There are many members of the cannabis plant family, and hemp and marijuana are just two branches of that family tree. But, when it comes down to it, what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
When it comes to products for sale, the major difference between hemp and marijuana is their varying levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) content. Hemp, legally defined, has less than 0.3 percent THC and high levels of CBD while marijuana contains more than .03 percent THC and lower levels of CBD.
The level of THC vs CBD content matters because THC is the psychoactive chemical that can produce a “high,” while CBD is associated with various health benefits. So if you want the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive ingredients, hemp-derived products are the way to go.
While hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, their use varies greatly. Their unique cannabinoid profile means that people often use them for separate purposes, plus the psychoactive-free hemp plant has been used for various crafting purposes for centuries.
Marijuana has been used by many for the “high” it produces, but the plant also started being used medically in the late 1800’s for its stomach-soothing properties. Eventually, in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act criminalized its usage and the debate still rages on about medicinal and recreational uses for marijuana and the legality of those uses.
CBD hemp, not to be confused with industrial hemp which has long been used as fiber for all things from clothing to construction, with high CBD content, is harvested and added to various oils, creams, and tinctures in order to support health.
Both CBD hemp and marijuana are subject to inconsistent laws state to state. With its low THC content, hemp is legal on a federal level and isn’t considered a drug, so CBD oil with less than 0.3 THC content is legal in all 50 states. Marijuana, which contains more than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical that causes a high or intoxicating effect in users, is not so ubiquitous. That high THC content means that Marijuana is not legal in all 50 states and continues to be considered a drug or controlled substance by the federal government. A hotly debated topic, some states have legalized recreational or medicinal use of marijuana and others have not. It’s always good to check the legality in your state before trying to make a purchase.
When purchasing hemp or marijuana products, you may want to verify the levels of THC and CBD in the product. The requirements for testing and labeling cannabis products are inconsistent across states, so the best way to make sure you know what you’re getting is by checking the lab reports of the company you would like to purchase from. Third-party tests are the best way to verify, so check to see if your chosen CBD company has that information available.
At CBD American Shaman, we make sure to test our products with third-party labs in order to ensure that our hemp meets THC and CBD standards, and keep them available at all times on our lab reports page.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.