Cannabis CBD or Hemp CBD – Which One Should You Choose?
With the rise in CBD popularity and the widespread availability of products containing this compound, numerous people want to learn more about it. But throughout their research, they might stumble upon hemp CBD and cannabis CBD, and be very confused regarding the differences and which one to choose. “Hemp” and “cannabis” are often used interchangeably, which can make things even more confusing.
Now, you’ve probably seen the numerous CBD products available in online stores or various local stores. If you do not know the difference, you may end up buying hemp CBD expecting it to be the same as cannabis CBD and vice versa. While they share some similarities, the two are different things and provide distinct benefits.
Which one should you go for, cannabis CBD or hemp CBD? In this post, we will look in depth at the two types of CBD and list their major differences.
Are Cannabis and Hemp the Same Thing?
While navigating the Internet in search of the best CBD product, you’ll see many people using the terms “cannabis” and “hemp” when referring to the same thing. It can be quite puzzling, and it might lead to newcomers being misinformed. Although there is a link between cannabis and hemp, there is a difference between the terms. Anyone should know about it before starting their CBD journey.
Cannabis is an umbrella term referring to a genus of flowering plants that are included in the Cannabaceae family. The family features around 170 species of plants, with the main three ones being Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis sativa. 
Researchers tried to estimate the age of the cannabis genus through computer algorithms and a “molecular clock”. They found out that cannabis comes from Humulus, which is the genus most closely related to it, and a common ancestor. Cannabis plants likely diverged from it around 27.8 million years ago.
Now we know this, but botanists were unable to fully understand the origin of the cannabis genus as there wasn’t enough fossil evidence.
Hemp is a type of cannabis that is part of the Cannabis sativa species. Scientifically, it is known as Cannabis sativa L.
Hemp contains very high amounts of CBD, while not being that rich in THC. So, it is not as intoxicating as other cannabis types that may contain higher levels of THC.
The plant has numerous benefits. For instance, people extract CBD from its flowers, then add it to multiple products such as oils, creams, capsules, edibles, and others. But other parts of the hemp plant are useful as well. The seeds can be used to make hemp seed oil, although they can also be eaten. Furthermore, the stalk is useful in creating biofuels or textiles.
Products derived from hemp are usually legal thanks to their low level of THC and their overall safety. However, the plants must contain 0.3% THC by dry weight or less in order to be considered legal. 
So, hemp is part of the cannabis family, but the terms “hemp” and “cannabis” are different. While “cannabis” is used to refer to the broad Cannabaceae family, “hemp” is used to refer to a single plant from the group.
Cannabis CBD vs Hemp CBD
Cannabis and hemp are terms used to refer to different things – does this change the CBD that is derived from them? Well, yes and no.
No matter if CBD is derived from cannabis or hemp, its molecule is the same. That means that if you choose hemp CBD instead of cannabis CBD or vice versa, you will be taking advantage of the same cannabinoid.
At the same time, cannabis and hemp contain different amounts of CBD, as well as THC. Generally, hemp plants have more CBD than THC, whereas cannabis has higher amounts of THC.
The plants classified as hemp are the ones that are part of the Cannabis sativa group and have less than 0.3% THC. Although hemp is not free of THC, it doesn’t have amounts high enough to be intoxicating.
Still, between the two, cannabis is the one with the higher CBD amounts. Hemp usually contains around 3% – 5% CBD, whereas cannabis contains about 18% – 20% CBD. Sometimes, hemp plants of higher quality can have 10% CBD.
In order to obtain considerable amounts of CBD, more hemp plants would be required compared to cannabis CBD.
The Legality of Cannabis CBD and Hemp CBD
Here is where things get more confusing – the legal status of hemp CBD and cannabis CBD. People are very confused, especially with so many CBD products filling the shelves of local stores.
The main thing you need to know regarding CBD is that it is federally legal, but only as long as it comes from hemp which has no more than 0.3% THC. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp production and distribution legal, allowing many companies to start selling various products rich in CBD. If a plant has more than 0.3% THC, it is considered marijuana, which is classified as a schedule 1 substance, making it illegal. Even though hemp CBD is legal on a federal level, there are states that restrict its use. 
Whereas the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 made industrial hemp plants legal, cannabis plants are not legal.  Some manufacturers might still try to sell products with CBD extracted from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC.
Also, while CBD extracted from hemp is legal, hemp is not regulated by the FDA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not approve of CBD oil or other CBD products for medicinal use. Many CBD products you see in online shops or on the shelves of local stores might claim that they have medicinal benefits, but this does not mean they have been approved by the FDA.
The only CBD drug product approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, meaning that the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that this product is effective and safe. The medication contains a purified CBD form. Also, it is used to treat seizures associated with the Dravet syndrome or the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients who are 1 year old or older. 
Ideally, you should consider hemp CBD as something similar to a vitamin supplement and cannabis CBD as something that is heavily regulated and can only be used in very precise dosages.
Availability of Hemp CBD vs Cannabis CBD
When you browse online shops for CBD products or even when you walk between the aisles of your local hemp shop, you will see numerous CBD products. Over the last few years, the market exploded, as people were learning more about the benefits of this cannabinoid. The fact that it does not lead to a high feeling makes it even more convenient for people who are not fans of such effects.
But one thing to keep in mind is that most of the time, all the CBD oils and other products you find are probably hemp-derived. If you see CBD items in states where cannabis is illegal, then you can rest assured everything is made from hemp.
If you want to use cannabis CBD, you will have a much harder time finding it because businesses want to respect the laws. Hemp CBD is legal in most places and you’ll be able to find it more easily. CBD is still CBD regardless of the source, but you want to make sure you use the right product.
Before using any cannabis CBD product, it’s best to check the laws in your state.
Main Differences Between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD
In order to consume hemp CBD or cannabis CBD safely, you must be aware of the differences between them. Let’s take a look at the main aspects that set the plants apart when it comes to their CBD content:
· The Entourage Effect
As you already know, hemp has very low amounts of THC compared to cannabis. In fact, it must stay under a certain amount of THC to respect the law. Cannabis, on the other hand, contains higher THC amounts.
When there is both CBD and THC present in the plant, they will create the entourage effect. This means that the two compounds will enhance each other’s therapeutic benefits. The theory of the entourage effect was popularized by Dr. Ethan Russo. 
Hemp CBD only has 0.3% THC or less, while CBD can have 1mg or less. This is especially true if we are talking about CBD oil products. At first glance, this amount seems very low, but it is more than enough to use the advantages of the cannabinoid.
That being said, THC is expected to enhance the benefits of your product instead of creating psychoactive effects.
· Medical Benefits
You hear left and right about the medical benefits of CBD, but do they differ based on the CBD’s source?
Cannabis CBD and hemp CBD share some of the same benefits. Still, cannabis CBD oil is usually prescribed and is more appropriate for various conditions.
One of the benefits of cannabis CBD is that it can help alleviate anxiety. Therefore, a doctor might prescribe this CBD oil for you if he or she thinks it’s necessary. A 2015 review shows that CBD interacts with the CB1R, respectively the cannabinoid type 1 receptor. On top of that, it interacts with the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and many others in the brain. These regulate anxiety and fear. As such, CBD can be effective against generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and others. 
Some research even shows that CBD may be effective in managing cancer, assisting in the treatment of cancer-related nausea, vomiting, sleep issues, pain, and other symptoms. 
Other than that, it can also be used to ease bipolar disorder, chronic pain, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, and others.
While some hemp CBD products could also help in these medical situations, the claims made by the brand have not been verified. Whereas research currently points in the right direction, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional before taking any type of CBD to treat medical issues.
Hemp CBD and cannabis CBD oil contain different ingredients.
Cannabis CBD oil contains CBD and THC, with the THC being much stronger than the one found in hemp.
Meanwhile, hemp CBD oil is rich in many other nutrients depending on the case. But if the product contains CBD isolates, then it will only have CBD. The good news is that there is no THC present in hemp CBD oil, making it more convenient for people who do not want to experience intoxicating effects.
The appearance itself does not matter when it comes to cannabis CBD and hemp CBD. However, it’s important to know how their original forms influence the way they are processed to be prepared for use.
Hemp CBD is made from the stalk of the plant, whereas cannabis CBD is made using the flowers.
Hemp CBD and cannabis CBD can both be useful depending on the effect you are trying to obtain. They provide medicinal benefits, including anxiety relief, pain relief, help with cancer-related symptoms, and more. However, hemp CBD is legal in most places, while cannabis CBD is more strictly regulated and is usually only available on prescription.
Cannabis CBD comes from plants richer in THC. Therefore, it is more likely for the end product to contain traces of the intoxicating compound. As for hemp CBD, the THC amounts are either very low or non-existent.
All in all, whichever CBD type you use is up to you, but we recommend staying legal and safe. Hemp CBD is typically a better option as it has legal status in most states, it’s not intoxicating, and is more widely available.
1. The Name of Cannabis: A Short Guide for Nonbotanists
2. Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
3. Is CBD legal? Here’s what you need to know, according to science
4. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
5. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
6. Use of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Efficacy and Security in Clinical Trials
7. What’s the Entourage Effect?
8. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders