Know the Difference Hemp CBD Vs Marijuana and THC

Do you think Marijuana and Hemp derived CBD are exactly the same? Well if you answered YES, then this article is for you! The differences between Hemp CBD VS Marijuana are HUGE! Big for legality, usage and vital compounds! Let's clear up the confusion ONCE and FOR ALL in a super EASY way that anyone can understand!
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr

By: Christina Hale

Do you think Marijuana and Hemp derived CBD are exactly the same? Well if you answered YES then this article is for you! The differences between Hemp CBD VS Marijuana are HUGE! Big for legality, usage, and vital compounds!

Let’s clear up the confusion ONCE and FOR ALL in a super EASY way that anyone can understand!

The Genus, Cannabis!


Bear with me a moment as I explain the “root” of the confusion!

Each plant is categorized under a long list of scientific classifications such as Kingdom, Division, Subdivision, Class, Genus, etc. Sounds like Greek to me, or perhaps it is Latin. They can be difficult to understand for even an avid herbalist, gardener, and nature lover.

So let’s look at the MOST IMPORTANT one to know. GENUS!

This is basically, THE FAMILY NAME. Like your last name, the root name of your family. Hemp and Marijuana are relatives in the same FAMILY TREE, Cannabis. So in scientific classifications, the Genus represents multiple species that are relatives.

Think about people in your family right now. Who is exactly the same, looks the same, acts the same, loves the same things and lives the exact same life! Even if you have twins in your line they are NEVER exactly the same.

Another example that relates to the plant world. Mushrooms. Are all mushrooms the same? No they are very distinct in color, shape, growth pattern and even toxicity. But they are related, the Agricus family. Some are safe to eat and some are toxic! See the Image Below for a visual Example.

image a collage of mushrooms all the same family but all unique from article hemp CBD vs marijuana

Well, either is the relatives Hemp and Marijuana. Yes, they come from the same family but their characteristics are as individually unique. Same as your own family genetics!

Look at their Unique Characteristics

The family of Cannabis has been cultivated and used for likely 6000 PLUS YEARS! That is a long time! It should come as little surprise that in that long “family-line” many unique characteristics have emerged and been created by merging similar plants species together.

Through this family evolution, many “members” have taken on unique purposes and intentions.

“Brother” Cannabis

The Tall handsome brother.

Let’s take a look at Hemp as a first example. This family member has unique characteristics in just how it looks! Taller, sturdier, hardier and fibrous. This is why it took off as an amazing benefit in industrial applications.

It’s amazing fibers were harvested and used in the production of clothing, rope, rugs and more. It’s fast-growing strong performance also makes it an ideal candidate for use in fuels. Paper production and SO much more!

“Sister” Cannabis

The shorter little sister with charm!

Marijuana, on the other hand, is described as bushier, shorter and less dense in fiber. But she is intoxicating! Her high levels of THC, Tetrahydrocannabinol, cause the psychoactive effects that many associate with “being high“.

These are just generic names for comparison(Brother, Sister). Many strains exist and are being developed all the time. For this article and simplicity, they represent an easy comparison.

Understanding Similar Family Genes – Compounds

In order to know the difference between Hemp CBD vs Marijuana and THC, we need to know how they are the same, and how they are different. As you can see Hemp and Marijuana have unique characteristics, differences, but they also carry some distinct “markers” that make them related.

image brother and sister with similar genetics but different from article hemp cbd vs marijuana

Like all members of a family, certain traits are inherited through generations. For some, you may have more characteristics from your mother, or perhaps your father’s line. But almost every person has a little of both. That is no different in the plant kingdom.

In the Cannabis family, there are over 480 natural compounds! There is bound to be similarities. Let’s look at the important one.

The Cannabinoids

One thing that you can be sure both plants carry in parts are the cannabinoids. These are part of the natural compounds that make up the plant substance. They can be measured at different levels for both have them. The exact measures for each can be difficult to determine exactly due to variations, production and testing abilities.

It is estimated that there are 100+ cannabinoid acids are present in certain species of cannabis!

  • Cannabidiols (CBD) from CBDA*
  • Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) from THCA*
  • Cannabigerols (CBG) – CBGA
  • Cannabichromenes (CBC) – CBCA
  • PLUS More!

This would be a very long list if we began listing them all but this is a good example. The top two or the most commonly known and the major difference when looking at hemp CBD and marijuana derived CBD.

You notice the alternate initials next to each name. CBD with the A. The A represents these compounds in the natural state inside the plant in the acid form. In order for these compounds to be usable, they need to be extracted and/or heated.

I do not want to get too technical here but I suggest for my scientific minded friends to check out this great article on Leafly,com about Cannabinoids.

And for my AUDIO?VISUAL friends this video from Cured by Nature gives a clear easy explanation of the difference between Cannabis and Hemp. (Spoiler- you already know they are the same now) Still a great video. Subscribe to their channel and visit their site if you enjoy this video.

Hemp CBD VS Marijuana Compounds

We got a little “techy” in discussing cannabinoids but I wanted you to see the important genetic make-up. It will also help you to see the differences with better understanding.

The major difference between the hemp plant and the marijuana plant is that hemp produces the lowest concentrations of THC possible. In fact in acceptable Legal range Hemp cannot contain over a certain amount to classify it as “industrial hemp”. For most places, this number ranges at .3 to .9% of what is allowed legally. BUT by classification Hemp is less than .3%.

For more information about the legality of hemp & Marijuana, this article from the Naturally Powerful CBD site can help.

image words THC from article hemp cbd vs marijuana thc


THC is the compound known to cause the “high” associated with marijuana. It is bred to maximize this THC concentration. CBD levels may be equal but often lower. Although it has medicinal values as well most often it is viewed as “recreational”. In areas where marijuana is medicinally legal, it presents alternate options for a natural treatment. Just be aware that it can produce psychoactive effects that can impair your functionality. Much like Opioids.

CBD words in ice from article Hemp CBD vs Marijuana


Hemp is bred and produced to maximize CBD and limit THC. This means that Industrial produced hemp and derived hemp CBD is INCAPABLE of inducing intoxication. NO HIGH.

They do not alter perception and are considered very safe when produced and distributed correctly.

They are also legal and available in more areas because they do not contain a “drug”. Check the legality where you live and reap the benefits of CBD for yourself.



Easy Enough?

I have seen a lot of technical jargon on the internet about the comparison between hemp CBD vs Marijuana and THC that left me scratching my head. Information was also inconsistent and/or bias in their relay.

image hemp plant article hemp CBD vs Marijuana and THCBoth of these plants have amazing values as naturally powerful alternatives and additions to your wellness plans. The difference is in the THC and CBD levels, what you need it for, and it is legal.

Know the difference and then understand your options. For me, Hemp is legal here. Marijuana is not. I would still choose hemp even if it was but that is because I dislike the high associated with any medications. I would not choose that in a natural or herbal remedy. Your choices are yours, always. Just have the knowledge in advance and you are sure to make the right one for you.

Drop a comment, ask a question or become part of the discussion! I want to hear from YOU!

christina hale signature

Quality Hemp Derived CBD

Highest Quality Hemp-Derived CBD Oil Available!

Hemp products sold in stores are most often made with hemp seed oil, which can contain only trace amounts of CBD. Which is not a viable CBD supplement.
Get Full Spectrum Hemp product here that is rich in CBD!

If a new window does not open when clicking button, Click Here.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr

“Knowledge is the Power to a Better You, Better Health and Unlocking your Natural Power!”

More to Explore

2 thoughts on “Know the Difference Hemp CBD Vs Marijuana and THC”

  1. Its interesting the comments and things you notice since embarking on this CBD business. I was driving back to our state capitol today and noticed an sign for Highbrow. The slogan said your Cannabis Destination under the business name. On the way back there was an unhappy fella taking a picture of the sign. Then as I was further down the road I noticed a business called “The Garden of Weeden” right next to Dube’s Auto. LOL It seems that Cannabis shops are cropping up all over the place here in our state. No doubt they are mostly medical marijuana facilities but I am not for certain. People often fear the legalization of CBD because they think that’ like in Canada, legalizing one requires the legalization of the other. This is not always the case. Thank you for clearing up the difference here in describing the family name versus the plant name, and the physical characteristics of the plants. Tall, thinned out, and fibrous versus short, bushy and the like. Very good post.

    1. Hi Carl,
      It is nice to have the options where you live to choose Hemp or Marijuana. It can be an easy choice for some but others want options. I hope this article and the education about the values of hemp and marijuana help people make a wise choice.
      I get what you are saying about the legalization assumptions. Since they are different people need to thoroughly investigate the legalities of their specific state, Country, and regions. I hope that someday this will not be an issue and it will just be legal everywhere. I may see that day! I hope!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.