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How is Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD Different?


CBD has been a hot ticket item for the past few years. This is because it can be derived from hemp or cannabis. Being able to understand the difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD will be the first step in you being able to make the most informed decision about your health and wellness.


At West Virginia Marijuana Card, we give you all of the tools that you will need in order to do that! So in today’s article, we will be reviewing exactly what hemp and cannabis are, if these two are legal, and how hemp derived CBD and cannabis derived CBD are different.


The Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis

Cannabis is a genus, or group, of plants that are similar to each other. Cannabis has three different species in its genus: indica, sativa and ruderalis. These three species are used to differentiate between cannabis that gives off a psychoactive effect and cannabis that does not.


Hemp is not a separate species from cannabis. Hemp is part of the sativa species but cannabis can be either indica, sativa or ruderalis.


They both have a similar appearance but they are two very different things. Here’s a little more detail about the two individually!


What is Hemp?

Hemp has been federally legal since the 2018 farm bill. In order for it to be legal, hemp has to contain less than 0.3% THC which is a very low percentage. For those who are novice marijuana users, THC is a psychoactive ingredient in cannabis; the chemical compound that makes you feel “high.” Since hemp has less than 0.3% THC, you can’t feel any psychoactive effects with it, hence why it is legal.


Hemp has been widely used for centuries by people all over the world! It has been used to make paper products, textiles, body care products and even food.


It usually is grown outside so that it grows as big as it can and yields the most it can. Since hemp does not take as much rigorous growing techniques as compared to cannabis, it is a lot easier to cultivate outdoors at different climates.


Hemp does have a slightly different look when compared closely to cannabis as it is much taller and skinnier with light foliage. People have compared it to the appearance of bamboo!


What is Cannabis?

Cannabis, on the other hand, contains more than 0.3% THC. There are even cannabis strains that are 30% or more of THC! This is why it is more regulated.


Cannabis is used for either medical or recreational purposes unlike hemp. So you are not going to find textiles or paper products being made of cannabis.


As for cultivation, cannabis takes a lot more technique than hemp does. It is very carefully managed in controlled conditions. This is because there are precise conditions in which a cannabis flower will bud, the bud is the most valuable and potent part of cannabis so this is extremely important.


Different species of cannabis do look different but generally they are bushy with larger and more full foliage compared to hemp.


Is Hemp or Cannabis Legal?

As mentioned earlier, hemp has less than 0.3% THC and cannabis has more than 0.3%THC. This percentage difference is what makes cannabis classified as a Schedule I Drug by the DEA. This means that marijuana is classified as having no medicinal value and having a high potential for abuse.


We know this scheduling is wrong and activists have been fighting to get marijuana properly scheduled since the 1970’s. Even though this scheduling is not right, since cannabis is super medicinal and is not addictive at all, this still leaves any CBD that is source from cannabis even if it has no THC whatsoever as federally illegal simply due to plant origin.


After the farm bill in 2018, hemp was reclassified separate from cannabis as an agricultural product so it is no longer in the same Schedule I category. Since the passage of this bill, hemp CBD has become extremely popular!


Even though cannabis is still federally illegal, it is still medical legal in many states, like West Virginia, and also recreational in others such as Virginia and Washington, D.C.. In West Virginia, you will be able to legally purchase cannabis derived CBD from local dispensaries as long as you have your medical marijuana card which we can help you with!


Risks with Hemp CBD:

The farm bill of 2018 made CBD accessible to the general public. But just because you can get hemp CBD legally does not mean you actually should. There have been a lot of safety issues that have arisen with hemp CBD.


Since hemp is bioaccumulating, it is like a sponge. It absorbs everything that is around it from toxins and pesticides to heavy metals in the soil. Many hemp CBD products are cultivated in non-organic environments so there is a risk that your hemp CBD could be tainted. This not only is unsafe but also renders the hemp CBD as ineffective.


Since cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, it is highly regulated but since help is fully legal, it is not. Because of this, it is super important for you to do your homework before consuming a hemp CBD product.


There are two ways that you can get ahead of this issue if you’re looking to try hemp CBD. First, you could make sure that the product you’re purchasing has been tested by a third party. This helps ensure that someone beyond the company itself is making sure that you’re getting a quality product. Second, you can look for products that are USDA certified organic. This stamp of approval makes sure that quality growing conditions were kept and you can avoid those yucky chemicals that hemp could soak up.


Cannabis CBD is Simply the Best:

Cannabis CBD is much more potent and rich with a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes as opposed to hemp CBD. If you are looking to treat a medical condition, cannabis CBD is the way to go versus hemp CBD.


We can help you with this every step of the way! You deserve relief. It starts here.



Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.


West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


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