Yes, you may have read hemp CBD vs cannabis CBD and thought, “Hey, isn’t hemp cannabis?” And you’d be right, but that doesn’t mean this question isn’t popping up all over the place recently.
And for good reason. With the growing popularity (and availability) of CBD, many are wondering what difference it makes which plant the CBD you’re using comes from.
So does it? Is there a difference between CBD from hemp and CBD from cannabis?
Yes and no. Let us explain.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis refers to a group of three plants:
- Cannabis sativa
- Cannabis indica
- Cannabis ruderalis (some debate the classification of this one, and whether or not ruderalis is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa)
Both cannabis and hemp are part of the Cannabaceae family, so, yes, both are cannabis. Here’s where it starts to get a bit sticky. Hemp belongs to the Cannabis sativa species only, but cannabis (marijuana to make it easier) can be a member of the Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa or Cannabis ruderalis species.
Hemp is from the cannabis plant, but it is referring to plants that produce no more than 0.3% THC. That’s the cannabinoid in cannabis that gives you that “high” feeling. 0.3% is also the legal limit for CBD in most U.S. States. It is typically grown outside and can be used for all kinds of things – clothing, textiles, building materials, etc – not just for CBD.
Cannabis, on the other hand, also comes from the cannabis plant (confusing, we know), but it can contain as much as 30% THC or more, depending on the strain. This cannabis is more often grown indoors, in carefully controlled environments, and it’s really only used for recreational and medicinal purposes.
So, in short, cannabis and hemp contain both CBD and THC along with many other substances. The main difference between the two is the amount of each compound they contain.
Ok, so they’re the same but different. So what does that mean when it comes to hemp CBD vs cannabis CBD specifically?
Hemp CBD vs Cannabis CBD
As we mentioned above, cannabis naturally contains more THC and less CBD, while it’s the opposite for hemp.
But is that CBD the same?
The chemical makeup of CBD doesn’t change depending on the plant (or species of plant) that it comes from, nor how it’s grown, or the amount of other compounds in that same plant.
A molecule of any compound is composed of a specific arrangement and configuration of atoms with a specific bonding pattern. Yay, science!
It’s like if you were to get any other natural compound from different plants: calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. Those molecules are the same, no matter where they come from.
The same holds true for CBD. Or THC. Or CBN, CBG, of CBC.
The thing that may change when you compare hemp CBD and cannabis CBD is how it works with those other compounds (and concentrations) we mentioned earlier.
The thing is, what that difference may be is just not yet known. We know that both hemp CBD and cannabis CBD have very valuable therapeutic properties. We also know that both hemp CBD and cannabis CBD from whole plant extracts contain a wide range of beneficial terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, including THC, CBN, CBG, etc (although cannabis tends to have a greater concentration of these). These compounds work together to boost the power of the CBD, no matter where it comes from. This is called the entourage effect.
What we don’t know is if these different compounds work differently on the body with different levels of CBD. Like, if more CBD, when working alongside CBC, brings about better results, etc. Research just isn’t there yet – but scientists are working on it.
So, when it comes to hemp CBD vs cannabis CBD, is there really a big difference? No, not technically. The CBD is the same no matter where it comes from. For you, the consumer, it may just mean one is legal where you are, while the other is not.
For now, as we await further research, we don’t know how those other cannabinoids or compounds interact with the CBD to impact it in your body, but the case remains the same: CBD is powerful no mater which plant it’s derived from!