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The Differences Between Hemp & Cannabis

Hemp is a staple of society, having been used by mankind for thousands of years.

In fact, if you’ve read our previous blog on the top benefits of marijuana, you should already know hemp has been a choice crop since ancient times for its medical and industrial purposes.

So, what exactly is hemp, and how does it differ from the kind of cannabis that gets you high? And, are hemp CBD oils actually different in quality?

What is Hemp?


Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of the
Cannabis sativa plant.

By 2018 Farm Bill definition, hemp is “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids…whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Along with trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp contains high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) and other lesser known cannabinoids:

Cannabichromene (CBC): CBC is a minor cannabinoid with the ability to help block the perception of pain.
Cannabinol (CBN): CBN is aged THC, or the cannabinoid that develops when a plant has been exposed to oxygen for long periods of time. CBN is best for treating low appetite and insomnia.
Cannabigerol (CBG): CBG is the precursor to both CBD and THC, aiding most with digestive disorders and inflammatory diseases.

CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid most commonly used, and known for its ability to aid with pain, inflammation and anxiety. CBD can be found in both marijuana and hemp, though the kind of CBD you can buy online these days is industrial hemp-derived. 

Key Differences Between Cannabis & Hemp


Unlike the kind of cannabis that’s bred for its THC content, hemp is not considered a controlled substance and can be grown for general commercial use
. Industrial hemp contains 0.5% or less THC. In contrast, medical cannabis contains high levels of THC; in the range of 5-30%. 

Industrial hemp can thrive in most environments, making it a prime crop for farmers to cultivate outdoors in mass quantities. Marijuana is typically grown indoors, as it requires more specific growing conditions to thrive.

Hemp can be turned into fiber, protein, oils and smokable products. The entire hemp plant and its seeds can be used for a variety of purposes: food, cosmetics, fabrics, ropes, paper and building materials. When marijuana flowers, its buds are harvested; with the leftover leaves and stems either being composted or cloned.

The Difference Between Hemp CBD & Cannabis CBD Oil


By molecular structure, hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD are the same. In effect, they are also the same. The hemp-derived CBD you can buy online, can and will provide the same benefits as the CBD that comes from medical marijuana.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind the quality and growing conditions of the plant the CBD was sourced from. As with CPG products in general, one should always do their due diligence and research where the industrial hemp was sourced from. For example, like how we recently sourced hemp from one of Paso Robles’ premier farms.

The main difference between oils is that CBD is available in much greater quantities in hemp. Also, legally speaking, hemp-derived CBD can be found just about anywhere these days – including our Rebel Tea! CBD extracted from a marijuana plant is only available at licensed dispensaries.