Hemp vs. Marijuana


CBD Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

You may have noticed jars or baggies of CBD hemp flower lining the shelves of your local tobacconist or headshop— it looks (and smells) just like marijuana (THC-cannabis). 

CBD Hemp vs. Marijuana Bud

So what’s the difference between CBD hemp and marijuana?  

There are a few. In this post we’ll be talking about: 

  • Botanical differences
  • Legality of CBD hemp vs. marijuana
  • Potential health benefits of CBD hemp vs. marijuana
  • And, the availability of both

What’s The Difference Between CBD Hemp vs. Marijuana?

The key difference between CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the effect on the user. 

Unlike CBD, THC can: 

  • Induce a euphoric-like high in its users
  • Trigger feelings of anxiety or paranoia 
  • Heighten a user’s awareness
  • Can make user’s experience time dilation

Despite their similar appearances, CBD hemp is different from a standard marijuana plant. Marijuana buds contain the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabinoid— CBD hemp has been carefully bred to contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight— virtually none.

Instead, CBD hemp is laden with the CBD cannabinoid, and is not psychoactive when consumed.

Does CBD show up on a drug test? Read more here.

Legality of CBD Hemp vs. Marijuana

Due to its infancy, the line between CBD hemp vs. marijuana is yet to be set in stone. According to the 2018 Farm Bill hemp is technically any “cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC.” That limit refers to the weight of dried product. Dried cannabis containing more than that limit is considered marijuana. 

CBD hemp tested under that limit is considered by the federal government to be an agricultural commodity and legal throughout the United States and its territories provided the vendor has the correct paperwork to verify the cannabinoid profiles of the product, also known as a certificate of analysis. 

Become a certificate of analysis master here: How to Read a Certificate of Analysis (COA)

Marijuana is federally illegal. There are states that have legalized cannabis with higher THC content for medical use with fewer still legalizing marijuana recreational use. See them here.

CBD Hemp vs. Marijuana For Pain

While there is no definitive answer whether CBD hemp vs. marijuana is better for pain— marijuana testing has been stifled due to the FDA’s scheduling of the plant. 

Many users report using CBD hemp to help manage their

  • Inflammation
  • IBS (Inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Migraines 
  • Arthritis

CBD Hemp vs. Marijuana For Anxiety

Both CBD hemp and marijuana have been used to treat anxiety. 

Some studies have demonstrated CBD hemp’s efficiency in reducing anxiety behaviors linked to: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Marijuana users report mixed findings when using THC to manage their anxiety. That may be because extreme doses of THC have been linked to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.

Availability of CBD Hemp vs Marijuana

Because of THC’s legal status, purchasing and shipping marijuana across state lines is still illegal. 

However CBD hemp’s status as an agricultural commodity means that it can be shipped via the USPS to any state and delivered to your door, courtesy of the USPS. For more on purchasing CBD hemp, check out our store page.

Updated 7/9/2021


  1. Herbies team. “What Is THC? – Herbies.” Marijuana Seeds – Cannabis Seeds For Sale – Buy Weed Seeds Online – Herbies, Herbies, 9 Mar. 2020, 
  2. “Farm Bill.” USDA, United State Department of Agriculture, 2018, <www.usda.gov/farmbill.>
  3. Gstalter, Morgan. “McConnell Bill Would Legalize Hemp as Agricultural Product.” TheHill, 26 Mar. 2018, <thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/380287-mcconnell-bill-would-legalize-hemp-as-agricultural-product.>
  4. Contributors to Wikimedia projects. “Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Mar. 2011, 
  5. Blessing, Esther M et al. “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.” Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 12,4 (2015): 825-36. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  6. Shapiro, Gary E. “P.S. Docket No. MLB 18-39.” USPS, 8 Nov. 2018 <https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/judicial/admin-decisions/2018/mlb-18-39-fd.htm>