Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?


Hemp vs. marijuana is an ongoing battle of confusion amongst people new to CBD products. A great deal of misunderstanding and misconception surrounds this subject. Let us get into the brass tacks of the issue at hand.

Both hemp and marijuana are indeed the same species and are both members of the cannabis family. However, they have significant differences. So, is hemp marijuana? The answer to that is “NO,” and this article will help you understand the differences. This knowledge will also help you navigate which CBD topical products are right for you.

What Is the Difference Between Hemp And Marijuana?

Marijuana is a strain of cannabis that contains more than 0.3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is a psychoactive compound that can cause a euphoric or psychotropic effect; in simpler words, it is responsible for making you feel the “high.” The more THC that enters your body, the more it will change how you feel and affect your cognition.

Hemp is another strain of cannabis, called Cannabis Sativa L., but it contains less than or up to 0.3% of THC and will not get you high or show up on a drug test. Increase it to 0.4%, and the cannabis plant falls in the category of marijuana (although this is also a very negligible amount of THC).

Because of their differing levels of THC, hemp and marijuana serve different purposes. While marijuana is harvested for its psychedelic effects, hemp is harvested for both producing CBD as well as for industrial purposes.

As the strongest natural fiber in the world, hemp is harvested for the production of clothing, paper, canvas, rope and many other products. Hemp seeds are also highly nutritious, containing high amounts of essential fatty acids, protein, fiber and vitamins. They can be added to virtually anything for a nutrition boost.



While legally, hemp was not specifically defined until the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, it has been used for industrial purposes since the early 1900s. Before the passing of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, both hemp and marijuana were 100% legal, although there were some restrictions.

The Marijuana Tax Act ruled the possession of cannabis illegal throughout the United States under federal law, excluding medical and industrial uses.

It wasn’t until the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 was enacted that cannabis became entirely illegal, including hemp, and that was the end of cannabis agriculture. People and companies could no longer use the cannabis plant for its industrial and medicinal benefits.

This changed again in 2014, when the 2014 Farm Bill was passed. The bill permitted limited hemp growth for research and industrial purposes, and the 2018 Farm Bill went on to declare hemp agriculture and products legal across all 50 states. This made it possible for companies like CBDMEDIC™ to excel in the diverse production of topical products containing hemp-derived CBD.

CBD from Hemp vs. CBD from Marijuana

Both hemp and marijuana contain cannabinoids including CBD, but, just like the plants, the main difference between the CBD is the amount of THC they contain.

Simply put, hemp-derived CBD usually contains high concentrations of CBD, but its THC content does not exceed the legal 0.3% limit. However, marijuana-derived CBD contains significant amounts of THC, ranging between 5% and 30%, and is not legal.

Choose Wisely

Now that you know the difference between hemp and marijuana, choose your CBD products wisely.

To ensure quality products, make sure they are third party tested and contain CBD from hemp only.

CBDMEDIC is a leading company in the CBD industry, offering topical skincare and pain relief products. We are the first brand to introduce topical products and pain relief cream using hemp extract or oil in combination with other naturally-derived pharmaceutical ingredients. All of our products are non-psychoactive and free of THC, so you can rest assured that our products are of the highest quality.


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