The 2014 farm bill defined industrial hemp to mean “the plant Cannabis sativa and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. The Hemp plant has various uses including fiber from stem and stock, oil rich in Omegas produced from seed and cannabinoid rich oil produced from leaves and flowers.
Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants. The difference is that hemp plants have no more than 0.3 percent THC, and marijuana plants have higher levels of THC.
Depending on where you live and the laws in your state or country, you may be able to buy both marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD products. Or you may have access to hemp-derived CBD products only.
Knowing the difference between marijuana and hemp is important because marijuana-derived CBD products may cause some psychoactive effects due to the possibility of higher levels of THC in those products. This is one of the reasons we only use hemp-derived CBD.
The cannabis plant, which has the Latin name Cannabis sativa L. has a couple of different subtypes. One of these subtypes is the marijuana plant, which is often referred to as simply cannabis. This cannabis subtype contains the intoxicating compound THC or tetrahydrocannabinol (pronounced “TET-tra-HIGH-dro-CAN-i-buh-nahl”). THC is the compound which is responsible for the “high” that people get when they ingest marijuana.
Another subtype of Cannabis sativa L. is the hemp plant. Hemp has been used for many thousands of years and was one of the very earliest plants ever grown for its use as a textile fiber. In the 1600’s, colonists in Virginia were cultivating the hemp plant which they used to make rope, sails for their ships and even their clothing. The hemp plant, unlike cannabis, has been bred over centuries for its fiber content and contains a negligible amount of THC. So little in fact, that you do not get any intoxicating effect from ingesting it.
The two plant subtypes, both marijuana and hemp, contain a class of chemical compounds called cannabinoids (pronounced “CAN-nah-buh-noids”) and there are more than one hundred of these compounds in Cannabis sativa L. Because of its intoxicating qualities, THC is the best known of the cannabinoids and besides its ability to induce a high, it has some well-publicized therapeutic effects. Another star of the cannabinoids is CBD (or cannabidiol) and it also has therapeutic effects, but without the potential of an intoxicating high. Both THC and CBD are classified as cannabinoids.