem Blog

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana CBD Oil?

One of the qualities that makes CBD oil so wonderful is the fact that it can be used to satisfy a huge variety of wants and needs. Different types of CBD oil offer different benefits, and as awesome as it is to have so many options, navigating the nuances of CBD oil to find your perfect match can sometimes be overwhelming. A good place to start is understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana-derived CBD oil.

Hold Up! What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Before we dive into the difference between hemp and marijuana CBD oils, it’s helpful to understand the plants they come from. Both hemp and marijuana (also referred to simply as cannabis) are varieties of the same plant, cannabis sativa, and the line between the two is actually a little bit arbitrary. The simple answer is that hemp contains far lower levels of both CBD and THC than marijuana does, and it’s not meant to be harvested for its psychotropic properties (read: It doesn’t have what it takes to get you high). Officially, cannabis sativa can be classified as hemp if it contains less than 0.3% THC. This threshold was proposed in 1971 by Ernest Small in his book The Species Problem in Cannabis. Though Small himself admitted that 0.3% was a relatively random cut off, it’s stuck around nonetheless. Today, this figure is broadly accepted as the amount of THC concentration that distinguishes hemp from marijuana. As far as CBD-related issues go, this is the only critical difference between the two plants.

CBD Oil Content, Production, and Legislation

With this understanding of the difference between hemp and marijuana, it’s not hard to guess how hemp CBD oil and marijuana CBD oil differ from each other. While hemp CBD oil may contain trace amounts of THC, it is a great option when you want the benefits of CBD but you don’t want to get high and it is easier to acquire because it is not regulated like marijuana. On the other hand, marijuana CBD oil will give you both the high and the benefits of CBD, with levels of THC up to 60%).

Hemp derived CBD oil has to go through a couple extra steps in the production process in order to up the concentration of CBD while maintaining that < 0.3% THC, but the basic processes of making the two oils are the same. They’re created using solvents—most commonly olive oil, ethanol, or CO2—to extract fat-soluble compounds (a.k.a. CBD and THC) from the plant and voila! You have your oil.

One more notable difference between hemp and marijuana CBD oil is the way each is treated by the law: While hemp and hemp derived products are federally legal, marijuana is only legal in certain states (and in our opinion, those states are officially the cooler states). All this means is that hemp products get regulated and tested by the FDA and marijuana regulation happens on a state level. States that have not legalized recreational and/or medical marijuana cannot sell marijuana CBD oil, but they may sell hemp CBD oil. Either way, both must live up to a rigorous set of quality standards to be sold legally.

The CBD Oil Experience

Alright, that’s enough with the technical stuff—though it’s a good foundation, I’m guessing you want to know what the difference between hemp and marijuana CBD oil actually feels like. Hemp CBD oil will give you all the benefits of CBD without getting you high. It works as a painkiller by acting as an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, is amazing for coping with anxiety, and can even help regulate sleep cycles. Marijuana CBD oil gives you all these benefits too, but they’re accompanied by the high that made weed famous. Many people claim CBD is more effective when it is accompanied by some level of THC, and you can essentially regulate this by purchasing marijuana CBD oil with varying levels of THC. Depending on the situation, your goals, and who you are as an individual, either of the two oils might turn out to be the better choice—ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. The fact that you’re at the end of this page means you’ve probably got a solid baseline understanding of what each oil offers and are well prepared to make an educated choice. There’s only one thing left to do: Try it!