The interest in cannabidiol (CBD) continues to grow, as does the availability of the various products. When trying to decide which products to use it can often be confusing when the product comes hemp or cannabis. Hemp and cannabis are derived from different varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp plants generally contain more CBD whereas cannabis plants contain more THC, a compound that people associate with the “high” of cannabis use. Hemp- derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC are federally legal but illegal under some state laws. Whereas, Cannabis-derived CBD is illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Remember to always check with your local legislation.
So what is the difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD?
Hemp plants and and cannabis plants contain both CBD ad THC. The main difference between these two plants is the amount of each compound they contain. Therefore, hemp contains more CBD and less THC whereas Cannabis plants contain more THC and less CBD.
Hemp is a specific variety of the C. sativa. It has been grown by people for hundreds of years and can be used to make clothes, food, rope, and much more. The 2018 Farm Bill considers C. sativa plants with less than 0.3% THC as hemp or industrial hemp. Hemp plants do contain a low level of THC and can be grown legally across most of the United States subject to strict regulations, except three states. Fun fact, Thomas Jefferson, the third United States President, actually grew industrial hemp himself.
There are three standard varieties of cannabis plants. C. sativa, C. indica and C. ruderalis. There are also hybrid plants that are a mixture of these three strains. Cannabis plants contain much higher levels of THC. As we know, these plants contain more THC and less CBD than hemp plants. The difference has become more pronounced. In 2016, analysis found the average potency of cannabis plants rose for 4% in 1995 to 12% in 2014. The average CBD levels then decreased from 0.28% in 2001 to less than 0.15% in 2014.
Individuals who are considering using CBD products should inform their doctors to confirm it will not interact with any other medications they may be taking.