CBD vs Hemp: Exploring The Difference

CBD vs Hemp: Exploring The Difference

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Our world is continually changing, and this applies to many areas of our lives. Nowadays, more and more products such as marijuana and cannabis oil become legal, and this encourages buyers to be interested in these products and their different options.

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CBD and hemp are the answer to plenty of physical health and anxiety-related issues. More often you can find them on the shelves of local stores and major drugstores. But not all CBD products are made in the same way, and not all are made from the same cannabis type.

Today we will pay all our attention to the keywords ?CBD? and ?Hemp?. What is the difference between them or maybe they are the same thing? And can cannabis plant help you? Today you will finally get all the answers.

Both CBD and hemp won?t get you high.

CBD and hemp are made from Cannabis Sativa, the cannabis plant. There are various types and forms of using these plants.

But let?s make everything clear from the beginning, neither of them contains any significant amount of THC, so they can?t get you high.

But why they didn?t give you such an effect?

When people talk about cannabis, hemp, and marijuana, they automatically think they have no difference at all, and such items are identical. But in reality, everything is not as it seems.

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All of the plants within the cannabis genus contain ?phytocannabinoids?. The most well known are THC and CBD. The first one is the reason for getting high.

The leaves and flowers of marijuana plants typically contain 15?20% THC, but CBD oils are made from the hemp plants and contain about 0.3% THC. Such amount is not enough to get you high.

Now when we made the central question answered, let?s get to the basis.

Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana: what are they?

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family, which consists of three primary species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

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Hemp and marijuana commonly considered as species of cannabis, but they don?t, they are even not legitimate nomenclature for the cannabis plant.

Hemp and marijuana are just broad classifications of cannabis that were brought into our culture.

To get a full understanding of the difference between Hemp and Marijuana, let?s explore what each of these terms means.


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Hemp is a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant species that classify varieties of Cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content.

Although both cannabis (the drug) and industrial hemp are produced from Cannabis Sativa, they have unique compositions and differ in using. Unlike cannabis, hemp has a lower amount of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD).

Hemp has been grown for thousands of years in Asia and the Middle East and now is used to make a considerable number of commercial and industrial products. What?s more, all known products such as rope, textiles, clothing, paper, insulation and biofuel are also made with the help of hemp.

However, hemp is used not only by companies: you can eat hemp seeds for your purposes or turn them into a liquid and used for baking. They can also be made into oil for shampoo, soap or body lotion.

In 2018 Farm Bill changed hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity. Such regulation helps to legalise hemp federally, makes it easier for farmers to get production licenses, loans to grow hemp and federal crop insurance.

As for the EU, it is possible to grow industrial hemp legally here if it contains less than 0.2% THC. As for hemp or CBD infused foods, they must apply for pre-market authorisation.


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Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes, classify varieties of Cannabis that contain more than 0.3% THC and can get euphoric effects on a user.

For a significant period, marijuana was strictly forbidden, and the government actively fought for this plant not to be used. The only potentially harmful effect for marijuana consumer is the intoxication. In some cases, the relaxing effects of THC in marijuana can relieve even anxiety.

But we shouldn?t forget that there are still no exact pieces of evidence, not enough long-term studies on marijuana in prolonged use, giving us doubts about the 100% positivity of marijuana.

As well as all types of smoking, marijuana could have negative consequences. Smoke from marijuana contains harmful chemicals that could lead to respiratory disease.

Hemp and marijuana came from the same plant species, have a lot in common; however, they impact differently and have various ways of using.

If you don?t want to get confused, then you should read the essential otherness between hemp and marijuana.

Main differences between hemp and marijuana:

1. Different composition.

The defining characteristic between these two components is the chemical composition of each plant.

Hemp and marijuana can produce high amounts of CBD, but THC amount is not at the same levels.

Hemp can contain no more than 0.3% THC, and marijuana can contain up to 30% THC content.

2. Legality.

Hemp and marijuana levels of THC vary, so are law regulations.

Hemp was previously regulated as an illegal substance, and only in 2018, it was federally legalised. But only products that contain no more than 0.3% THC.

As for marijuana, it?s still treated as a controlled substance and is federally illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. The situation in Europ differs depending on the country.

3. Growing conditions.

All plants require different conditions for their remarkable growth; marijuana and hemp are no exception too.

Hemp is typically grown outdoors and doesn?t require a lot of attention since a manufacturer shouldn?t comply with the exact parameters for growth.

If we speak about marijuana, then a manufacturer has to sweat. The right temperature, lighting, and humidity ? these and other conditions in the work environment should be right at each stage of the plant life cycle. Also, marijuana varieties are selectively bred only in controlled environments which are specially created to optimise the breed?s characteristics and to get a quality product.

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4. Application

Marijuana is commonly used for its recreational uses. Also, studies have revealed its potential in a wide variety of therapeutic applications.

Hemp helps to produce a broad spectrum of products:

  • Industrial products (paper, clothing, building materials, plastic).
  • Food products (cooking oil, hemp flour, hemp seed-based products).
  • Medicinal products (CBD oils and tinctures, CBD-infused topicals).

CBD is found in marijuana, but they are not the same thing too. If you?re interested in using CBD, now it?s time to find out what it is.

Exploring CBD and hemp oil

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CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the chemical compounds called ?cannabinoids?. It can come from either a marijuana plant or from a hemp plant.

Hemp-derived CBD is produced from industrial hemp plants, which are grown for their fibre and seeds. Hemp plants mostly differ by appearance: they are often skinny and scarce in foliage.

Also, it differentiates from marijuana by its levels of THC.

Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from marijuana plants that have thick, lush foliage and flowers. Such a product is usually grown and consumed because of its intoxicating effect.

CBD turns in the innumerable amount of products: edibles, ones that you smoke, or those you use for face care.

In 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the only one CBD medication ? Epidiolex. This item is used for the treatment of two types of epilepsy.

But many people purchase and use CBD oils and other products to solve various disease, such as:

  • seizures
  • inflammation
  • pain
  • psychosis or mental disorders
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • nausea
  • migraines
  • depression
  • anxiety

CBD is sold in multiple forms. However, different kinds of CBD work and affect the body differently. Let?s analyse this question in more details.

The most common medical CBD products consumers can purchase are:

  1. Edibles represent the range of products that you can eat or drink, like gummies, chocolates, etc.
  2. Oils and tinctures are processed and concentrated forms of CBD. To get the effect, they are often placed under the tongue using a dropper and absorbed into the bloodstream.
  3. Pills and capsules. Remember vitamins or drugs that you often buy in a drugstore? CBD pills and capsules look almost the same, but they contain CBD oil or CBD isolate.
  4. CBD-infused oils, creams and lotions represent a popular way to get rid of the pain. They are also used as skincare, hair care and for massage. Such products are applied directly on skin, hair, or nails.
  5. Vape. E-cigarettes involve inhaling a vaporised liquid that contains CBD oil.

Of course, the most popular form of cannabidiol products is CBD oil. It is a mixture of the cannabinoid extracts and carrier oil, such as hemp, coconut, or grapeseed oil. In most cases, CBD oil is taken sublingually. There are numerous types of CBD oils. The difference depends on the kind of cannabinoids included and the availability of THC.

What is CBD oil exactly?

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CBD oil is extracted mostly from the hemp plant?s flowers and leaves. It?s a naturally occurring chemical that has no psychoactive effect, but at the same time has many useful components for your health and lots of cosmetics benefits.

How can CBD oil be used?

  1. As a food supplement, by taking 1?3 drops twice a day.
  2. As an addition to other natural ingredients like oils, balms and creams.
  3. As an additive to e-liquid to vapes. Such vaping provide a high delivery of useful components throughout the body.

CBD oils often produced with hemp seed oil as a carrier. Such variant gives you a double effect: you receive benefits from both CBD and hemp seed. But not only CBD oil is a fairly popular product, but also hemp oil is not inferior to it too. Let?s talk about its properties and usefulness.

What is hemp oil?

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Hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds, typically, from hemp seed varieties that contain around 30% oil, but doesn?t contain any cannabinoids.

To get such a product, the seeds should be de-shelled, and the outer husk must be removed. Then the seeds go through the process of cold pressing. After some chilling and squeezing, manufactures get hemp seed oil.

How is hemp oil used?

The popular way of using hemp oil is the addition in cooking, cause it can easily replace olive oil. Hemp oil contains a massive amount of protein and has a tasty nutty flavour.

It?s also used in lotions and some types of soap due to its high moisturising effect. Also, it?s believed hemp oil can treat atopic dermatitis and even can anti-age the skin.

CBD oil and hemp oil potential use:

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CBD and hemp oil both have similar chemical properties and are used for solving various health problems. So, how these two products can help you?

  • Anxiety. CBD oil is known as an excellent relaxant. But don?t forget that it also has some side effects in case of prolonged use.
  • Depression. Some clinical studies showed that CBD helps to struggle depression. It has a positive effect on serotonin receptors in the human brain, improves emotional state and supports better psychological well-being.
  • Pain relief. Another useful effect CBD oil provides is pain relieving. It fetters inflammation that can trigger pain waves in the human body. The oil can also contribute better sleeping and helps to escape insomnia.
  • Skincare. Are you tired of constant skin issues, acne, wrinkles, brown spots? CBD oil will save you from all these problems. Due to its anti-inflammatory ingredients, oil is a great product to clear up and prevent acne. It also contains anti-oxidants useful for restraining skin ageing.
  • Blood pressure. Taking a correct amount of CBD oil can improve blood flow, lower the heart rate and reduce the anxiety. In some cases, CBD can also promote the lowering of blood pressure.
  • Vitamin supplement. Hemp oil contains high doses of essential vitamins, such as Vitamins E, B, B1 and B2, proteins, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and fatty acids.

What are the best ways to use CBD oil and hemp oil?

Never forget about the importance of proper products using. Such ways should be safe and efficient at the same time. Here is how to use CBD and hemp oils.

  • Ingest the oils orally. Oral usage engages the sublingual gland, which helps your body to take in oils faster, safer and more accessible. You can do it by the chewing of hard candy, mints, or gummies.
  • Via beverages. You can also drink beverages like tea or juices to intake the oils. But such ways of oil using reduces its bioavailability impact because oil has to pass through the digestive system of a human body.
  • Cooking. As mentioned above, you can use hemp oil for cooking.

Is it possible to meet these two products in the beauty world?

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Absolutely! Hempseed oil and CBD oil are both popular ingredients which are used in skincare products.

CBD is becoming more available; that?s why this is an exciting component for many manufacturers.

If we are talking about hempseed oil, this ingredient is not a new component for skincare.

Hempseed oil has a lot of advantages and can be a real must-have ingredient to get perfect skin. Such oil doesn?t clog pores, has an anti-inflammatory and moisturising effect. You can easily use it as face oil individually or adding to any products in your care routine.

And what do we know about the skin benefits of CBD?

It has an anti-inflammatory effect and is perfect in solving skin problems: acne, too sensitive skin, rashes, eczema or psoriasis. No wonder a lot of customers would like to use it.

How do companies try to fool us?

Many consumers are ready to pay more for CBD products, and sellers use such aspect, turning it to advantage to themselves. Instead of real CBD, companies add hempseed oil, mix it with marijuana leaves, and print the big word cannabis.

Unfortunately, in reality, such products don?t contain CBD at all.

Why is hemp oil much cheaper?

Hemp oil is obtained by a cold-pressing extraction. CBD oil has to go through a complicated and expensive extraction method. That makes CBD oils and CBD balms and creams more expensive than hemp oil products.

Is it possible to understand what you buy?

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CBD and hemp oil often incorrectly named as the same components because it?s not required for sellers to tell you how much CBD their products contain.

So, how can a buyer understand what he/she purchases and how not to let oneself be tricked?

Check what is written in the composition. If it is ?cannabis Sativa seed oil?, then you deal with hemp seed oil, if it?s written cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) or PCR hemp extracts, then you see CBD oil.

As practice shows, nobody looks at the exact milligrams list of the different components. But if you want to be an educated consumer, such a list can be a real lifesaver.

We all willing to buy quality and effective CBD products; therefore, checking the list of ingredients is always an essential and necessary thing to do.

Are CBD and hemp even safe for you?

Time goes by, but even now many people think that CBD products are harmful for the body.

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Of course, there are still a lot of studies and tests for side-effects. However, many scientists continue to identify its positive aspects and looking at the possibility of CBD use in medical conditions from Parkinson?s to post-traumatic stress disorder.

These are a few risks that you should be aware of:

  • Side effects. This includes dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness and drowsiness.
  • Lack of research. CBD world is still an unknown sphere. Tests that already were made show us evidence of a positive effect, but there a lot to learn and discuss. So far is unclear what conditions CBD could help treat and how it affects a specific person during prolonged use.
  • Inaccurate regulation. There are no exact standards for manufacturers for producing, testing or labelling products. This creates a probability for potential buyers to purchase not what they wanted, but also to worsen their health. After all, such a flaw leads to the fact that companies often write incorrect information on the labels of their products and the potential benefit of a product may decrease.
  • Interaction with other medicines. Could the effect of your regular medicaments be changed by CBD? There still no exact answer to this question. What we know is when you take herbs and supplements together with CBD products, the last ones will strengthen the sedative properties of preparations that cause sleepiness.
  • Prenatal and postnatal time. It?s not clear yet whether it?s possible or is it even safe to take CBD for pregnant or nursing women. But experts highly recommend avoiding taking such medicaments during these periods.

On the other hand, we shouldn?t forget about illegally sold products. Such items can promise you sky-high results, but in fact, can affect your health in the wrong side.

Always do your research and buy legally-sanctioned products.

To get the full benefits of CBD, make sure you buy certified and verified products. Don?t afraid to check this information before buying or try to find the information you need on a product?s website.

Even though it is a legal thing, don?t rush to get it if it looks like a doubtful item. Make sure to check CBD or hemp oil products before purchasing them thoroughly.

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Now it?s time to get a full understanding: are CBD and Hemp the same products? Of course no, but CBD and hemp both come from cannabis Sativa, the cannabis plant. Both come in many forms and have a variety of uses. Neither contains any significant amount of THC, so neither will get you high.

Both compounds interact with your body?s endocannabinoid system, but the provided effect differs.

The laws and regulations surrounding by CBD and hemp-related products are complicated and vary a lot depending on location and other conditions. Don?t forget to do your research before you put any of these products on your shelves.

The more research you do, the higher your chances are to get what you expect from CBD or hemp oil.

Verified by a Healthcare Professional

Anastasiia Myronenko

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Anastasiia Myronenko is a Medical Physicist actively practicing in one of the leading cancer centers in Kyiv, Ukraine. She received her master?s degree in Medical Physics at Karazin Kharkiv National University and completed Biological Physics internship at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Germany. Anastasiia Myronenko specializes in radiation therapy and is a fellow of Ukrainian Association of Medical Physicists.

This article includes the promotion of products and services sold on Alphagreen and affiliate links to other businesses.

Alphagreen and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The information and products presented on this site are not intended for medical use nor do they make any medical claims. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a pre-existing medical condition, are pregnant and/or are breastfeeding, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or another health-related program.








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