Marijuana CBD vs. Hemp CBD

Marijuana CBD vs. Hemp CBD

Of the molecules in the marijuana plant, THC and CBD are the most well-known. Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects, which means it will not cause hallucinations. Repeated studies support its anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving effects. This means that CBD is used in:

  • epilepsy
  • arthritis
  • irritable bowel and Crohn’s disease
  • insomnia
  • several other qualifying conditions

Many patients believe that they can get all of these benefits from CBD-rich hemp-based oils. The CBD molecule is the same, and their low-THC content makes them legal to buy online. But, there are several differences between CBD products from marijuana and hemp – some that will explain why you will not have the same positive effects with hemp oils.

THC helps CBD have its medical effects in the body

The effect of THC and CBD varies from person to person, and even in different organs. The types of receptors they bind to changes throughout the body, the effect depends on the relative amount of each. You could have the same amount of CBD, with different levels of THC, and see very different effects! With hemp oils, there is almost no THC, so that any of CBD’s positive effects that could come from THC is not possible.

Marijuana and hemp come from the same plant

“Hemp” refers to products of the seeds and stalks of the plant. “Marijuana” refers to the flowers of the plant, which are processed for recreational and medical use. The flowers are rich on molecules and medicines, like the CBD and THC that treat several conditions. The seeds are rich in nutrients, have no CBD at all, and give a healthy, protein-rich oil used in cooking. The stalk has almost no nutrients, and very little CBD. The stalk is the source of “CBD-rich” hemp oils.

Medical marijuana is tightly regulated, and hemp-based CBD oils are not

Medical cannabis is grown indoors under tightly controlled conditions, while almost all hemp is grown outdoors. This creates the risk of contaminants making their way into the supply chain for hemp oils. And, hemp-oil suppliers often import the plant material from overseas growers, where there is even less control of how the plants are handled. During a 2014 investigation, the largest CBD-rich hemp oil company in the country refused to say from where they got their hemp. It turned out that it was a “hemp paste,” a by-product of hemp processing for textiles and other goods. There is also no promise that the amount of CBD in each hemp-oil bottle is going to be the same.

CBD is not extracted from hemp in the same way as the CBD of medical cannabis


Many hemp-oil distributors say they use the same process to pull their CBD out of the plant, from the seeds and stalks instead of the flowers. The process is similar, but the plant material fed into the extraction is not. Their is no CBD in the seeds, and that is not used. In reality, the low levels of CBD in the stalk means huge amounts it have to be processed for the same amount of CBD. And, it is not a “plant stalk” that is used for the extraction, but the “hemp paste” waste product from turning hemp into clothing. The extraction process is not specific – whatever made its way into the paste is going to be in the hemp oil.

How can I get CBD-rich oils to treat my condition?

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) overseas the industry in the United States. As founding member of the HIA Eric Steenstra states,

“The best source of CBD is high resin strains of cannabis – the drug kind.”

If you want your CBD safely, with the best improvement to your quality of life, medical cannabis is the best way to get your medicine. The regulation is there, like with any other medicine, to make sure it is safe, reliable, and going to work.


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