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Marijuana CBD Oil versus Hemp CBD Oil: The Main Differences

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CBD (Cannabidiol) has been dubbed the “poster child” of cannabis, probably because of the health benefits it affords without causing a change in mental status. However, what is unknown to many users is that there are two different versions of this compound in the market today.

You might have come across CBD oils being sold in a local convenience store or being sold online. And perhaps you noticed that some CBD products were labelled “cannabis” and others were labelled as “hemp.” You probably assumed that this is one and the same thing, but this cannot be farther away from the truth. As much as there are striking similarities between hemp CBD oil and marijuana CBD oil, there are also a couple of differences that set one apart from the other.

Learning that there is a difference between the two might come as a surprise to many. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the main differences between the two so that you can know which CBD oil suits your needs better.

Here we look at the 6 main differences between Marijuana CBD Oil and Hemp CBD Oil:

Where It Is Derived From?

The major difference between these two compounds is that marijuana CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant while hemp CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant.

As you may already know, hemp and cannabis are different sub species of the same plant species- Cannabis Sativa L. Both cannabis and hemp contain high levels of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which include CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) among others.

However, the hemp plant has very low amounts of cannabinoids, this includes CBD as well. Consequently, it is mainly used in making food products derived from hemp seed as well as other industrial products such as paper, clothing, ropes and much more, which are made from the plant’s stalks and fibres.

Therefore, marijuana CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant while hemp CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant.

Marijuana CBD Oil Contains Higher Amounts of THC

Usually, cannabis CBD oil contains more than 0.3% concentration of THC (by dry weight), which is relatively high as compared to hemp CBD oil that has less than 0.3% THC. The THC amount in Cannabis CBD Oil might not be that significant but it is enough to cause feelings of euphoria, which hemp CBD oil cannot achieve.

Remember, THC is responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis, but it is also has therapeutic value just as CBD does. A combination of CBD and THC plus other cannabinoids and terpenes offers potent healing effects through what is known as the entourage effect. Therefore, the therapeutic benefits of both THC and CBD are multiplied when the two are present in CBD oil. You will find that most hemp CBD oils have 0% THC and hence they will lack the full entourage benefits tht come with combining THC with CBD.

Legal Status in the US

In the US, hemp CBD oil is legal in all 52 states. This is so because industrial hemp was made legal under federal law by the passing of the 2018 farm bill.

Marijuana CBD oil which may contain over 0.3% of THC is however not legal in most states. So far, only 10 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, the state of Illinois may be the 11th state to follow suit. In these states, marijuana CBD oil is legal because marijuana has been legalized.

In the UK and other countries, legal (hemp-derived) CBD oil has to contain less than 0.2% THC. Unlike the US, marijuana CBD oil is illegal throughout the country. While across in Canada, marijuana CBD oil is legal throughout the country.

Therapeutic benefits

With the differences discussed above, it is apparent that the two versions of CBD oil do not have the same therapeutic benefits. With higher amounts of THC, marijuana CBD oil may offer a wider array of therapeutic benefits since THC offers additional potency. Also, marijuana CBD oil which contains higher amounts of CBD may be more beneficial for people requiring higher CBD doses.

On the other hand, people wishing to completely avoid the psychoactive effects of THC may prefer to use hemp CBD oil that is absolutely free of THC.

CBD oil has proved useful in relieving pain, anxiety and depression, acne, tumour suppression, promoting heart health and treating mood disorders among others.


Although marijuana CBD oil and Hemp CBD oil both contain CBD, they still have major differences that affect their usage. Cannabis CBD oil has up to 20% CBD while hemp CBD oil contains only minimal amounts of CBD, which is usually around 3.5%. However, the main difference is in how they are both derived since marijuana CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant while hemp CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant.