Cannabis-Derived CBD vs. Hemp-Derived CBD

Cannabis Plant with Green and Purple Leaves | Veritas Farms

The popularity of CBD products is on the rise. With many people dipping their toes in the CBD pond, it is important to understand the differences between the different types of products on the market. One of the main questions we receive is, “What’s the difference between cannabis-derived CBD and hemp-derived CBD?”

The answer may surprise you!

What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis?

Hemp and marijuana are both from the same species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family called cannabis. There are three different types of cannabis plants, each with different properties:

  • Cannabis Sativa: Known for that euphoric “head high” feeling that is associated with marijuana usage.
  • Cannabis Indica: Known for a “body high” that can help provide relief for those with discomfort.
  • Cannabis Ruderalis: Known for its auto-flowering capabilities, which is why it is often used to create hybrid strains.

So, cannabis is the scientific name for hemp and marijuana. Hemp is a type of cannabis, called Cannabis Sativa L, which has low levels of THC. Marijuana is the slang name given to other types of cannabis with higher THC levels, including the ones listed above.

As cannabis has been hotly debated for decades, the differences between hemp and marijuana have been muddled up a bit. Since hemp is a type of cannabis, we should really be asking the question, “What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?”

So, What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of many naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant called phytocannabinoids.

Other phytocannabinoids include CBA, CBN, and even THC.

Products like Full Spectrum CBD Oil are effective because phytocannabinoids are similar enough to our bodies’ naturally occurring endocannabinoids that they can also interact with and affect the workings of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), part of the mammalian nervous system that’s thought to play a regulatory role in all kinds of bodily functions, including mood, sleep, and appetite.

Want to learn more about how Full Spectrum Hemp (CBD) Oil works? Check out our guide.The major differences between hemp and marijuana can be broken down into four categories:

  • Appearance
  •  Chemical Composition
  • Cultivation
  • Uses


Many people are surprised to learn that hemp and marijuana plants look quite different from each other if you know what to look for. Hemp leaves tend to be skinnier and concentrated at the top of the plant, with few branches or leaves below the top leaves. On the other hand, marijuana plants have broader leaves, tight buds, or nuggets covered in tiny hairs or crystals.

From afar, marijuana plants will look like a short, fat bush. Hemp plants are taller and skinnier.

Hemp plant | Veritas Farms

Chemical Composition

The chemical makeup of hemp and marijuana is the major difference between these two plants. While there are more than 400 chemical compounds in cannabis, there are two main cannabinoids that people talk about: THC and CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound found in both hemp and marijuana, but the levels of the phytocannabinoid are very different in hemp and marijuana.

THC is the substance that is responsible for the high sensation. Hemp contains very low levels of THC, less than 0.3%. Plants with higher THC levels than the 0.3% legal limit are considered marijuana plants, which may be illegal in some states under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Hemp tends to contain higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD) than marijuana, making it a more viable option for CBD products.


Marijuana and hemp plants are grown under different conditions. Hemp can be grown close together and is often planted in multi-acre plots. It is also fairly hardy and can be successfully grown in a variety of climates. Hemp’s growth cycle is generally between 108 and 120 days.

Marijuana, on the other hand, requires a great deal of care from its grower. These plants need to be cultivated in a carefully controlled environment with proper temperatures and humidity. The plants can’t be grown too close to each other, typically requiring at least six feet between plants. The growth cycle for marijuana is shorter—only about 60 to 90 days.


Hemp has a variety of uses and is used to make numerous products. Harvested hemp can be made into food products such as hemp flour, hemp seeds, and hemp seed cooking oil. Industrial hemp products like paper, plastic, clothing, and building materials provide alternatives to the more traditional versions of these goods. Hemp can even be used to develop biofuels.

One of the main uses for hemp is to create products containing CBD, such as topicals, gummies, skincare products, and tinctures. These CBD products are ideal for relief, sleep, relaxation, and more.

Marijuana is often associated with relief, reduction of addictive tendencies, and easing certain mental illnesses, as well as being a recreational drug.

What’s the Difference Between Cannabis-Derived CBD vs. Hemp-Derived CBD?

Cannabis CBD vs. hemp CBD comes down to the different compound levels found in the plant from which the CBD was derived. Remember, cannabis contains more THC and less CBD, meaning it will take more cannabis to create the same level of CBD. Hemp contains more CBD and less THC, making it a more efficient producer for CBD products.

Additionally, cannabis CBD might contain levels of THC that render it federally illegal. The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes products that fall under the 0.3% THC level of hemp for all but three states. However, legally, all CBD products are required to have less than 0.3% THC, so even products made from cannabis-derived CBD should remain legal, based strictly on THC level.

Cannabis vs. hemp CBD can also depend on the preference of the user, as the benefits of CBD remain the same regardless of where the CBD originally came from. The potential side effects are also the same.

Is CBD Oil the Same as Hemp Oil?

Since CBD can be derived from either hemp or cannabis plants, some people believe the misconception that hemp oil and CBD oil are the same. However, hemp oil contains little to no CBD. This is due to the way the oil is extracted. Hemp oil, also called hemp seed oil, is made by cold-pressing the hemp seeds, forming an omega-rich culinary oil. In contrast, CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the entirety of the hemp plant. Each of these oils have their own benefits.

Buying CBD Oil Products

Look no further than Veritas Farms for your CBD oil needs. Our selection of CBD oil products are all made from full-spectrum hemp. We offer CBD in the form of capsules, tinctures, gummies, lotions, and more. We also have a line of CBD pet treats that may benefit your pet. Check out our full line of products.

Your CBD journey starts here

Yes, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to shopping for CBD oil. But once you find the product that’s right for you, you may never want to go back!

Ready to start shopping? Check out our online store. 

At Veritas Farms, we grow all our hemp on site at our farm in Pueblo, Colo., where we also dry, process, extract, formulate, and package a variety of best-quality CBD products. We offer certificates of analysis for all our products and stand behind the quality of everything we sell.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We love to hear from CBD enthusiasts and newbies alike. Happy shopping!

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