CBD Derived from Hemp or Cannabis
Published 05 Mar 2020

When it comes to cannabidiol, or CBD, products, a name can carry hefty importance. There are massive differences between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from cannabis. Not all of it is legal. Understanding cannabis legalese and the defining characteristics of the two plants is imperative to making informed decisions about the CBD that you buy, and all tincture for pain relief going forward.

Cannabis includes three species in a genus of plants. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, these include Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. Hemp is not another species of marijuana, but these classifications differentiate non-psychoactive from psychoactive weed. It belongs to the Sativa genus, while other cannabis strains could be Sativa, Indica, or Ruderalis.

Hemp vs. Cannabis

Despite the physical similarities of hemp and cannabis, they are decidedly different from both a chemical and functional view. They are highly distinct from each other, with notable pros and cons to consider. As explained in the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be federally legal. THC is the cannabinoid that makes you “high.”

Hemp cannot have intoxicating effects, whereas cannabis can, should, and does. Hemp is a durable material for making building bricks, textiles, foods, medicines, paper, and much, much more. Cannabis is best for smoking or otherwise enjoying its psychoactive effects. Hemp grows well outdoors, which maximizes yield and size of plants. It is more forgiving than cannabis for growing conditions.

Hemp is tall. Skinny. Its foliage is skimpy, perhaps easily mistaken for bamboo. Cannabis is bushier. Denser. Bursting with buds. Cannabis requires more attention to humidity, lighting, temperature, nutrients, and more, whereas hemp grows easier without so much fuss. Cannabis, on the other hand, contains an abundance of THC. Plenty. Some strains 30 percent, some even more.

Cannabis is popular for both medical and recreational use. You will not find top strains making denim or Hempcrete. It grows in highly controlled environments, managed carefully with precision light exposure for flowering, ideal for thick and oozing trichomes, huge buds. These bushy plants have dense foliage, but both hemp and cannabis produce CBD. Legally, hemp-derived CBD is legal, cannabis-derived not.

What the Law Says

Under federal law, cannabis, with its high THC content, is a Schedule I drug, with no accepted medical use. It remains illegal. CBD products derived from cannabis are also illegal. Even if no THC is present, it is still illegal, simply because it is cannabis. However, the law changes at state level. Most states have medical marijuana programs; some even allow recreational use. You can buy cannabis-derived here.

Now, industrial hemp is a different story. No longer listed as a Schedule I drug, hemp is now legal at the federal level, along with any of its derivatives. It is now an agricultural commodity, and in response, CBD products are exploding in both popularity and inventiveness. As a result, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, or FDA, is drafting a regulatory framework for CBD and all hemp-derived CBD products.

Other Notable Differences

Hemp-sourced CBD tincture for pain relief is legal federally, with some states stipulating their own CBD laws. If you need the best place to buy hemp oil without erring on the wrong side of the law, check the cannabis laws of the state you are in to know what you can buy or not. Most everywhere, hemp-derived CBD is abundantly available almost everywhere. There are other important differences, however:

CBD Levels

Because cannabis produces bigger buds with significantly more resin, or trichomes, it is naturally a richer source of cannabinoids than hemp is. Trichomes are those gooey, sticky crystals on female flowers, even somewhat on their leaves. Hemp also contains resin, but not as much, and not as potent. Most hemp growers must grow a lot to make CBD oil, despite more CBD-rich strains entering the market.

CBD Regulation

A regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD is still unavailable, under construction. For this reason, it is vital that you know state law when looking for the best place to buy hemp oil. Look for third-party tested products, so you know it is safe for consumption. These tests test for cannabinoid content, as well as the presence of residues, heavy metals, pesticides, pathogens, microbes, and more.

CBD Effectiveness

Cannabis has wider cannabinoid and terpene profiles than hemp does. Therefore, CBD derived from cannabis has a wider spectrum of beneficial compounds. These cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes work together to create the “entourage effect,” a synergistic healing. The effectiveness of cannabis-derived CBD is far superior to that of hemp-derived, if just for the sheer abundance of cannabis resin.

CBD Isolate

Companies extract CBD from both hemp and cannabis, but isolate is special, with no difference whatsoever regardless its source. CBD isolate is pure CBD extract. Since cannabis contains more CBD than hemp does, you need more dry hemp to produce the equivalent in CBD isolate. Pure CBD is ideal for those wanting to avoid THC completely, as well as for research and medicinal purposes.

Best Place to Buy Hemp Oil

You can find all manner of tincture for pain relief these days. CBD is everywhere. Whether hemp- or cannabis-derived, it will contain CBD, just cannabis-derived more of it. The best place to buy hemp oil is at your local dispensary. Remember to check for a testing certificate, and research the manufacturer carefully to ensure compliance with regulatory laws.


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