Hemp vs Marijuana

Hemp vs Marijuana

Here at Charlotte’s Web™, we see a lot of questions and confusion about hemp vs marijuana. People tend to assume that, since Charlotte’s Web works with cannabis plants, we must be dealing with marijuana.

But this is not the case. All Charlotte’s Web CBD products come from the hemp plant, which is different from marijuana. The main difference that sets these two plants apart is that one gets you intoxicated (we know which one that is), and the other does not (hemp!). Let’s dive further into the hemp vs. marijuana discussion to learn more about the key differences between these two plants.

How are Hemp and Marijuana Different?

Both hemp and marijuana belong to a group of plants called Cannabis sativa. We all know that marijuana can lead to intoxication, but does hemp get you high? The answer is no - hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the molecule in marijuana that leads to intoxication. These minuscule amounts of THC are non-intoxicating and won’t make you feel high. 

Although hemp doesn’t get you high, hemp-derived CBD products can lead to noticeable mental and physical changes. Most people say they feel more focused or calm, or that they just feel an overall heightened sense of wellbeing when they use CBD products.

So, why do hemp and marijuana, two closely related plants, affect people in such different ways? The answer lies in the way the plants are bred and selected for turning into hemp extracts.

Breeding & Selection 

To understand breeding and selection of plants, take, for example, broccoli and kale. Both plants belong to the brassica oleracea species. While kale has been bred to feature plentiful large leaves, broccoli has been bred to have huge flowers. 

Similarly, we have hemp and marijuana. Though there are many strains of each, marijuana has been bred to feature high THC levels, while hemp has been bred for other reasons, such as high levels of CBD. 

Historically, hemp was bred for traits such as high seed content. Hemp seeds are popular for products such as hemp seed oil, hemp hearts, and hemp protein. The hemp extracts we make here at Charlotte’s Web use the plant’s leaves and flowers - which include all the great compounds like CBD. Products with CBD, like Charlotte’s Web oils, capsules, gummies, and topicals, are completely different from marijuana or hemp seed oil.

Hemp vs Marijuana-derived CBD Products

Although marijuana is mostly known for its high levels of THC, it can also be bred to include plenty of CBD. Those looking for CBD products will want to be sure that they don’t end up accidentally taking marijuana-derived CBD since these products can also include enough THC to get you high.

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, you don’t have to worry about mistakenly getting high from your CBD products. The farm bill removed hemp from the schedule 1 substance list, making it an ordinary farm crop - just like wheat or corn. Hemp-derived CBD products, such as those made by Charlotte’s Web, can now be sold in stores or online, across the country. 

On the contrary, you should never find marijuana-derived CBD products in stores or online. Even in states where marijuana is legal, it can only be sold in cannabis dispensaries. So, you’re not going to accidentally purchase CBD products online with an intoxicating amount of THC in them. 

Much like you and your third cousin, hemp and marijuana are related but very different from one another, similar to when comparing CBD vs THC. Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back soon for more blog posts in the ‘Searching for Answers’ series.